Life under the sea through the eyes of Ocean Photography Awards finalists – 9News

The winners of the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards finalists have been announced. This year’s competition showcases the talents of photographers from across Australia and the world.
The winners of the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards have been announced.
Photographer Aimee Jan won the competition for her photo of a green turtle, surrounded by glass fish in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.
"I was out snorkelling when one of my colleagues told me there was a turtle under a ledge in a school of glass fish, about 10 metres down," she said.
"When I dived down to look, the fish separated around the turtle perfectly. I said to her: 'I think I just took the best photo I have ever taken'."
Photographer Henly Spiers took out second prize.
"Diving in amidst the barrage of gannets, I witness the violent synchronicity of these impressive seabirds as they embark on fishing dives," Spiers said.
"They hit the water at 96.5km/h, an impact they can only withstand thanks to specially evolved air sacs in the head and chest.
"The bird's agility transfers from air to sea where it also swims with incredible speed."
This photo was taken in the Isle of Noss, Shetland, UK.
Photographer Matty Smith won third place.
"A hawksbill turtle hatchling just 3.5cm long and a few minutes old takes its first swim," Smith said of the image.
"It had emerged from an egg just minutes earlier with approximately 100 of its siblings.
"They quickly made their way into the ocean to disperse as rapidly as they could and avoid predation from birds and fish.
"I had to work quickly for this shot."
This photo was taken on Lissenung Island, Papua New Guinea.
A lone blacktip reef shark lines up its dorsal fin with the setting sun in Moorea, French Polynesia.
"This over-under imagewas achieved by using a wide-angle lens, a large dome port and strobe flash to illuminate the underwater portion of the picture," photographer Renee Capozzola said.
"Sharks are plentiful in French Polynesia due to their strong legal protections and are a sign of a healthy marine ecosystem."
The 2021 competition showcased the talents of photographers from across Australia and the world.
Take a look at the work of this year's finalists.
A cave diver is silhouetted against a colourful backdrop in cenote Chikin Ha in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
"The caves in the Mayan riviera have amazing chambers with pristine formations that have been preserved over millennia," photographer Martin Broen said.
"Tannic acid created by the decomposition of organic matter accumulates in the upper part of certain caves and modifies the colour of the light passing through based on its density."
A rare deep water Cusk Eel larva in Florida, USA.

"This eel is suspected to be Acanthonus armatus but has not been definitively verified," photographer Steven Kovacs said.
"The photograph was taken about seven miles off the coast of Palm Beach, Flordia during a blackwater dive at about 10 metres while drifting in waters more than 200 metres deep."
A Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis australis) Squid at night in Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia.
"I had spent several winters exploring various inland waters and bays at night looking for squid to photograph," photographer Matty Smith said.
"I find their behaviour and colourings mesmerising. I wanted to produce images that really captured their personality."
Life beneath a frozen fjord in East Greenland.
"This photo was taken on an expedition to photograph former freediving champion Anna von Boetticher with icebergs under a frozen fjord," photographer Tobias Friedrich said.
"We had to put all our equipment on a snowmobile to go out on the fjord, until we reached a point where the snowmobile could go no further.
"From there we had to pull the equipment on a sledge to the dive site."
Coastal wolves play on a remote beach in British Columbia, Canada.
"This was the first day of a coastal wolf expedition," photographer Steve Woods said.
"As we sat in our hides at dawn near a beached sperm whale, a pack of coastal wolves fanned out onto the beach in front of us and howled at the rainforest."
A freediver makes their way back to the surface in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
"Darkness gives way to a freediver who goes back and forth from the bottom of this cenote to the surface," photographer Fabrice Guerin said.
"This freshwater sinkhole, calm, clear and without current, is ideal for training."
A fever of cownose rays in Coral Bay, Western Australia.
"These rays were spiralling and rubbing together throughout the water column," photographer Alex Kydd said.
"The behaviour documented is believed to be a mating or courtship behaviour.
"Having spent more than five years on Ningaloo Reef this was my first and only encounter with this species – a once in a lifetime."
A diver observes mating cuttlefish in Port Bonython, South Australia.
"Hundreds of thousands of giant Australian cuttlefish gather each winter from May to August in the shallow waters of South Australia's Upper Spencer Gulf for their once-in-a-lifetime spawning event," photographer Scott Portelli said.
"The cuttlefish display an array of patterns, textures and colours to indicate their mating intentions".
Speleothems cast long shadows at cenote Dos Pisos in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
"This photograph captures the magic feeling of flying through a labyrinth of fragile formations that go from ceiling to floor," photographer Martin Broen said.
"This is a unique environment that took thousands of years to form, that hides hours away from the closest exit and is only illuminated by the light you carry with you".
A Southern Bottle Tail Squid in the palm of a hand in Western Port Bay, Australia.
"It's sometimes easy to forget the impact we can have on the environment and the creatures we share with it," photographer Matthew Bagley said.
"Using the alluring light of a dive torch during a night dive, it's always surprising what comes out of the darkness".
Emperor penguins at Snow Hill, Antarctica.
"This picture showcases emperor penguins in their element, but don't let the beauty of this picture fool you," photographer Nadia Aly said.
"These penguins are in trouble due to increased temperatures caused by climate change".
False killer whales, in black and white, in Ovaka, Tonga.
"False killer whales are something of a mystery to the cetacean world," photographer Scott Portelli said.
"Encounters are rare and often brief.
"This females uses loud clicks and whistles to communicate her feelings to us.
"She releases a stream of bubbles to distract from the vulnerable calf she keeps close to her body".
A Southern Bobtail Squid puts on a performance in Wollongong Harbour, Australia.
"When I came across this Southern Bobtail Squid it seemed to take interested in its reflection in my camera lens port and began to dance with this curious and colourful display," photographer Matty Smith said.
"I've only witnessed this behaviour a couple of times in several years of diving at this spot, but on this occasion I managed to capture it before the animal vanished into the night".
The wave of Teahupoo in Tahiti, French Polynesia, as seen from below.
Photographer Ben Thouard said he has dedicated his time to shooting "exclusively undewater these last five or six years".

"I'm so amazed by what is happening below this wave – a different world. I call this image 'Underwater world' as I felt everything was there in the image and it really describes how I feel down there, in another world".
A humpback whale calf crashes back into the ocean in Neiafu,Tonga.
"The humpback whale has one of the most powerful tails in the animal kingdom," photographer Scott Portelli.
"A young humpback calf propels its three-tonne body from the water with a spectacular re-entry into liquid space. I watched as the baby whale started to propel itself from 10 metres below.
"As it leaped out of the water, I was inches away. Truly, a very close encounter."
A freediver duck dives to capture a photograph of a humpback whale near Reunion Island.
"I was there that day with two friends specialising in humpback whale experiences off Reunion Island," photographer Sebastien Pontoizeau.
"My friend Jeremy Goncalves wanted to capture a portrait of this whale. It is at this moment that I was able to realise this image, which shows two universes."

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