Here Are the Amazing Winners of the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest

UPY Winner ©Gabriel Barathieu, France

Photographers went to great depths to capture awe-inspiring images for the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) Contest, and French shooter Gabriel Barathieu came out on top for the above image of what one judge called a “balletic and malevolent” dancing octopus. Barathieu made the image in shallow water under available light off the Island of Mayotte in South East Africa.

Of his winning image shot in a foot of water at low tide with a 14mm lens, Barathieu says, “I had to get as close as possible to create this effect. I didn’t need flash because I had lots of available light."

Hosted in the UK, the UPY competition had its genesis in 1965 at the first Brighton Underwater Film Festival that led to the founding of the British Society of Underwater Photographers two years later.

British UPY Winner ©Nick Blake, UK

The vivid image above earned UK photographer Nick Blake the title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year. He captured this shot with its otherworldly lighting off the Yucatan peninsula near Kukulkan.

Behavior category Winner ©Qing Lin, Canada

A total of 4,500 images from photographers in 67 countries were submitted for this year’s UPY contest. The striking image above by Canadian photographer Qing Lin was the winner of the Behavior category.

Highly Commended, Macro category ©Steven Kovacs, USA

The UPY contest awarded prizes in 10 categories and also acknowledged photographs they felt deserved to be “highly commended." U.S. photographer Steven Kovacs’ beautiful image above of a larval Lionfish was highly commended in the Macro category.

Winner, Up-and-Coming category ©Horacio Martinez, Argentina

Horacio Martinez of Argentina won the Up-and-Coming category for the above photo of a shark patrolling the Red Sea. Judges noted how Martinez successfully “contrasted the small shark in a big, blue, lonely world.”

Highly Commended, Behavior category ©Greg Lecoeur, France

Another image that was highly commended is the above shot of feeding dolphins by Greg Lecoeur of France that was submitted for the Behavior category. You can find more details about the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest and view a gallery of winning images on the organization’s website.

Via The Guardian