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The Top 10 Underwater Photographs
Get inspired 23 Aug 2022

The Top 10 Underwater Photographs

The marine world is full of treasures, each one more surprising than the other. Rainbow rays, dancing mollusks and glow-in-the-dark jellyfish.  Artsper has put together the top 10 most beautiful underwater photography shots!

1. Sperm Whales 3, the fantastic world of underwater photography

underwater photography
Franck Seguin, Cachalots 3, 2018, available on Artsper

In collaboration with the freediver, Guillaume Néry, Franck Seguin created a whole series of absolutely amazing underwater photographs. For the “One Breath Project,” the two enthusiasts traveled to the most beautiful freediving sites on the planet. Among the various masterpieces, this fairytale composition invites us to admire the splendor of the blue world.

2. The Victim, a denunciation in a photograph

The victim © Shane Gross, Ocean Art
Shane Gross, The victim, 2019 © Ocean Art

Underwater photography allows us to discover an alternative universe whose splendor is unequaled. But it is also used to raise awareness of the destruction of this wonderful world. This is the slant of Shane Gross, who photographed this turtle stuck in a fishing net. The artist denounces the damage caused by the 640,000 tons of fishing gear abandoned or lost each year, that then turned into death traps for many marine animals.

3. Life in a Bubble, an invitation to comfort

underwater photography
Owen Yen, Life in a bubble, 2018 © Ocean Art Competition

This image plunges us into the encounter between a nudibranch and a green alga. Offering a breathtaking view of this temporary refuge, Owen Yen invites us to enter a reassuring cocoon!

4. Jellyfish 01, the mystery of underwater photography

Jellyfish 01, Mercedes Cosano, 2019
Mercedes Cosano, Jellyfish 01, 2019, available on Artsper

With this series of photographs, Mercedes Cosano transmits her passion for jellyfish. She shares with us a fabulous universe, in which light, movement and sounds are governed by other laws. Jellyfish 01 gives us a glimpse of this poetic planet, both with impressive and incomparable delicacy.

5. Swims Away and Smiles, the colorful face of surprise

underwater photography
Nicholas Samaras, Swims Away and Smiles, 2019 © UPY

This incredible shot won first place in the portrait category of the 2019 Underwater Photographer of the Year. As he was about to photograph a group of seahorses, Nicholas Samarasa was surprised by this beautiful ray. This is the perfect immortalization of a belly with a thousand faces!

6. While You Sleep, urban underwater photography

While You Sleep © Mark Kirkland - UPY2021
Mark Kirkland, While You Sleep, 2021 © UPY

Fruit of 4 winter nights and 25 hours of waiting, this photo offers an unusual view. In the foreground, a frog and its innumerable eggs. In the background, the city of Glasgow, plunged in the darkness. This image allowed Mark Kirkland to win the title of British photographer of the year 2021. It’s a beautiful ode to patience!

7. Jelly-stic Fish, a photographic revolt

underwater photography
Karlexander, Jelly-stic fish, 2022, available on Artsper

Karlexander is a committed photographer and collagist who uses art to protest against the pollution of the ocean floor. This work merges a plastic bag and a jellyfish… An ecological disaster materialized by the artist: that of the omnipresence of plastic and its dangers for the marine fauna.

8. Meeting with a Nudibranch, the grace of the mollusk

Meeting with a Nudibranch © Flavio Vailati - UPY 2019
Flavio Vailati, Meeting with a Nudibranch, 2019 © UPY

Incredibly intriguing, this image represents a nudibranch and its numerous eggs. Once again, it is the patient work of Flavio Vailati that allowed such an immersion in the underwater world. A mollusk dance whose beauty is as surprising as it is graceful!

9. Crocosmile, an underwater smile

underwater photography
Jenny Stock, Crocosmile, 2020 © UWPG

How to smile with all your teeth? This is the lesson that this crocodile gives us, immortalized by Jenny Stock in the Queen’s Gardens in Cuba. In the eyes of the photographer, the reflections become – by the effect of imagination – a series of intriguing faces. And what does this atypical smile evoke for you?

10. Contemplum #023, a celestial symbiosis

Contemplum #023, Dani Garcia Sarabia, 2021
Dani Garcia Sarabia, Contemplum #023, 2021, available on Artsper

With a strong dramatic component, Dani Garcia Sarabia’s photographs capture poetic souls. His Contemplum series explores beauty through an intimate and contemplative approach. With Contemplum #023, Garcia Sarabia invites us to admire the almost surreal harmony of the natural beauty of things.

Underwater photography: between poetry and denunciation

Essentially contemplative, underwater ocean photography invites us to slow down and to view straight into an aquatic dream. But it also makes us confront the destruction of such a fantastic world. Like the marine world in the deep ocean, it sways between poetry and cruelty. It moves us, shakes us up and disturbs us. For our own good, as well as for the rest of the planet, we have to ultimately take responsibility and care for our underwater world.