Stunning photos show humpback whales, rays and squid in all their amazing glory

The winners of the annual Ocean Art photography competition have been revaled, with some remarkable photos of the world’s most unique marine life taking the top prizes.

The Best of Show was a graceful photo of three Giant Devil Rays performing a ‘ballet’, which uses soft, ambient light to accentuate the movements of elegant giants, shot by Duncan Murrell.

Other exceptional images include some astonishing fish and marine life shots, rarely seen animal behavior, innovative shooting techniques, stunning portraits, seals, ocean adventure, whales and some dramatic moments between humans and marine life. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 70 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners. 

Over $80,000 in prizes were awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world.

Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler comments, ‘This year’s outstanding underwater images in the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition continue to raise the bar for underwater photographers.

‘Myself and the other 3 judges were honored to be viewing such amazing results of the dedication and drive of the human spirit.’

Duncan Murrell captured devil rays' courting ballet in this stunning shot which won 'Best in Show'. Giant Devil Rays are most commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea and can be found elsewhere in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean

Duncan Murrell captured devil rays' courting ballet in this stunning shot which won 'Best in Show'. Giant Devil Rays are most commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea and can be found elsewhere in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean

Duncan Murrell captured devil rays’ courting ballet in this stunning shot which won ‘Best in Show’. Giant Devil Rays are most commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea and can be found elsewhere in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean

A remarkable shot of a sharp-eared enope squid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii taken by Jeff Milisen which offsets the brightly-illuminated creature against the dark background

A remarkable shot of a sharp-eared enope squid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii taken by Jeff Milisen which offsets the brightly-illuminated creature against the dark background

A remarkable shot of a sharp-eared enope squid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii taken by Jeff Milisen which offsets the brightly-illuminated creature against the dark background

Francois Baelen caught this amazing image of the rear of a humpback whale on camera. Another diver can be seen in the left of the photograph taking pictures of the majestic animal

Francois Baelen caught this amazing image of the rear of a humpback whale on camera. Another diver can be seen in the left of the photograph taking pictures of the majestic animal

Francois Baelen caught this amazing image of the rear of a humpback whale on camera. Another diver can be seen in the left of the photograph taking pictures of the majestic animal

A diver swimming towards the surface of the water after going deep underwater while snorkeling. The shot was captured by Alexandre St Jean and shows the light silhouetting the diver as he slinks through the ocean

A diver swimming towards the surface of the water after going deep underwater while snorkeling. The shot was captured by Alexandre St Jean and shows the light silhouetting the diver as he slinks through the ocean

A diver swimming towards the surface of the water after going deep underwater while snorkeling. The shot was captured by Alexandre St Jean and shows the light silhouetting the diver as he slinks through the ocean

Liang Fu caught a white-banded cleaner shrimp hopping into the mouth of a grouper to pinch some leftover food

Liang Fu caught a white-banded cleaner shrimp hopping into the mouth of a grouper to pinch some leftover food

Liang Fu caught a white-banded cleaner shrimp hopping into the mouth of a grouper to pinch some leftover food

Edwar Herreno was lucky enough to witness this huge number of rays as they migrated. The rays appear to form a huge solid mass as they swarm together beneath the ocean's surface

Edwar Herreno was lucky enough to witness this huge number of rays as they migrated. The rays appear to form a huge solid mass as they swarm together beneath the ocean's surface

Edwar Herreno was lucky enough to witness this huge number of rays as they migrated. The rays appear to form a huge solid mass as they swarm together beneath the ocean’s surface

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