Stunning Images From The Underwater Photographer Of The Year 2017 Competition

“Out Of The Blue.' Winner of the British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017. ©Nick Blake/UPY2017

Forget the Grammys and the BAFTA Awards – the winners of the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year have just been announced, showcasing some of the best photography you’ll see from below the water's surface.

Since their first competition in 1965, this year has been the biggest and best yet, with 4,500 photographers entering from 67 different countries.

The standard of entries this year "have definitely gone up another gear,” said Peter Rowlands, chairman of the judges. “From my own point of view, I have been captivated not only by the winning images but also by the stories behind how those images were achieved.”

Winner of the British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 goes to Nick Blake from Dublin, Ireland, for his perspective-bending photo (above) “Out Of The Blue,” taken in a freshwater sinkhole in Mexico known as Chac Mool Cenote.

The grand winner was French diver Gabriel Barathieu for his photograph “Dancing Octopus” (below), shot in the shallow waters around the small island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. He managed to wow the judges with his technical prowess, simplicity, and clear depiction of the animal.

©Gabriel Barathieu/UPY2017

“Both balletic and malevolent, this image shows an octopus that really means business as it hunts. The way it moves is so different from any predator on land, this truly could be an alien from another world,” commented competition judge Alex Mustard. “It was taken in knee-deep water, showing that underwater photography is open to anyone who is prepared to dip their toe in the water.”

There are 10 categories in total, each displaying a different facet of the deep blue sea or the art of wildlife photography. The whole lot are available to view on the Underwater Photographer of the Year website, but here are a select few to get you started:

Horacio Martinez from Argentina photographed this image, called "Oceanic In The Sky", in Egypt. He snapped up the prize for "Up and Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017". ©Horacio Martinez/UPY2017
 
 Nicholai Georgiou took home the "Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2017" award for this photo of an orca pod in northern Norway ©Nicholai Georgiou/UPY2017
 
Winner of the "Macro Category". "Prey?" by So Yat Wai (Hong Kong), shot during a blackwater dive in Anilao. ©So Yat Wai/UPY 2017
 
Highly Commended: "The Haunted Room" by Nadya Kulagina from Kazakhstan, taken in Sudan. ©Nadya Kulagina/UPY2017
 
Highly Commended: "The Festive Table" by Mikko Saareila of Finland ©Mikko Saareila/UPY 2017
 



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