Hold your breath and gear up for a magical underwater ride courtesy of these stunning photographs.
Scuba Diving Magazine has announced the winners of its annual Through Your Lens underwater photo contest, with some incredible shots bobbing to the surface.
Greg Lecoeur was named as the grand prize winner with his photo of gannets plunging into the sea off the coast of north Scotland.
The birds look lost in deep concentration as they dive through the water at high speed in a bid to scoop up some beakfuls of mackerel.
Another equally impressive shot, capturing a colourful coconut octopus sitting on a black sand seabed, was taken by Kevin Richter while he was diving in Indonesia. Thanks to his quick reaction, he scored first place in the compact camera category.
Scuba Diving Magazine said it had the difficult task of narrowing down more than 2,500 entries to a dozen or so winners across four categories including wide angle, macro, conceptual and compact camera. Scroll down to explore some of the most dazzling results…
Greg Lecoeur took this incredible shot of gannets diving into the water off the island of Noss in Shetland, Scotland. He said he was surrounded by thousands of gannet birds as they fed on mackerel. This incredible shot scored Lecoeur the grand prize of $1,000 and a Liveaboard trip to Fiji
On a dive in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, Kevin Richter said he found this incredibly photogenic coconut octopus sitting on the black-sand seabed right next to his boat at a depth of just 13 feet. He says what looks like nighttime was actually a sunny afternoon and he had to act quickly as the octopus didn’t stop for long. This shot won first prize in the compact camera category
Rodney Bursiel took this stunning black-and-white photograph of a whale while travelling in Tonga. He said he was focused on the mother when a calf came from behind and breached right beside him. The photo won first place in the wide angle section
Jens Troeger heads out every winter to dive with Steller sea lions off Hornby Island in British Columbia in Canada. He says that they always get super excited when they see him in the water. This shot scored third place in the wide angle category
Eduardo Acevedo took this photo of a ribbon eel in Lembeh Strait, the underwater macro capital of Indonesia. The colourful creatures usually remain hidden in small holes or caves and can show two color combinations: blue and yellow or black and yellow. The shot won second place in the macro photography category
Marc Henauer took this photograph in the waters off the Bahamas. He said he wanted to show the incredible scenery underwater as the waves created a thunderstorm-like effect. The waves meant it was too rough to cross the reef and he sat back to enjoy the show. The shot won second place in the wide angle category
Gabriel Barathieu took this photo of a squid during a solo dive in the middle of the night in the Indian Ocean. He said he was swimming in a lagoon on Mayotte, a small French island near Madagascar, for only two minutes before he came face to face with the creature, which had a small fish between its tentacles. This photo won third place in the macro category
Francesco Pacienza found a little crab in a river near his home in Altomonte, Italy. The split-perspective water shot scored him third place in the compact camera category (left). Enrico Somogyi captured a jellyfish with the sun behind it while snorkelling off Torrent de Pareis beach in Mallorca, Spain. He said it took him around 40 tries until he got the perfect shot. The image won him second place in the compact camera category (right)
Raoul Caprez tested out his macro shooting ability when he met a huge green sea turtle in the waters off Ecuador. He said the sea creature let him approach closely without moving and that’s when he noticed a small cleaner fish by the turtle’s eye. This shot won first prize in the macro category