The Underwater Photographer of the Year competition is an annual event based in the UK that celebrates photography beneath the surface of oceans, lakes, rivers, and even swimming pools. It attracts entries from around the world and features 13 categories, including Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour, and Wreck photography, as well as specific categories for photos taken in British waters.

Among the 6,500 submissions from around the globe, Swedish photographer Alex Dawson has been crowned for his mesmerising image of a free diver examining the aftermath of minke whale.

Additional winners include JingGong Zhang’s image of hormonal Zoarchias major eelpouts sparring over nests during breeding season and a shot of a famished Mahi Mahi chomping on a sardine by Lisa Stengel. Below are some of our favorite winning photos from this year’s competition and you can find more and the stories behind the photos on the UPY site.

“Whale Bones.” Photo © Alex Dawson/UPY2024.
“Mouth to Mouth.” Photo © JingGong Zhang/UPY2024.
“Lonesome Drifter.” Photo © Dennis Corpuz/UPY2024
“Attack from Above.” Photo © Jon Anderson/UPY2024
“Aquatic Primate.” Photo © Suliman Alatiqi/UPY2024
“Window of Opportunity.” Photo © Lisa Stengel/UPY2024
“The End Of A Baitball” Photo © Rafael Fernandez Caballero/UPY 2024
“Twilight Smile” Photo © Rodolphe Guignard / UPY2024
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