Now in its 14th year, Through Your Lens is an underwater photography competition focusing on the marvels of undersea worlds. The incredible Grand Prize-winning shot this year (pictured above) was awarded to a stunning upside down composition of a whale calf made to appear as if it is floating above the surface of the water.
The contest is run by Scuba Diving magazine and this year attracted over 2,100 entries from both amateur and professional photographers all over the globe. As well as a single Grand Prize winner, awards are handed out to three impressive images in each of the four categories: Wide-Angle, Macro, Conceptual and Compact Camera.
The Wide-Angle category offers up some perspective-twisting treats and Alex Dawson’s first place-winning photograph perfectly fits the bill. The image (below), taken off the coast of Tala Bay in Jordon, shows a diver exploring the sunken wreck of an anti-aircraft tank. After 20 years underwater the tank has been slowly colonized by a number of undersea organisms turning what was previously a weapon of war into a new foundation for incubating life.
A newer category in the competition is a focus on compact cameras. Established in 2015, this category was added in response to the growing influx of small, non-SLR digital cameras. First place in this category went to Jamie Hall’s striking portrait of a giant moray eel (below). This amazing image, taken with a Canon PowerShot G16 in a Fantasea housing, manages to traverse a magical tightrope between hypnotic and frightening.
Another recently added category covers conceptual photo submissions, inspired by the increasing volume of surreal images being submitted to the competition. This category has no restrictions on post-processing but does require some kind of element to be photographed in a body of water. The winner here went to Conor Culver who took a snap of a coconut octopus and them imagined it in a home made out of a small bottle that was found diving off the coast of Florida.
Other mind-bending winners include Lucie Drlikova’s second place-winning photograph (above) in the Conceptual category, which rotated an underwater shot of a woman into a composition evoking a science fiction-like stargate. Second place in the Wide-Angle category, from Karen Smith, also delivered a surreal spectacle of free divers practicing in an underwater cave in Tulum, Mexico.
Take a look through the gallery to see more of the terrific winners from the 2018 Through Your Lens underwater photo contest.