Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Under the sea; mesmerising photos capture the magic and mystery of an underwater world

3ca59d2f-7164-4eed-928b-c7b1744a7696-1020x680.jpeg

A new photo series explores the magic and beauty of an underwater universe, with incredible and detailed imagery of elusive marine life.

The winners for the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2015 cast light on an eerie and little-known undersea world. 

 Photographer Nuno Sá was awarded the title of overall winner for his intricate picture of a seahorse.

Other notable images in the competition included an ethereal photo of a diver called Angelita, by Fabrice Guerin, which was taken on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and the sweet Good Luck My Babies, a photo of a seahorse and its children.

The winning image, entitled 50 Tons of Me, was picked by the judges because of its clever composition, as it looks like it has been lit from within. Photographer Nuno said in order to light the shot he had the "unusual accessories of two scientists, who were holding my strobes, 1 strobe behind and 1 over the seahorse". 

Nuno took the photograph at the Natural reserve of Ria Formosa, which is home to the world’s largest population of the two species of seahorses found in the Mediterranean and Atlantic seas.

He then spent 10 days diving in this natural reserve for National Geographic Portugal, following a pioneering project between the University of Algarve with Project Seahorse that has been breeding seahorses in captivity.

The goal of the project is to repopulate areas where seahorse eco-systems have been reduced or extinct by fishing. Over 50 tons of seahorses are captured every year for ornamental purposes, and for use in traditional oriental medicine.

Judges in the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition presided over a selection of 2500 entries from 40 countries. 

Take a look at more of our favourite winning and runner-up shots below

British Waters Compact winner: Trevor Rees with ‘Cuttlefish in a blur’ Photograph: Trevor Rees/UPY 2015

Titled: Cuttlefish in a blur

Above: British Waters Compact winner Trevor Rees with ‘Cuttlefish in a blur’

Trevor Rees/UPY 2015

Angelita

Titled: Angelita

Above: Up and Coming Worldwide winner Fabrice Guerin (France) with ‘Angelita’ taken on a Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in a cave called Cenote Angelita, at a depth of 30 metres

Fabrice Guerin/UPY 2015

Good luck my babies

Title: Good luck my babies

Above: International Behaviour runner-up Tammy Gibbs with ‘Good luck my babies’ 

Tammy Gibbs/UPY 2015

Eelastic

Title: Eelastic

Above: International Wrecks winner Tobias Friedrich with ‘Eelastic’, a picture of a giant moray eel taken inside the wreck of the Chrisoula K in the northern Red Sea

Tobias Friedrich/UPY 2015

The amphipod has landed

Title: The amphipod has landed

Above: British Waters Macro winner: Trevor Rees (UK) with ‘The amphipod has landed’

Trevor Rees/UPY 2015

The passenger

Title: The passenger

Above: International Macro, third: Filippo Borghi with ‘The Passenger’, a photo of an emperor shrimp on a solar powered nudibranch

Filippo Borghi/UPY 2015

Dancing shrimp in formation

Title: Dancing shrimp in formation

Above: International Macro runner-up: Theresa A Guise (US) with ‘Dancing shrimp in formation’ taken on a dive site mooring, a large concrete block, which was covered in pink sponge

Theresa A. Guise/UPY 2015

Bottoms Up

Title: Bottoms Up

Above:  International Wide Angle category runner-up Morten Bjørn Larsen with ‘Bottoms Up’, an image of freediving world championships in Denmark

Morten Bjørn Larsen/UPY 2015

Socotra Cormorant

Title: Socotra Cormorant

Above: International Wide Angle runner-up Hani Bader with ‘Socotra Cormorant’, a photo of jellyfish and Socotra cormorant in Bahrain

Hani Bader/UPY 2015

Gannets Feast

Title: Gannets Feast

Above: British Underwater Photographer of the Year and British Waters Wide Angle winner Matt Doggett with ‘Gannets Feast’, shot off the Shetland Islands, UK

Matt Doggett/UPY 2015

50 Tons Of Me

Title: 50 Tons Of Me

Above: Underwater Photographer of the Year 2015 winner and International Macro winner Nuno Sá (Portugal) with ‘50 Tons Of Me’, taken in the Algarve Nuno

Nuno Sá/UPY 2015

Related

130682269925078476_9_Ramil-Gilvanov_Russia_SHORTLIST_Professional_Lifestyle_2015.PR.jpg

Sony World Photography Awards release finalist shortlist

London 1.jpg

New public art project asks why people are leaving London

hero.jpg

Yoga in the sky; London's best hi-rise toning classes

lucy-mangan-casual-hero.jpg

“Emojis for introverts are just the beginning”

margot-2.jpg

Margot Robbie on the moment she face-slapped Leo DiCaprio

rexfeatures_4459152az.jpg

The great Madonna comeback; times when the singer reacted like a pro

More

20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017