50 Stunning Underwater Photos

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Of all the different types of photography showcased on Smashing Magazine, underwater photography is probably one of the most difficult to practice. It requires a very specialized equipment and the knowledge of some advanced techniques to get a perfect picture. You need to get the correct exposure, accurate focus, controlled movement of your subject and a pleasing color balance; you also have to deal with low light. Underwater photos offen suffer from loss of color and contrast when taken at a significant depth. Such photos are always adjusted with color balance to help offset the blueish tint of the water.

Because underwater photography is a specialized art, relatively few photographers attempt it. But it offers many exciting and rare photographic opportunities for fresh and truly different vivid images. Most often, photographers use a traditional film or digital camera covered in a watertight casing. Professionals prefer to use special underwater cameras.

Below, we present over 50 beautiful examples of underwater photos, created by artists and professional photographers. All works featured below have the artists and photographers’ names linked to their portfolios or websites. At the bottom of this post you’ll fine some links to Flickr groups where you can find more similar and exciting photos.

Also consider our previous showcases:

50 Stunning Underwater Photos

Victor Amor

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J.Lambusphoto

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Scott (lundysd)

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Numera Tokyo

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National Geographics

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Neverletmego

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Kenvin Pinardy
Dancing underwater.

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Sugarock99

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Dustin Humphrey

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Gattaldo
Water just makes every situation more poetic and graceful.

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Anatoly Beloschin

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Unknown

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Zena Holloway

Camilo Acuña

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Eldad Hagar

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Oracle

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John Carleton

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Barbara Cole

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Tintinian

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Smodger
Colorful scene captured using macro photography technique.

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Vanveelen

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Tina Owens
Blue crab holding an urchin on its head for protection.

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Saul Kondrotas
Jellyfish

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Tornicoqui

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Maytevidri

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Tamergunal

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Kawa0310

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Paragon

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Ian

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Nik

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Rainan

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Fangleman

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digivangelist

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David Doubilet

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Last Click

1938 underwater photography
By Bruce Mozertom.

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Further Resources

Links for further photographs and related resources.

  • Life Aquatic
    The Life Aquatic group welcomes pictures of, but not limited to, amphibians, annelids, abalone, anemones, aquariums, aquatic plants, birds, bryozoans, chambered nautilus, cnidaria, coral reefs, crustaceans, coelenterates, ctenophores, fish, freshwater fish, jellyfish, marine mammals, mollusks, octopi, reptiles, sea snakes, sea squirts, sea turtles, sharks, sponges, squid, starfish, tunicates, etc.
  • Aquatic Turtles
    All species of aquatic turtles
  • Aquatic insects
    Photography of benthic macroinvertebrates, including dragonflies, mosquitoes, mayflies, stoneflies, water striders, beetles, etc.
  • Digital Underwater Photography
    Scuba and other underwater photos.
  • Underwater Indoneesia
    Photos taken underwater in Indonesia, including Bali, Java, Moluccas, Papua (Irian Jaya), Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), and other dive spots in Indonesia.
  • Underwater Maldives
    Photos taken underwater in the Maldives Islands.
  • Underwater Videos
    Underwater, scuba, diving or snorkeling videos.

(al)

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Vailancio Rodrigues is a web ninja who bakes semantic muffins. Apart from that he is also interested in Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Photography and knows little bit of Physics due to his college education . He is from Goa - a beautiful tropical paradise in India.

  1. 1

    Pertamax :D

    wow…great!!

    0
  2. 2

    These are amazing!

    2
  3. 3

    FYI, #12 (Exhale) isn’t actually an underwater photograph. On the flickr page the creator states that it was photoshopped.

    0
  4. 4

    i wish i can survive in underwater world… brilliant shot!

    0
  5. 5

    beautiful, great :)

    1
  6. 6

    seriously. pictures are nice.. once in a while.

    but i’d like to see some more webdev related content again..

    1
  7. 7

    Hello, I am from Indaiatuba (São Paulo, Brazil) and love the Smashing Magazine.

    These pictures are really fantastic.

    2
  8. 8
  9. 9

    The girls in flowing fabric under water is completely played out…

    -1
  10. 10

    I like the turtle photo :)

    simply makes me want to swim with it.

    0
  11. 11

    Is it just me, or do the vast majority of these photos look 100% photoshopped? These aren’t even photos that have simply been “touched up”; the human models look much more like plastic than flesh. You could have found 50 photos that look realistic instead of this fake stuff. Even if most of these are real shots, they’ve all been photoshopped well beyond acceptable limits.

