Get inspired to go under the sea thanks to these underwater photos

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget just what a vast world there is out there for us to explore. Been there, done that – all is good. But sometimes, we’re reminded just how much we have yet to understand and experience for ourselves, jumpstarting our need for an adrenaline fix and another trip STAT! And this year’s Scuba Diving Magazine’s Through Your Lens underwater photo contest is seriously getting us amped up. Pack your gear, because these images are magical.

Read also: 19 underwater photos that will terrify you or make you want to go freediving

The Grand Prize Winner:

Scary? Maybe. Completely and utterly amazing? Definitely.

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HERE IT IS! ? Congratulations to Jack Israel, who won $1,000 and a trip aboard Socorro Aggressor for this grand prize photo! Hit the link in our bio to see all of the award-winning photos. Here’s how Jack pulled this off: “Nineteen divers from Russia and I descended in a shallow cove in the Sea of Cortez. We positioned a light to attract swarms of plankton and took our places around it. Suddenly, a school of voracious juvenile mobulas swooped in fast, like missiles. I drifted away from the plankton and sand-filled water and caught a glimpse of these playful bombers coming at me. I took the shot, and somehow they flared up in time to avoid a collision.” #scubaDivingMag #Scuba #ScubaDiving #DevilRay #Wildlife #WildlifePhotography #Nature #Underwater

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Who: Jack Israel

Where: Baja California, Mexico

Read also: Into The Blue: The 20 Best Dive Sites In Asia

First Place, Behavior Category:

Ok, this one might keep us out of the water, but WOW!

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SO awesome ? This photo by @gooden_images earned 1st place for wide-angle photography in our photo contest. Hit the link in our bio to see all the winners. Behind the Shot: This was on the second day of cage diving along the coast of Guadalupe Island in Mexico. There had not been much action since the morning, but staying as long as possible in the cold water finally paid off when a huge 17-foot great white shark showed up. It came to check the tuna bait, then disappeared in the deep. Using the proper hunting behavior of the great whites, it came up at full speed and breached to get the tuna. It went so fast that I almost didn’t see it coming, giving me just enough time to adjust my framing as it entered the water with jaws wide open in a massive splash, creating all these bubbles around it. Camera Gear: Canon 1DX Mark II in an AquaTech housing; Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens Settings: f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 400 #ScubaDivingMag #ScubaDiving #Scuba #Shark #GreatWhiteShark #Sharks #Guadalupe #Mexico #CageDiving #Wildlife #WildlifePhoto #WildlifePhotography #Animals #MarineBiology

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Who: Florent Gooden

Where: Guadalupe Island, Mexico

First Place, Wide-Angle Photography:

Under the sea is a great way to be, even (or especially) with the kids!

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WOW! What a moment caught by @gaby_barathieu_photography⁠⠀⠀ ⁠⠀⠀ This photo earned 1st place honors in our 2019 Photo Contest for wide-angly photography. Click the link in our bio to see all of the winners!⁠⠀⠀ ⁠⠀⠀ Behind the Shot: I took this picture in the lagoon of Mayotte—an Indian Ocean archipelago between Madagascar and Mozambique—early in the morning. I left at dawn to meet the humpback whales in the hope of catching them at a peaceful time; we arrived to find a mother and calf. The most important thing for photographing humpbacks is to make a calm, steady approach. If you let the whale accept you, you will make beautiful shots. It’s as simple as that. For this photo, I was less than a yard from the whale.⁠⠀⠀ ⁠⠀⠀ Camera Gear: Canon EOS 5DS R in a Subal housing; Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L II lens; natural light⁠⠀⠀ Settings: f/10; 1/80; ISO 200⁠⠀⠀ Prize: Trip aboard Thailand Aggressor⁠⠀⠀ ⁠⠀⠀ #ScubaDivingMag #ScubaDiving #Whale #HumpbackWhale #Underwater #Wildlife

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Who: Gabriel Baratheiu

Where: Mayotte


Need more inspiration? See all the winners here.

Where are you diving? 

Elisabeth Forsman

Our predictably unpredictable adventure nomad, Elisabeth is the yogi who wants it fast, the ultra-runner who prefers taking a hike, and the swimmer with a fear of lap pools. A consummate lover of all things outdoors, she’s on a perpetual quest to get those around her outside and moving.

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