The most weird and wonderful animals in this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest
Take a look through our favourite images from this year's competition.
Kat Zhou's image of an endangered pink river dolphin popping its head above the water has won this year's Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023.
Head judge Dr Alex Mustard MBE said of the image; “In dark, tannic waters, Kat has created a striking composition capturing this rarely photographed and endangered species in a precision composition. This is by far the best image we've ever seen of this species, whose numbers are declining at an alarming rate and whose IUCN’s Red List status was worryingly uprated to Endangered in 2019.”
Ollie Clarke was named British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023 for his image 'The Swarm', showing a whale shark, the biggest fish in the world, hidden within a tightly-packed bait ball of smaller fish.
Spanish photographer Alvaro Herrero was named ‘Save Our Seas Foundation’ Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2023, with his photo ‘Hopeless’. Herrero’s photograph shows a humpback whale dying of starvation, unable to swim properly after its tail broke from being entangled in discarded ropes. “Taking this photograph was the saddest moment I've experienced in the ocean,” said Herrero.
Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition that celebrates photography beneath the surface of the ocean, and has been running since 1965. Today’s competition attracts entries from all around the world, with 13 categories that test photographers with themes such as macro, wide angle, behaviour and wreck photography, as well as four categories for photos taken specifically in British waters.
We bring you our favourites from this year's competition.
Underwater Photographer of the Year - Boto encantado
British Underwater Photographer of the Year - The Swarm
British waters living together category - Pipe reef
Portrait category winner - The trunk
Behaviour category winner - Make love not war
Macro category winner - Unsung
Wrecks category winner - Engine with a saddle
Wide angle category winner - Fade
Macro category 3rd - Relentless gaze
Behaviour category runner-up - Double whale time
British waters wide angle category winner - An island's wild seas
Wide angle category 3rd - Sky full of rays
More images from BBC Science Focus:
- Tiny killer sea sparkles image wins first Woman Science Photographer of the Year
- Snow Leopard wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice award
- Welcome to the most dangerous waters on planet earth
- Mini but mighty close-up photography winners
- The hidden net-zero community that could be the blueprint for future living
Black and white category winner - El Blanco/The White One
British waters macro category winner - Egg eaters
Portrait category runner up - Curiosity Among Icebergs
Compact category winner - Klunzinger's wrasse in motion
Save Our Seas Foundation category winner - Hopeless
British waters compact category winner - Crack rock blenny
James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs
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