The best underwater photographs of 2016 are staggeringly beautiful

Posted by
Dave Fawbert

“It's better. Down where it's wetter. Take it from me.”

Sebastian the crab knew what he was talking about if these breathtaking photos are anything to go by.

They’re the winners of the sixth annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, which is organised by the Underwater Photography Guide, and showcase an exceptional array of images, selected from thousands of entries by photographers from all over the world.

They feature rarely-seen animal behaviour and innovative shooting techniques, capturing animals including sharks, whales and even the odd human. The Best of Show image, seen below and shot by Matty Smith in New South Wales, Australia, is a truly incredible photo of a dangerous Portuguese Man Of War, contrasting ‘raw dramatic lighting with the delicate nature of the creature.

You can check out all of the placed images, alongside each ‘story of the shot’ on the 2016 Ocean Art Contest website.

Best of Show/Wide-Angle: “Blue Lasso” by Matty Smith

Marine Life Behavior: Gino Symus

Coldwater: Tobias Dahlin

Compact Marine Life Behaviour: Lawrence Alex Wu

Compact Macro: Lawrence Alex Wu

Compact Wide-Angle: Stephen Holinski

Macro: Dennis Corpuz

Mirrorless Behaviour: Jenny Stomvoll

Mirrorless Macro: Scipione Mannacio Soderini

Mirrorless Wide-Angle: Eugene Kitsios

Novice dSLR: Catalin Craciun

Nudibranchs: Rafael Cosme

Pool/Conceptual: Christian Miller

Portrait: Joaquin Gutierrez

Reefscapes: Jeong Sang Keun

Supermacro: Chad Tamis