'Big Red' Guglielmo Cicerchia/UPY 2017
Giannutri Island, Italy
During the dive I found a fishing net in which many fish were trapped still alive. They were struggling to get free. Using a slow shutter speed and zooming during the exposure I wanted to emphasize the attempt to break free from the fishing net.
'Dancing Octopus' Gabriel Barathieu/UPY 2017
The winners of the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year competition have been announced, and the photos are absolutely spectacular. The overall winner was Gabriel Barathieu with his image of an Octopus taken in the Lagoon of Mayotte on Mayotte Island.
He says, 'In the lagoon of Mayotte, during spring low tides, there is very little water on the flats. Only 30 cm in fact. That's when I took this picture. I had to get as close as possible to the dome to create this effect. The 14mm is an ultra wide angle lens with very good close focus which gives this effect of great size. The octopus appears larger, and the height of water also. Also, I didn't need flash because I had lots of natural light.'
'Imp of darkness' Damien Mauric/UPY 2017
Isla Fernandina, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
On his visit to the Galapagos islands, Charles Darwin was revolted by the animals' appearance, writing: "The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large, disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them 'imps of darkness'. They assuredly well-become the land they inhabit." The marine iguana are all but monsters. Endemic to the Galapagos, it's a rare privilege to share a moment underwater with this animal now considered as an endangered species.
'Competition' Richard Shucksmith/UPY 2017
Shetland Isles, United Kingdom
I was out off the coast making images for SCOTLAND: The Big Picture - a project about re-wilding that produces images to amplify the case for a wilder Scotland. Hundreds of gannets were circling the boat looking for the fish that were being thrown over the side. Suddenly a single bird dives and the others seeing it as an indicator and 20, 30, 40 birds are diving at once. Because of this behaviour competition between gannets is always going occur creating several gannets diving for the same fish. I could hear the birds as they hit the water right above my head just before they appeared in front of the camera. A great experience.
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