Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016

Close-up view of a gold sea-horse against the aqua blue background of the sea.

Award winning images from this year's Underwater Photographer of the Year competition on display in the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey, Britain's birthplace of photography, from 16 July to 11 September 2016.

Showcasing our seas

Created by some of the most talented amateur underwater photographers from across the world, the photographs in the exhibition open up the wonders of the underwater world for you to discover.

With over 2500 images entered from over 40 different countries, the judges had their work cut out to select the best underwater images.

" This magnificent collection of photographs celebrates life in the sea in all its diversity, splendour and sheer mind-bending oddity."
- Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York

Protecting our planet

Looking after the seas of the world is becoming increasingly important. In 2015 the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity set the target to protect 10% of the world's oceans by 2020, rather than 3% that is protected today, and earlier this year the UK government announced the creation of 23 new Marine Conservation Zones in English waters, but there is still a long way to go.

The organisers of the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition hope that by sharing the beauty of the underwater world, more people will realise how important it is to protect it.

'Lagoon' by Greg Lecoeur, third place in International Wide Angle
A shiver of sharks photographed just below the surface of a lagoon.

The exhibition at the Fox Talbot Museum will also feature a striking charcoal image by celebrated marine artist, Sonia Shomalzadeh, whose life size drawings of endangered ocean life highlight the importance of marine conservation.

Sonia won the Young Marine Artist Award in 2012, has exhibited work across the country and in America, and is a patron of Marine Conservation Research International (MCRInt).

Marine artist, Sonia Shomalzadeh, works on a large scale to create her life size drawings.
Marine artist, Sonia Shomalzadeh, draws with charcoal.