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Rediff.com  » News » These 16 STUNNING images show what lies beneath the deep, blue sea

These 16 STUNNING images show what lies beneath the deep, blue sea

March 02, 2016 09:39 IST

From sharks circling a lagoon to a bear hunting in a Russian river, the Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest pictures capture some of the world’s most breathtaking underwater scenes.

The winner Davide Lopresti beat entrants from 54 different countries with his portrait of a spiny seahorse taken in Trieste, Italy. 

These are some of Rediff.com’s favourites from all 80 award-winning photos. 

CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW 

Gold by Davide Lopresti (Italy)

This image of a spiny seahorse taken in Trieste, Italy won photographer of the year award. The photographer said: 'For this shot in particular, I used a long time exposure, to give dynamism to the image, combining the ambient light with artificial light with the aid of a snoot, freezing my main subject from the rest of the scene giving a sense of grace and strength at the same time’. Photograph: ©UPY/Davide Lopresti


Underwater fisherman by Mike Korostelev (Russia)

The image of a bear fishing underwater earned Mike Korostelev the award in the ‘wide angle’ category. The photographer said that he built himself a protective cage to capture the fishing behaviour of the bear. Photograph: ©UPY/Mike Korostelev


Lagoon by Greg Lecoeur (France) 

Lecoeur says, “French Polynesia is an amazing place for nature lovers. In the lagoon of Moorea I was snorkeling with an abundance of marine life, most notably these black tip sharks. The topography of the mountains in the background inspired me to realize this half and half photo.” This photo won the third place in the International Wide Angle category. Photograph: ©UPY/Greg Lecoeur


Rozi tugboat by Trevor Rees (UK)

The Rozi tugboat wreck at Cirkewwa in Malta lies on a sandy sea bed at a depth of 30 metres. It was a deliberately sunk wreck created as a diver attraction and as such is nicely intact boat sitting upright on the sea bed. Photograph: ©UPY/Trevor Rees


Bass by Oliver Anlauf (Germany)

This image of a bassist underwater was Highly Commended in the Up & Coming category. Photograph: ©UPY/Oliver Anlauf


Three Pillars - Practice, Patience & Luck! by Pier Mane (South Africa)

 “I wanted sun rays, dramatic foreground, background perspective, and - the cherry on top - to capture the 'master of the house' in all of its mystique. The three sponges were well-positioned to set the scene beneath the boat and it took countless shots to balance the elements I wanted; but perseverance, patience and practice all paid off,” said the photographer on his award winning photograph in the ‘Up and Coming’ category. Photograph: ©UPY/Pier Mane


Green Turtle with remora fish by Barathieu Gabriel (France)

Green turtle on the reef flat to the beach N'Gouja. Photograph: ©UPY/Barathieu Gabriel


Icebreaker by Tobias Friedrich (Deutschland)

The photographer said: “We planned to dive in April in Greenland to specifically photograph icebergs. The water is about -2C, but at the sight of the ice during the dive, the icy temperature was quickly forgotten. The structure of this giant shimmers blue-greenish in the strong sunlight.” Photograph: ©UPY/Tobias Friedrich


The Tank by Saeed Rashid (United Kingdom)

The Tank as it's called is in fact an anti-aircraft US-built M42 Duster. Sunk in the 1980s by the now King of Jordan as an artificial reef. This unusual wreck sits in about 7m making it perfect for snorkeling and is often visited at the end or beginning of reef dives and easily accessed from the beach. Photograph: ©UPY/Saeed Rashid


A Family Affair by Thomas Heckmann (Germany)

This photo won the award in the ‘wrecks’ category. The photographer says, “I was unable to descend because I had to take care of Maja, my five year old daughter who is unable to snorkel by herself. So my only possibility was a shot from the surface. It was too rough for a normal over/under shot. I decided to try a wave and wreck shot with the island of Curacao in the background. All taken while swimming together with my daughter. I needed several tries to compose the wreck, the wave, and the island in one shot. But at the end I got this real over/under shot with a total view of the famous wreck. Photograph: ©UPY/Thomas Heckmann


Safe haven by Cathy Lewis (UK)

Photographing the highly reflective silver fry was a frustrating challenge, but I have never seen so many fish crammed into such small jellies so I knew I was witnessing something rather special, says the photographer. Photograph: ©UPY/Cathy Lewis


Pilot Whales by Greg Lecoeur (France)

During a day sailing the Mediterranean Sea, I was very lucky to find a big pod of Pilot whales that accept me in the blue water. They were turning around me, it was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to photograph them. Photograph: ©UPY/Greg Lecoeur


Part of the Illusion by Marcus Blatchford (UK)

The National Dive & Activity Centre is the deepest inland dive center in the UK. The day the photo was taken, the dive plan was to explore the deep end, a dive we had done many times before but this time I dived "un-plugged" (without my strobes). With the exception of this change to my camera technique, there were no planned shots either my buddy or I wanted to achieve - just a fun dive with ad-hoc photos along the way. Shortly after this photo was captured, in 6 degree water and 2 hours of decompression ahead of us, we turned and started the long ascent back to the surface. Photograph: ©UPY/Marcus Blatchford


Scilly Seal! by Nic Faulks (UK)

The seal’s acrobatics as he swam close, then flipped away, were quite an amazing sight. My patience paid off, for it was the final encounter when I managed to get this shot, following which he disappeared out of sight. Photograph: ©UPY/Nic Faulks

Lighting the Cockpit by Spencer Burrows (UK)

I wanted to capture an image that was a little different to that usually seen from this site and an original composition. I used an off camera strobe to internally light the cockpit and didn’t opt for a head on composition. I opted for a side on profile at a diagonal angle as it suited lighting the internal part of the cockpit. Photograph: ©UPY/Spencer Burrows


Battle at the Nine by Ralph Pace (USA)

The photographer describing the image says, “Nine miles off the coast of San Diego, is a high spot called the Nine Mile Bank. A great area to encounter pelagic animals in blue water. With much of the bait having moved north due to the warmer water El Nino regime, The Nine has been very different this year.

As we were driving along we saw birds and a commotion at the surface. We quickly realised it was a sea lion eating a mola, not a sea lion’s common fare. It was an incredible scene. We watched for 45 minutes as the mola tried to evade the sea lion. The sea lion was able to finally penetrate the mola’s tough skin and feed on the mola’s caloric rich inners. Here, as they look eye to eye in all the chaos, the mola seems to plead for its life. Photograph: ©UPY/Ralph Pace