martes, 11 de junio de 2013

From the gaping jaws of a giant shark to the intricate dance of mating seahorses - the Best Underwater Photographer of the Year Competition reveals its winner

Thousands of amateur and professional photographers slipped into their wetsuits and came face-to-face with extreme danger in the pursuit of the best underwater photograph of the year.
From an open-mouthed shark to the wreckage of a ship, the spectacular photographs taken from the depths of the sea baffle the imagination and show nature at its most spectacular.

Hamid Rad won best in show with his portrait of a fish-eye view of the world. The picture, taken in New Guinea, won the reefscapes category and was selected as the best overall shot in this year's competition.
Thousands of photographers from 15 countries entered into the seven categories- compact cameras, divers, animal portraits, animal behaviour, reefscapes, surfs and sharks.

15 per cent of proceeds from the entries are donated to marine conservation projects. More than £50,000 worth of prizes have been awarded to group finalists and winners.
The competition, in its seventh year, is part of a series of underwater imaging events and has become one of the biggest and most prestigious in the world.

Jaws: Sam Cahir won first prize in the wide angle category with this spectacular image of the moment a mako shark opens its jaws and swims towards his camera off the coast of Australia

Best in Show: This unusual look at nature was selected as the best photograph in any category. Hamid Rad took the image looking at the sky in New Guinea

Golden seabed: Thousands of entries mean the competition boasts a spectacular range of photographs. Here, a cloud of tadpoles float in the golden Campbell River in British Columbia, Canada

Graceful: This group of mantra rays were captured in a peaceful moment by an amateur photographer. Some of the winning entries include human subjects, such as the diver who is following in their path

Whirlpool: A diver on the seabed in Cabo, New Mexico, works next to a huge shoal of fish who swirl around each other

Swimming with sharks: You could be forgiven for thinking this image was photoshopped. A model darts through the water with a white shark n the Philippines

Technicolor: In contrast to many of the moody pictures, this atmospheric scene shows the colour of sea creatures to their fullest

Backdrop: The dramatic surroundings in these pictures make the subject stand out. Thousands of small fish make way for a larger species

A shipwreck in Eliat, Israel, plays second fiddle to a seahorse

Taking the plunge: The winning picture in the surf category was taken in New South Wales

Lone diver: This finalist in the divers category shows the brilliant blue of the clear Tenerife sea

Deep blue sea: Photographs in the animal portrait category show underwater creatures in great detail

Spectacular reef: A wave breaking in the Red Sea makes for a jaw dropping backdrop to the stunning coral reef

Close up: From the bulbous eyes of this tiny goby fish to its fluorescent lips, this image shows the benefits of compact photography

Watery depths: A large fish is encircled by a shoal of thousands off the coast of Eden Rock in Grand Cayman

Exploring the depths: These three deep sea divers light the water around them in a dramatic portrait of light and dark

Sticking together: A trio of pelicans dunk their heads in the water in New South Wales

While hundreds of fish in a shoal (right) move as a pack

Ominous: This mean-looking barracuda leads the way in a sinister image that won the bronze award in the novice category

Aquatic dancing: Two seahorses embrace in a mating ritual in Singer Island, Florida. This photograph won bronze in the animal behaviour category

Mirror image: The aptly named guitar shark looks like the rockstar of the marine world in this image taken off the coast of Sao Tome, Africa, which was a finalist in the sharks category

Fluorescent: Some of the vibrant neon colours found in the depths of the sea look like they belong at a rave

Fluorescent: Some of the vibrant neon colours found in the depths of the sea look like they belong at a rave

Following the leader: A group of sharks circle a bay in the Caribbean

Wide-eyed: This close-up of a seal captures the vulnerability of the animal

What lies beneath: A shark off the Faial Islands, Azores, skims the surface of the water with its fin

Devil is in the detail: Some images show just the silhouette of an animal, like these silhouettes of sharks in Indonesia

Others aim to capture every part of marine wildlife, like this colourful squid in the Philippines

The good, the bad and the ugly: This bulbous bobtail squid glows in the dark

Dramatic: Entries range from this fish with a crustacean in its mouth

A diver reaching towards the light in a dark cave in Croatia

Mythical: A woman superhero floats in a swimming pool holding a chandelier in this unusual image that seems out of place in the competition

Silhouette: The outline of free diver Natalia Avseenko

A close-up of a tiny octopus in Bali were placed in the final line-up

 Credits: Mail Online

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