These stunning underwater images took out the top prizes in Scuba Diving magazine's annual photography contest

Compact Camera – runner-up. Picture: Yap Katumbal/Scuba Diving Magazine

The vast majority of our planet is underwater, extraordinary and largely unexplored.

As such, it provides ripe pickings for photography enthusiasts spoilt by rapidly improving technology and an alien world to return to the surface with stunning pictures like this:

Picture: Rodney Bursiel/Scuba Diving Magazine

The whale calf, shot by Rodney Bursai, is actually an upside-down shot.

That’s the winning entry in this year’s Through Your Lens photo contest, developed and produced by Scuba Diving Magazine.

The annual contest just wrapped up for its 14th year after drawing more than 2100 entries.

Scuba Diving said the winning images “were chosen for their beauty and creativity, and further for their ability to impact and inspire”.

The prizes were awarded across four categories – wide-angle, conceptual, macro and compact camera. Here’s a selection:

Wide Angle – winner

Alex Dawson caught this image of an anti-aircraft tank off the coast of Tala Bay in Jordon.

Picture: Alex Dawson/Scuba Diving Magazine

Wide Angle – runner-up

Karen Smith’s shot of free divers in an underwater cave in Tulum, Mexico is properly out of this world.

Picture: Karen Smith/Scuba Diving Magazine

Macro – winner

Ever seen a blanket octopus?

Picture: Cai Songda/Scuba Diving Magazine

Compact Camera – winner

Boo.

Picture: Jamie Hall/Scuba Diving Magazine

Jamie Hall took that shot with a Canon PowerShot G16.

Conceptual – winner

Conor Culver thought a bottle he found diving off the coast of Florida would make a perfect home for this octopus.

Picture: Conor Culver/Scuba Diving Magazine

Conceptual – runner-up

Lucie Drlikova called this “What Matters Most Is How You See Yourself”.

Picture: Lucie Drlikova/Scuba Diving Magazine

The full list of winners and honourable mentions are featured in the September/October issue of Scuba Diving and can also be seen online here.

The 2019 competition opens on November 1 and is open until May 31, 2019. You can see the full list of categories and official rules here.

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