Underwater photographer of the year 2017 winners – in pictures

French photographer Gabriel Barathieu has been named this year’s winner for his ‘balletic, malevolent’ dancing octopus, while British winner Nick Blake captured a lone diver among the otherworldly sunbeams of a Mexican cave.

British underwater photographer of the year – winner. Out of the Blue by Nick Blake (UK). Location: Yukatán peninsula, Kukulkan 

Kukulkan, one of the spectacular cenotes on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, is noted for its otherworldy light as sunbeams penetrate the darkness of the cave. Blake captured this diver in the centre of one of the beams.

Up-and-coming underwater photographer of the year – winner. Oceanic in the Sky by Horacio Martinez (Argentina). Location: the Red Sea 

Oceanics range across entire oceans in tropical and subtropical waters and feature on the IUCN endangered list. As the judge noted of the Red Sea, Martinez has “realised its dramatic effect extremely well and used it to contrast the small shark in a big, blue, lonely world”.