STUNNING underwater snaps go further than the eye can sea – as they go up for gongs at a prestigious photo award.
Judges have been gushing over the aquatic art, which has been shortlisted for Oceanographic Magazine’s 2023 Ocean Photographer of the Year award.
The shots show the full spectrum of ocean life – from whales and manatees to a deep sea diver.
Finalist Sylvie Ayer, who captured a jaw-dropping close-up of a manatee, said: “It came close to look at me and was suddenly perfectly positioned in front of the sun’s rays.
“I hope this photo helps raise awareness of the need to protect these mammals.”
Divided across categories such as ‘Wildlife’, ‘Adventure’ and ‘Human Connection’, the overall winners of the contest are set to be announced in September.
In 2020, more than 5,500 photos from dozens of countries were entered into the competition, capturing ravenous sharks, swimming dragons and even an octopus playing football.
Judge Alex Mustard said the entries featured “a real diversity of photos taken in waters from the polar oceans to the swimming pool.”
Frenchman Greg Lecouer bagged the “best of show” award with his snap of four crabeater seals dancing around a drifting iceberg.
Greg said of the image: “Massive and mysterious habitats, icebergs are dynamic kingdoms that support marine life.
“During an expedition in Antarctica Peninsula, we explored and documented the hidden face of this iceberg where crab-eater seals have taken up residence.”
Other shots commended by judges included a snap of Lemon shark pups lurking in mangroves and a tragic shot of a tuna fish tangled in a fishing net.