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Explore the world like a fish with the best underwater photos of the year

UPY/Pier Mane
“Three Pillars,” photographed in the Bahamas by Pier Mane, who is awarded Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year, 2016.
By Kate Groetzinger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Every year, the best photos taken in rivers and oceans around the world are honored in the UK’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest. Awards span eight categories that reward photographers’ ability to capture everything from intimate portraits of marine wildlife to vast seascapes.

This year, contestants from 54 countries entered the contest this year with a variety of unusual images. The top prize went to photographer Davide Lopresti, for his close encounter with a spiny seahorse.

UPY/Davide Lopresti

The image was shot off the coast of Trieste, Italy. It celebrates the successful reintroduction of seahorses into Mediterranean waters, after being decimated by fishing practices like trawling, says Lopresti.

Other honored photos include:

A perilously close shot of a brown bear fishing in Kurile Lake in Russia, by Mikhail Korostelev.

UPY/Mikhail Korostelev
“Underwater fisherman”

Thomas Heckmann’s half-underwater image of a wrecked tugboat in Curacao.

UPY/Thomas Heckmann
“A Family Affair”

This green turtle contentedly feeding on a jellyfish in Thailand, by Richard Carey.

UPY/Richard Carey
“Turtle eating Jellyfish”

Marcus Blatchford’s haunting scene of a wrecked automobile in Chepstow, UK.

UPY/Marcus Blatchford
“Part of the Illusion”

Paul Colley’s photo of a trout and duck in Hampshire, England.

UPY/Paul Colley
“Hello Ducky!”

Dan Bolt’s close-up of a catshark egg in Thurlestone Bay, UK.

UPY/Dan Bolt
“Catshark Supernova”

And Marty Dunmore’s image of a shipwreck in the Cayman Islands.

UPY/Marty Dunmore
“Fired up and ‘almost’ ready to go”

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