Photography is a true life gem because a camera is the only resource that allows humans to take pictures of moments, experiences, and in this case animals, which is a way of expressing your ideas, art, and creativity. In the latest edition of the Underwater Photographer of the Year contest, 6,000 submissions show not only the striking scenes of life underwater but the heavy impacts of pollution and climate crisis on animal life.
A Little Background About the Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest
This year's Underwater Photographer of the Year competition focuses on the mammals, fish, and plants that inhabit the world's oceans and seas in an effort to highlight the most colorful, breathtaking aquatic organisms.
For the 2023 competition, photographers from 72 different nations submitted more than 6,000 images, many of which show captivating underwater life, such as an elephant sticking its trunk into the sea off the coast of Thailand and an orca gracefully diving into a school of fish near Norway.
The 2023 Winners
Dig through the UPY 2023 winners' photos! This year, there was a record number of entries. The collection serves as a fantastic reminder that although underwater photography is a specialized field, there is a tremendous amount of diversity within it. Both the winning photographers and the winning photographs are from different countries.
The photos are from many different oceanic locations between the Arctic and the Antarctic. The ultimate champion of the contest was captured in the world's greatest river, the Amazon, although there were also winners from the neighborhood pool and numerous freshwater locations, including Lake Baikal, the largest lake in the world. These are the pictures of the ultimate winners!
Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023 Overall Winner: ‘Boto Encantado’ Kat Zhou (United States)
Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023 Runner Up: ‘Scillonian Reflections’ Malcolm Nimmo (United Kingdom)
British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023: ‘The Swarm’ Ollie Clarke (Australia)
Most Promising British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023: ‘An Island’s Wild Seas’ Theo Vickers (United Kingdom)
Save Our Seas Foundation Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2022: ‘Hopeless’ Alvaro Herrero (Spain)
History of the Underwater Photographer of the Year Competition
When Bernard Eaton organized the first Brighton Underwater Film Festival in 1965, he got things started (and it was a competition that led to the foundation of the British Society of Underwater Photographers in 1967). Moreover, Britain continues to host prestigious wildlife photography competitions like the BWPA (British Wildlife Photography Awards) and WPOTY (Wildlife Photographer of the Year). But, as these are limited to underwater photographs of wildlife, fifty years after the first Brighton Festival, the founders made the decision to bring an international underwater photography competition back to the United Kingdom.
Hence, Alex Mustard, Dan Bolt, and Peter Rowlands revived a decades-old history of significant international underwater competitions conducted in the UK and created the Underwater Photographer of the Year Competition. The first competition, which was judged by Martin Edge, Peter Rowlands, and Alex Mustard in 2014–15, was a big success. Over the course of a two-day meeting in the heart of England, the judges had to choose from an incredible array of top-notch underwater photographs submitted by more than 2,500 photographers from over 40 different nations.
The results were subsequently published to a vast audience throughout the world after being picked up by the international press. Since 2015, the Underwater Photographer of the Year contest has continued to expand. A record of 5,500 photos from 500 underwater photographers from around the world was submitted for the 2020 edition.
Millions of people across the world have seen the winning photos thanks to extensive media attention, and the underwater photography community hails them as the best underwater shots in any contest.