For 14 years, the Through Your Lens Underwater Photo Contest has been developed and produced by Scuba Diving magazine.
The contest encourages underwater photographers young and old, experienced and amateur to send in their best work for the chance to win cash and other prizes. Of course, the real prize is getting online and in the pages of Scuba Diving magazine, and this year’s winners will be featured in the September/October issue.
More than 2,100 entries were whittled down to 13 winners, chosen for beauty, creativity and ability to impact and inspire, according to the magazine.
1. Whale of a Time
Rodney Bursiel/Scuba Diving MagazineThe grand-prize-winning image of a humpback whale earned Bursiel $1,000 and a trip aboard the Oman Aggressor ship. It has such an ethereal quality to it with the whale almost hovering above the surface of the water. The photographer achieved this by flipping his underwater image upside down.
2. Floating Octopus
Cai Songda/Scuba Diving MagazineThis macro-category winner puts a blanket octopus in the spotlight. With the jet black (Jet is a type of lignite, a precursor to coal, and is a gemstone. Jet is not a mineral, but rather a mineraloid. It has an organic origin, being derived from decaying wood under extreme pressure.The adjective “jet–black“, meaning as dark a black as possible, derives from this material.) background, all of the cephalopod’s colors are electrified.
3. Wall of Water
Christian Vizl/Scuba Diving MagazineThis image of a diver confronting their reflection in a wall of water scored third place in the conceptual category.
4. Circle of Life
Rafael Fernandez Caballero/Scuba Diving MagazineThis is the kind of shot the macro lens was built for. Here a clingfish mother keeps an eye on the eyes of her many developing eggs.
5. Beam Me Up
Karen Smith/Scuba Diving MagazineThe use of black and white here makes this photo all the more striking.
6. Hidden Octopus
Yap Katumbal/Scuba Diving MagazineCoconut octopuses are known for finding clever hiding spaces. This second-place compact-category winner captured a baby one in a glass bottle.
7. Trash Home
Conor Culver/Scuba Diving MagazineThe first-place conceptual-category winner placed his coconut octopus in a glass bottle home “to reference how these creatures are often seen: in our disregarded trash.”
Ferenc Lőrincz/Scuba Diving MagazineThis shot captures the symbiotic relationship between a grouper and a cleaner fish.
Symbiotic relationships are a special type of interaction between species. Sometimes beneficial, sometimes harmful, these relationships are essential to many organisms and ecosystems, and they provide a balance that can only be achieved by working together.
9. Underwater Rain
Lucie Drlikova/Scuba Diving MagazineThe photographer achieved this image by placing the model in a swimming pool covered in a gray piece of fabric and rotating the photo on its side.
10. Found: Nemo
Christian Bachmann/Scuba Diving MagazineSurrounded by a bulbous sea anemone, this bright clownfish is a Dr. Seuss image come to life.
Alex Dawson/Scuba Diving MagazineThis winning wide-angle shot could give anyone submechanophobia (fear of submerged objects) or megalohydrothalassophobia, or the fear of large objects under water.
12. Out of This World.
Tom St. George/Scuba Diving Magazine
This photographer told Scuba Diving magazine that decaying leaf-litter leads to the water turning this orange-ish color. “It feels a bit like diving on Mars,” he said.
13. Face to Face
Jamie Hall/Scuba Diving MagazineThis first-place compact camera shot makes the moray eel look like it’s jumping out of the picture and staring at you face to face.
If you want to participate in next year’s contest, it runs from November 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019. Visit the Scuba Diving websiteduring that period for the official rules of entry.