Scuba Diving Magazine​ unveils underwater ​photo​ contest winners

One of the most fascinating and largely unexplored places in the world also happens to be a place difficult for most people to visit—the depths of the ocean. But, for seasoned scuba divers, this contest is a chance to capture underwater wonders most will never see in person.

Now in its 14th year, Through Your Lens is an underwater photography competition focusing on the marvels of undersea worlds. Developed​ ​and​ ​produced​ ​by Scuba Diving Magazine, the competition drew more than 2,100 incredible entries from across the globe. This year’s winners were chosen from four categories:

  1. Wide-Angle
  2. Macro
  3. Conceptual
  4. Compact Camera

Collectively they showcase a wide variety of underwater photography styles and skill. If your looking to try for next year, entries can be submitted from November 1st, 2018 until May 31st, 2019. But first, take a look at this year’s winning underwater photographs below.

Grand prize winner

Through the Lens: Grand prize winner
Grand Prize Winner by Rodney Bursie

The incredible US$1,000 Grand Prize-winning shot was awarded to Rodney Bursie. The photo is a stunning upside down composition of a whale calf that appears as if it’s floating above the surface of the water.

The photographer reveals, “I hope the image shares with others my take on the mystical world I find myself in each time I dip below the surface.”


Through the Lens: 1st place wide-angle winner
1st Place Wide Angle by Alex Dawson

The Wide-Angle category offers up some perspective-twisting treats. Alex Dawson‘s first place-winning photograph, 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. Check out second and third place below.

Through the Lens: 2nd place wide-angle winner
2nd Place Wide Angle by Karen Smith
Through the Lens: 3rd place wide-angle winner
3rd Place Wide Angle by Tom St.George


Through the Lens: 1st place macro winner
1st Place Macro by Cai Songda


“At the time, it amazed me that all the necessary elements for a wonderful shot seemed to come together: Colours were vibrant, the reflections alluring, and the octopus very cooperative, as if striking a pose.”

Here’s a look at the second and third place winners for Macro.

Through the Lens: 2nd place macro winner
2nd Place Macro by Christian Bachmann
Through the Lens: 3rd place macro winner
3rd Place Macro by Rafael Fernandez Caballero


Through the Lens: 1st place conceptual winner
1st Place Conceptual by Conor Culver

This category has no restrictions on post-processing, but does require some kind of element to be photographed in 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. While I found it interesting, I much prefer the second place winning underwater concept by Lucie Drlikova.

Through the Lens: 2nd place conceptual winner
2nd Place Conceptual by Lucie Drlikova
Through the Lens: 3rd place conceptual winner
3rd Place Conceptual by Christian Vizl

Compact camera

Through the Lens: 1st place compact camera winner
1st Place Compact Camera by Jamie Hall

A newer category in the underwater 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 terrifying moray eel lurking in a dark lagoon. Take a look at the second and third place winners below.

Through the Lens: 2nd place compact camera winner
2nd Place Compact Camera by Yap Katumbal
Through the Lens: 3rd place compact camera winner
3rd Place Compact Camera by Ferenc Lőrincz

For more images click here. Or if underwater isn’t your forte, check out above the water with this year’s Drone Awards.


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