Take The Plunge With The 2016 Underwater Photographer Of The Year

So many aspects of travel photography amaze us, but images of the deep blue sea are arguably still one of the most thrilling ways to get a glimpse at the depths below.

Now the 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year has been chosen and every single image submitted to the competition makes us want to pack a bag and go exploring.

The annual competition sees submissions from photographers throughout the world, capturing scenes from not just our vast oceans but also the rivers and lakes that make their way inland.

Obviously one of the most fascinating aspects of underwater photography has got to be the landscapes and creatures that can be found living under the surface. From ancient looking shipwrecks to fish that live deep in the darkest of waters.

(Photo: Davide Lopresti/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Davide Lopresti /Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

The overall winner of the competition was Italian photographer Davide Lopresti. His image entitled "Gold" features a stunning seahorse bathed in a bright blue light. Speaking in the Guardian about the photo he said:

 

"Over the years the Mediterranean’s population of seahorses has drastically reduced. Their numbers have only recovered thanks to public awareness and a significant restocking campaign ...

For this shot, I used a long exposure and camera panning, to give dynamism to the image. I then used a focused beam of light from my strobe to freeze the details in the subject. My aim was to give the scene a sense of grace and strength simultaneously."

 

You can see a selection of the other photos that were entered in the contest below.

(Photo: George Stoyle/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: George Stoyle /Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Richard Carey/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Richard Carey/ Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Thomas Heckmann/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Thomas Heckmann/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Rui Guerra/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Rui Guerra /Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Mike Korostelev/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Mike Korostelev/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Fabio Galbiati/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Fabio Galbiati/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Anders Nyberg/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Anders Nyberg /Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Alejandro Prieto/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

(Photo: Alejandro Prieto/Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016)

Read More - > The most powerful images from 2016′s World Press Photo Contest