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Rediff.com  » News » SNAPPED: Nature's beauty that lies 20,000 leagues below the sea

SNAPPED: Nature's beauty that lies 20,000 leagues below the sea

March 11, 2015 09:07 IST

While we love taking photos on land, and sometimes high up in the sky, we can’t resist the magic that takes place underwater. Real life Nemos, free floating props and the water in all its glory, makes it picture perfect.

The images below were the entries from the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition that truly reflect the beauty and magnificence of the sea.   


50 Tons Of Me

 

This image clicked Nuno Sá, from Portugal was named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2015, for his exquisitely lit close up image of a short snouted seahorse, taken in Algarve. Sá was documenting a seahorse breeding program for National Geographic. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Nuno Sá


Gannets Feast

 

Matt Doggett from Southampton, won the title of British Underwater Photographer of the Year for his action packed photo of gannets feeding in the Shetland Islands, that judge Rowlands described as “quite literally breath-taking”. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Matt Doggett


Under the Platform

 

This dive day was among the best I’ve ever experienced in California: The platform pilings were thickly covered with marine life, the visibility was incredible, and a huge school of mackerel swirled overhead. I’ve long wanted to create a temperate water shot similar to the beautiful images taken under Raja Ampat’s Arborek Jetty, and this dive presented the perfect opportunity to do so. I searched diligently for a large starfish in the right position, and once I found it, I photographed it until it was time to ascend. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Allison Vitsky Sallmon


Louilla

 

This photograph by Csaba Tökölyi was commended in the International Wrecks section of the contest. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Csaba Tökölyi


Divers in the Light

 

This photograph of divers by Elaine White was received in the International Wide Angle section. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Elaine White


Bottoms Up

 

This image won the third place in International Wide Angle section. The photographer says, “I was the official underwater photographer at the 2009 Freediving World Championships in Denmark. On the final day, after the last competition, I invited all the 175 athletes outside in the deep pool to try to create some photos. My idea was to get all 175 freedivers to dive down directly towards me, but after a few attempts I looked up and saw this funny and unusual gathering at the surface.” Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Morten Bjørn Larsen


Beautiful Butterfly

 

Ken Kiefer, the photograph was commended in the Up & Coming Worldwide section. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Ken Kiefer 


Osmosis

This beautiful image of a whale was received in the International Wide Angle section. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Fabrice Guerin


Terry in the Baitball

 

It looks like he was the bait in this beautiful image. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/J Gregory Sherman


Man and Fish

 

In CenderawasihBay, whale sharks often visit floating fishing platforms, where the locals get baitfish to catch larger fish. When I saw this situation, I decided I should get an image that compared the size of shark and man, and I immediately thought about a split image. I was advised that the flash could disturb the shark and was not allowed, so I had to get good light on the shark to avoid the platform’s shade. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/João Paulo Krajewski


Blue jelly fish

 

Simple but evocative, isn’t it? Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Steve Jones


Riding The Dragon

 

I have been chasing the classic underwater photography duet, the moray and shrimp, for many years. And fortunately on Les Deux Frères dive site, near Fabrégas (South of France, Mediterranean Sea), I found a reef filled with morays, with the appropriate company in their holes. Then all was required from me was the right preparation and a lot of patience as I dedicated my entire dive, 70 minutes long, to these two subjects. This is my favourite frame in the series. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/François Parot


Barbie Nemo

 

Nemo has just been found! Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Tobias Friedrich


Big Eyes

 

Interactions with marine mammals are always special, especially when they chose to play with you. The rookery of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) at the FarneIslands never fails to provide amazing interactions and wonderful photographic opportunities. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Adam Hanlon


Bait Ball Man

 

Cocooned by a swirling ball of frenzied glassfish, nature decided in a matter of seconds this diver’s fate... as well as his outfit for a several minutes! However, it was the instinctive nature of the predating school of larger fish that corralled the glassfish from the reef below into mid water where all the fish descended on this diver in waves of movement. Amazingly, the diver was never mistaken for predator nor prey but nonetheless, the hunters prevailed in this balance of survival. Within a quarter of an hour they meandered off into the blue in search of what was next after a fuelled feeding frenzy. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Lawrence Alex Wu


EELASTIC

 

Sometimes encounters just happen which couldn’t have been planned better and never could be repeated. One of these rare situations has been taken place inside of the wreck of the Chrisoula K, which has been sunken in the year 1981 in the northern Red Sea. I was waiting for the other photographer in a small doorframe, when suddenly this giant moray eel swam from behind my back and winded itself through the small space between the door and me. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Tobias Friedrich


Angelita

 

In the middle of Mexico’s YucatanPeninsula, there is a very special natural cave called cenote Angelita. It is a unique diving experience, with the light going from blue to green. Then at a depth of 30 metres, a metre-thick layer of hydrogen sulphide appears. The atmosphere is similar to a lunar landscape. When I spotted this diver between the branches of a tree, I had all the elements for a surreal underwater image. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Fabrice Guerin


Octocorallia (soft coral) close-up

 

This was the trip on which I first started to use close up diopters. I borrowed a +8 from a friend and quickly became fascinated with the extra level of detail this provided. These small soft coral polyps needed careful lighting, so I experimented using backlighting (another first for me) to separate them from the background. To achieve this, I detached the strobe from the arm and handheld it behind the subject. Photograph: © Underwater Photographer of the Year/Pash Baker