RPS Science Photographer of the Year 2020

AccuPixel co-founder Simon Brown has been named as the Royal Photographic Society Science Photographer of the Year 2020 for his ortho photo of the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm.

The ortho photo was created in 2017 as part of an ongoing project to survey shipwrecks in the Egypt’s Red Sea and covers 2.16 hectares (5.35 acres) of the wreck and surrounding seabed including the two locomotives the ship was carrying.

Covering the external surfaces of the wreck required just over 15,000 separate overlapping images and a further 11,000 frames were needed to capture the cargo decks, captains quarters and saloon.

A scaled down version of the winning ortho mosaic

The ortho photo is geo referenced and was originally processed at 10mm per pixel using Agisoft Metashape Professional but since upgrading computer hardware this has now been refined to 2mm per pixel. The native image file is a whopping 10.9Gb in size but can be viewed online thanks to the hosting site Dronelab:

The ortho photo was used extensively by the team to examine the wreck and its cargo in fine detail with research uncovering new and previously unrecorded features.

A further five ortho photos were produced – the forecastle room, captains quarters, saloon, upper cargo deck and lower cargo deck – and all are published in the recently published book Diving the SS Thistlegorm. The book includes previously unpublished research plus over 120 still images shot by award winning photographer Alex Mustard.

The book is also available from: