Here are the outstanding winning photos of the Underwater Photographer Of The Year 2023. This year, we were thrilled to receive a record-breaking number of entries, accompanied by an unprecedented surge in the sheer volume of pictures – a heartfelt thank you to every talented photographer who contributed. As always, this collection serves as a powerful testament to the vast realm of underwater photography. While it is indeed a specialized field, the diversity within it knows no bounds.
Our winning photographers hail from all corners of the globe, and their images mirror this global tapestry. Within these frames, you’ll encounter a mesmerizing array of subjects: from vibrant plants and fascinating animals to spirited individuals, haunting shipwrecks, and even aircraft submerged beneath the waves. Delve into the enigmatic depths of underwater caves and marvel at the breathtaking underwater landscapes captured through lenses.
These remarkable shots span across the icy expanses of the Arctic to the pristine beauty of the Antarctic, and virtually every oceanic wonder in between. Notably, our winners have been plucked not only from expansive oceans but also from the confined yet enchanting spaces of local swimming pools. Freshwater gems find their place too, including the spellbinding beauty of Lake Baikal, the largest lake on Earth.
Above all, our overall winner emerged from the mighty heart of the world’s greatest river, the Amazon, showcasing the unbridled beauty that thrives within its waters. We invite you to savor each and every picture, each a testament to the wonders that lie beneath the surface. Enjoy this immersive visual journey!
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#1. Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023: ‘Boto encantado’ by Kat Zhou (United States)
There’s a legend among locals in the Amazon that river dolphins, or “botos”, can transform into handsome men known as “boto encantado” at night to seduce women. Though I did not witness this elusive boto transformation, at dusk I was enchanted by these beautiful mammals in a different way. After seeing how botos would sometimes bring their beaks above water, I knew I want a split shot at sunset. Though the water was so dark that I was shooting blind, this dolphin gave me a perfect pose and smile!
#2. British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023: ‘The swarm’ by Ollie Clarke (Australia)
The whale sharks on the Ningaloo are often accompanied by bait-balls like this one, where the small fish use the shark as a floating shelter. However this one was huge, much denser and with a lot more fish than usual, so I was really excited to photograph it.
#3. Most Promising British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023: ‘An island’s wild seas’ by Theo Vickers (United Kingdom)
Sunlight beats down through a marine jungle of Himanthalia algae on the chalk reefs of the Needles Marine Conservation Zone. The purple-tipped tentacles of snakelocks anemones (Anemonia viridis) rising up from the forest floor.
#4. ‘Save Our Seas Foundation’ Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2022: ‘Hopeless’ by Alvaro Herrero (Mekan) (Spain)
A humpback whale dies a slow, painful and agonizing death after having its tail entangled in a ropes and buoys, rendering its tail completely useless. A reflection of what not only our oceans are suffering, but also our planet, the product of man’s selfishness and lack of responsibility.