Underwater photography at its best

Open Mouthed Shark
An open mouthed shark can be seen in the winning photography by Sam Cahir Photo : Sam Cahir

The Best Underwater Photographer of the Year competition unveiled a plethora of breathtakingly spectacular images, with thousands of entries submitted from over 15 countries.

Aspiring winners slipped into their underwater suits to capture moments when nature was at its best, facing extreme danger in the process.

Over a thousand passionate photographers captured anything and everything from an open-mouthed shark to a fish-eye view of the sky.

The photos were to be submitted in seven different categories- reefscapes, surfs and sharks, compact cameras, divers, animal portraits and animal behavior.

Being in its seventh year, this competetion has donated 15 percent of the proceeds from its entries to aid marine conservation, and more than £50,000 worth of prizes were distributed to the finalists and winners.

Of the thousands of entries, it was Hamid Rad who managed to bag the prize, with his innovative thinking for his 'fish eye view of the world' photograph.

Sam Cahir, who won the Best of Show for his open-mouthed shark photo in the Wide Angle Unrestricted category, bagged $40,000 in prizes.

With a panel of celebrity judges including Vincent Laforet, Mary Lynn Prince, Steve Douglas, Keri Wilk, Alex Mustard, Berkley White and Eric Hanauer, the winners were awarded at the Our World Underwater film festival in Chicago.

Other honorable mentions include a picture depicting a trio of pelicans that dunk their heads in the water, the picture taken in the water off the Central Coast, New South Wales, a snap showing a guitar shark, taken in Sao Tome, Africa.

This competition was sponsored by Solmar V, Worldwide Dive and Sail, MV FeBrina, SEA&SEA, Walindi Resort, Bali Diving Academy, Eco Divers, Lembeh Resort, Minahasa Lagoon Dive & Tours Club, Gulen Dive Resort, Waterproof, Ikelite, Cassiopeia and Andromeda Safaris, GoPro, i-Divesite, ReefNet, Wyland and many others.

Start the slideshow to check out the breath-taking underwater photographs.

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