The photo rose above submissions from 54 countries in the the annual contest. Here's a look at some of the winners who snagged prizes in one of the eight categories that encompass different photographic equipment and subjects, and include Wide Angle, Compact, Behavior, Wrecks (shipwrecks) and a few categories to recognize images of local British waters. Read full story on the underwater photo contest]
According to one of the judges, Martin Edge: "This particular image grew on me over the judging days, and with the last category to resolve it got better and better. Day one, it was all about the silhouette of the Cat shark within the egg case. By day 2 it was the balanced shape and ethereal light of the silhouette. A master-stroke to shape the backlighting with a snooted strobe in the form of wings. Outstanding simplicity."
"It takes a lot to impress an old wreck photographer lag like me but here is a quite superb example of how, with a comparatively simple touch, a straightforward technical shot has been so effectively elevated to the eye," said one of the judges Peter Rowlands, in a statement.
One of the judges Alex Mustard called the photo "unforgettable," saying it was more than just an amazing portrait of a brown bear under the water. "It is a precisely timed behavioral portrait, capturing the peak of the action as the bear leaps for a meal and swishes his claw through the stones to snag his food. It is a great composition, taken in a split second in frigid waters of Kamchatka." [Read the full story on the underwater photo contest]
Octopus at Night
"It is not easy to shoot macro portraits of tiny, semi-transparent critters while suspended in the darkness of inner-space: an open ocean black water dive," Mustard said in the statement. "Capturing such a pleasing composition of such an attractive species in these conditions is a great achievement."
A Family Affair
Turtle eating Jellyfish
"The turtle obviously wanted to keep the jelly close to the surface so every time it swam deeper the turtle would bite onto it and drag it back upwards. I spent a few minutes watching it and taking photos, and then left the turtle to finish his meal in peace," Carey said.
Part of the Illusion
"The most remarkable looking creature I have seen photographed in British waters. This juvenile monkfish doesn’t even look like it comes from our planet, let alone our shores," Mustard said. "An amazing subject photographed flawlessly, it is definitely one of the most memorable pictures in this year’s collection."