25 breathtaking photos of what life looks like underwater

There are a lot of photography competitions out there these days. Probably due to the rise in interest in photography but definitely due to the rise in quality. This one is no exception.

The Underwater Photographer of the Year competition proves this by showcasing the best shots of the incredible variety of wildlife swimming beneath oceans, lakes, and rivers around the world.

Photographers braved freezing waters, pitch-black caves, and hungry predators, sometimes waiting days for the perfect moment to photograph a reticent crab or a swift school of fish.

Here are 25 photos from this year’s collection of winners.

“Sea lion playing with starfish” by Francis Pérez

"Sea lion playing with starfish" by Francis Pérez

Commended, Portrait.Francis Pérez/UPY 2017


“Out of the Blue” by Nick Blake

"Out of the Blue" by Nick Blake

British Underwater Photographer of the YearNick Blake/UPY 2017

“Under My Umbrella” by Caitlin Craciun

"Under My Umbrella" by Caitlin Craciun

Third place, Up and Coming.Catalin Craciun/UPY 2017


“Silversides at Twilight” by Anatoli Myshlyaev

"Silversides at Twilight" by Anatoli Myshlyaev

Commended, Wide Angle.Anatoli Myshlyaev/UPY 2017


“Orca Pod” by Nicholai Georgiou

"Orca Pod" by Nicholai Georgiou

Most Promising British Underwater Photographer Nicholai Georgiou/UPY 2017


“The eyes have it” by Trevor Reese

"The eyes have it" by Trevor Reese

Highly Commended, British Waters Macro.Trevor Rees/UPY 2017

“Green turtles in the rays” by Greg Lecoeur

"Green turtles in the rays" by Greg Lecoeur

Commended, Portrait.Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2017

“Dolphins Hunting” by Greg Lecoeur

"Dolphins Hunting" by Greg Lecoeur

Highly Commended, Behavior.Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2017


“Capturing History” by Tanya Houppermans

"Capturing History" by Tanya Houppermans

Highly Commended, Wrecks.Tanya Houppermans/UPY 2017

“Prey?” by So Yat Wai

"Prey?" by So Yat Wai

Winner, Macro.So Yat Wai/UPY 2017

“Lodberry Jellyfish” by Cy Sullivan

"Lodberry Jellyfish" by Cy Sullivan

Commended, British Waters Wide Angle.Cy Sullivan/UPY 2017

“Walking” by Eero Hällfors

"Walking" by Eero Hällfors

Highly Commended, Wide Angle.Eero Hällfors/UPY 2017


“Purple baubles in a sea of yellow” by Trevor Rees

"Purple baubles in a sea of yellow" by Trevor Rees

Highly Commended, British Waters Macro.Trevor Rees/UPY 2017

“Imp of Darkness” by Damien Mauric

"Imp of Darkness" by Damien Mauric

Highly Commended, Portrait.Damien Mauric/UPY 2017


“Can I help you?” by Ellen Cuylaerts

"Can I help you?" by Ellen Cuylaerts

Commended, British Waters Wide Angle.Ellen Cuylaerts/UPY 2017

“Competition” by Richard Shucksmith

"Competition" by Richard Shucksmith

Runner Up, British Waters Wide Angle.Richard Shucksmith/UPY 2017


“A migratory alewife swims through turbulent flow” by Sean Landsman

"A migratory alewife swims through turbulent flow" by Sean Landsman

Runner Up, Up and Coming.Sean Landsman/UPY 2017

“Kiss Me!” by David Barrio

"Kiss Me!" by David Barrio

Highly Commended, Portrait.DavidBarrio/UPY 2017


“Views at dawn” by Pasquale Vassallo

"Views at dawn" by Pasquale Vassallo

Highly Commended, Behavior.Pasquale Vassallo/UPY 2017

“Your home and my home” by Qing Lin

"Your home and my home" by Qing Lin

Winner, Behavior.Qing Lin/UPY 2017


“The Haunted Room” by Nadya Kulagina

"The Haunted Room" by Nadya Kulagina

Highly Commended, Wrecks.Nadya Kulagina/UPY 2017

“Expectant Parents” by Susannah H. Snowden-Smith

"Expectant Parents" by Susannah H. Snowden-Smith

Highly Commended, Macro.Susannah H. Snowden Smith/UPY 2017


“Interaction” by Edwar Herreño

"Interaction" by Edwar Herreño

Third Place, Wide Angle.Edwar Herreño/UPY 2017

“Oceanic in the Sky” by Horacio Martinez

"Oceanic in the Sky" by Horacio Martinez

Up and Coming Underwater Photographer of the YearHoracio Martinez/UPY 2017

“Dancing Octopus” by Gabriel Barathieu

"Dancing Octopus" by Gabriel Barathieu

Underwater Photographer of the YearGabriel Barathieu/UPY 2017

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