    True beauty is found in real photographs that capture the eye and the imagination. Not in photos that look like they popped out of a hollywood film. *rolls eyes*

    0
    • 12

      ok, seriously there must be something wrong with u. everyone knows some of these pics were photoshopped! it’s gonna be a real hard time tryin’ to get all that negative energy outta ya, u must not have many friends. cuz thats real sad. people are tryin to enjoy somethin and ur ruining it

      -2
  12. 13

    Stunning as always. I would like to make a suggestion: could you please implement a j/k navigation (like reader and boston dot com, and of course, emacs) so it is handier to jump to the next picture or topic?

    0
  13. 14

    I like the ones of Dustin Humphrey and the tiger of Eldad Hagar. The others are also nice, but those are the nicest.

    0
  14. 15

    So beautiful! Dustin Humphrey is very special.

    0
  15. 16

    Great scenes! I love all of these!

    0
  16. 17

    one word…”awesome!”

    -1
  17. 18
  18. 20

    wow… Really nice pictures

    0
  19. 21

    simply stunning!! I love this genre :)

    0
  20. 22

    Hey great pictures but i really do miss some ive seen long time ago. That was a book and they pictures of people diving with elephants….they should really be in here…unfortunatly i cant find the page anymore…maybee someone can post the adresse!?
    Thanks

    0
  21. 23

    Hey,

    Wonderful !
    All the photographs are Wonderful, except those with female presence !!

    -2
  22. 24

    here’s a good one

    0
  23. 25

    wow :D Beautiful artistic pictures
    SM Rocks ….

    0
  24. 26

    all i can say is… “WOOOOOOOOW”!

    0
  25. 27

    The color is amazing in these pictures. I love the composition and anger in the last National Geographic photo.

    onwired.com

    -1
  26. 28

    @nate – who cares if they’ve been photoshopped? Are you one of those people who whinges about people using digital slrs as well, that they’re not proper photographers?

    surely true beauty is found in photographs that capture the eye and the imagination. so what if artists choose to use photoshop to create stunning visual effects?

    some of these are amazing…

    0
  27. 29

    @ tom – i think nate’s point is that the title is “stunning underwater photographs” not “digital artwork inspired by stunning underwater photographs”.

    that said, there’s a lot of good work up there. however I agree that we’re seeing TOO many “stunning photos” and hardly enough other stuff, like dev or animation or anything else for that matter.

    0
  28. 30

    oh! nice pic`s

    0
  29. 31

    Fabulous set! I *really* need to go diving again…

    0
  30. 32

    Absolut beautiful.

    0
  31. 33

    Wow these are awesome!!! :-)

    0
  32. 34

    as always amazing showcase

    0
  33. 35

    Shelly Corbett
    This is the best underwater photographer I’ve ever seen.

    hylas

    1
  34. 36

    this is some amazing and very creative photography. i love the vibrant colours and creative contexts.

    amazing

    0
  35. 37

    Photoshopped some may be, but how can we forget the wonderful imagination of the photographer! Just love the shot by Gattaldo, (sea nymph and lover??), visionary at its best!!!

    0
  36. 38

    These are all beautiful, but I also agree with the other person who said that the underwater photos of women in flowing fabrics are getting over-done.

    For those macro photos – if ANY of you have ever attempted to take photos underwater while diving, you’ll have a sincere appreciation for these shots. It is NOT easy taking underwater photos. Not only are your subjects moving around, but the environment itself is moving YOU around as well: swells, currents, etc. all make taking photos underwater a pretty challenging undertaking. So it’s a treat when you get some of these wonderful closeups and crystal-clear shots (photoshopped, though some may be).

    0
  37. 39

    every pic was…wow!!!

    0
  38. 40
  39. 41

    wow really stunning photos

    0
  40. 42

    The chick with the tits was hottttt

    0
  41. 43

    What??? No Alberich mathews?

    0
  42. 44

    really xlent wat a picture

    0
  43. 45

    nature is really beautiful, thanks for great share!

    -1
  44. 46

    man.. those are some srunning pictures

    0
  45. 47

    Beautiful :o)

    0
  46. 48

    Christian Herbert Kulza

    October 24, 2008 1:12 pm

    Magníficas. Lindas cores. Dá para imaginar o que há mais abaixo que isso? Fantastic.

