Discovering Life at the Ocean’s Depths: 19 Breathtaking Selections from the 2023 International Underwater Photography Contest

The underwater world is captivating beyond measure, with thousands of unique and remarkable creatures inhabiting its depths. Were it not for photographers exhibiting unwavering patience to capture vivid and informative images, our understanding of this realm would be far less extensive. Such tireless creativity is celebrated in the esteemed international competition, Underwater Photographer of the Year.

Photographers from all corners of the globe don scuba gear and dive into unexplored waters, capturing distinctive photos that convey intriguing stories, complete with captivating details. The protagonist of these stories can be any of the marine dwellers, a lost vessel, a person, or even a mysterious location.

In this article, we present some of the award-winning shots selected by the judges in the latest competition.

Trunk, Kuwait

Suliman Alatiqi

Algae Gold, USA

Douglas Klug

Blue Eye, China

Yujing Guo

This photo looks like a scene from a science fiction movie. It turns out that the work was done in an ordinary ocean park.

“Seahorse Whirlpool”, Australia

Nicholas Remy

Stingrays, USA

J. Gregory Sherman

At first sight, this image might appear to be a product of Photoshop, as it is so striking. Nonetheless, it was captured in its entirety without any manipulation.

The photographer rented a boat and set sail towards the stingray’s natural habitat before daybreak. The early planning and start paid off with the ideal stingray behaviour, a stunning morning light, and a vibrant dawn sky.

Blue Chub, USA

Isaac Szabo

“Curiosity Among Icebergs”, Spain

Rafael Fernandez Caballero

Eye of the Beholder, USA

Bryant Turffs

“Mirror Reflection”, Taiwan

George Kuo-Wei Kao

“Jaws Return” Australia

Victor Huertas

Blue Shark, UK

Nicholas More

“Running through the fields”, France

David Pleuvret

Solar Swans, UK

Mark Kirkland

“Peas in a Pod”, Malaysia

Ipah Uid Lynn

“Fry and eggs of midshipman fish”, Canada

Shane Gross

Organized Chaos, UK

Paul Pettitt

“Sky full of stags”, Spain

Rafael Fernandez Caballero

Looking at the picture, it seems that you are watching a flock of outlandish birds that fly about some business.

Photo of the Year – Roy, Australia

Ollie Clarke

Photo of the Year – Enchanted Dolphin, USA

Kat Zhou

The top honours were awarded to Cat Jo from the United States, for her exceptional photograph of a rare river dolphin, and Ollie Clark from Australia, for his striking image of a whale shark swimming alongside a vast school of small fish.