It’s difficult to put into words just how vast and diverse the underwater world is. From swarming shoals of fish and mighty whales to eerie caverns and pitch-black depths, the oceans are home to just as much variety of creatures and environments as the world’s drier bits.
The Ocean Photographer of the Year awards are all about shining a light on that world beneath the waves. The above pic was taken by Hawaii-based Josh Munoz and captures a humpback whale and her calf with a diver in French Polynesia. It was certified ‘highly commended’ by judges at the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022, which included categories such as ‘adventure’, ‘conservation (hope)’, ‘conservation (impact)’, ‘fine art’, ‘human connection’ and ‘wildlife’.
If you’re in London, you can see all the winners of this year’s OPYs at a free exhibition until November 7. You can also view all the winners online here. And here’s a look at a few of the watery wonders on show.
‘A surfer battles with the underwater turbulence created by the “heaviest wave in the world”, Teahupo’o’ by Ben Thouard
‘An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in a mass of ocean debris’ by Simon Lorenz
‘A freediver swims with a matriarchal pod of five sperm whales’ by Franco Banfi
‘A cormorant dives through a huge school of baitfish, creating a series of shapes that mimics that of a human face’ by Brook Peterson
‘An orca mother an calf swim in the open ocean, sun rays beaming through the surface’ by Andreas Schmid
‘A solitary wave breaks in the final moments before a storm rolls in’ by Ben Thouard
‘A diver descends into the deep, light beams as their guide’ by Brandi Mueller
‘A squid encountered on a night dive’ by Gabriel Barathieu
‘A bloom of jellyfish alongside an equally busy Kagoshima resort’ by Reiko Takahashi