    0
  47. 49

    All of the comments and opinions on this collection are true of most collections. Some photog’s are purists, some like to enhance, some go wild! The point is the talent and vision that the photographer has and uses to create these beautiful, beautiful photographs.

    0
  48. 50

    Amazing image!! I like the color contrast!

    0
  49. 51

    Nice but very KIRI !!

    0
  50. 52

    beautiful, great :)

    0
  51. 53

    ok….varey good

    0
  52. 54

    かとうせいじ

    November 2, 2008 2:25 am

    とてもすばらしいです!!

    It’s very beautiful.

    0
  53. 55

    The shot by Gattaldo is called ‘The Kiss’ and can be viewed at:
    http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Underwater/54798

    0
  54. 56

    The unknown shot is by legend David Doubilet

    0
  55. 57

    Such a pleasure to see. Thank you for your creativity…

    0
  56. 58

    Some of these are very good. However, i don’t believe the 2 shots of the orange jellyfish in a tank with a blue background taken at aquariums from the dry side of the glass belong in this set. Every amateur with a semi-decent camera that has been to an aquarium with a jellyfish display has nearly identical pics… hardly “stunning”.

    0
  57. 59

    awesome ,,,,
    vry beautful pics,,,,,thks 4 them,,

    0
  58. 60

    Its really beautiful….Great Pictures,Thanks.

    0
  59. 61

    super cool. suer beautiful. a big thank you!

    0
  60. 62

    Wow! Some striking photographs, and many with gorgeous color contrasts.

    -1
  61. 63

    Thank you for the terrific pictures!

    -1
  62. 64

    I like it

    -1
  63. 65

    Realmente magnífico e o Homem destrói aos poucos esse mundo maravilhoso e submerso.

    -1
  64. 66

    Awesome Awesome Photography, Cool Post !! Love’em all..
    But I’d say some pictures are cool but too odd (naked) ones.

    -1
  65. 67

    it said 60 not 50

    March 20, 2009 7:05 pm

    it said 60! Not fucking 50! Whats the deal with that!

    -1
  66. 68

    omg those pics r amazing keep up the good work

    ps. (my favorite pic was the last 1)

    -1
  67. 69

    outstanding- my dream is to be an underwater photographer and these pictures inspire me so much!
    PS-
    the unkown picture about 25 shots down
    was taken by David Doubilet.
    he is Insanely brilliant!

    0
  68. 70
  69. 71

    Adeolu (Dsignprintz)

    April 10, 2009 8:44 am

    These photographys are amazing and extraordinary. It inspires creative minds. keep it up.

    0
  70. 72

    Jabbardast
    no match

    0
  71. 73

    ,,,la poesia de la primera foto de Gattaldo
    me ha impresionado , sin menospreciar las demas fotos, fue esa la toma que realmente me cautivo,,,simply,,,beautiful.

    0
  72. 74

    i loved all of them!!

    0
  73. 75

    wow….FANTASTIC.
    Great photos.

    0
  74. 76

    wow ,excellent

    0
  75. 77

    منتديات ماى بكتشرز

    June 14, 2009 10:03 pm

    Good pic

    1
  76. 78

    oh my god!!!!these pictures are simply stunning and extraordinary!!!color contrasts are excellent!!!great work!!!thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures…..

    0
  77. 79

    WOW! What wonderful creatures, God is Great.

    1
  78. 80

    FYI the one by “Ian” is not an underwater photo. it is simply a photo of a chrysanthemum
    a flower which does not live under or in water.

    0
  79. 81

    Cool. I also have posted some of underwater creature in my blog,
    http://www.creativepics.org/15-beautiful-never-seen-underwater-creature-photos/

    1
  80. 82

    very touching and amazing colors

    0
  81. 83

    god is almighty & great.

    0
  82. 84

    Again, great selections!

    The toip pro and amateur underwater photyographers are pretty much all in these galleries:

    http://www.divephotoguide.com/underwater-photo-galleries/

    Enjoy!

    1
  83. 85

    These we’re amazing. I love anything to do with an ocean and this was the most amazing…..Thanks for sharing.

    0
  84. 86

    hmm…ol pix r gud!! bt last(1938 underwater photography) z awsomeeee :D

    0
  85. 87

    this is awsome I have been wanting to be an oceanographer pretty cool

    0
  86. 88

    oh my gosh..
    these are amazing photos…
    I love it

    0
  87. 89

    THESE WERE AMAZING.SIMPLY STUNNING!!!!!! .THE MOST OUTSTANDING UNDER WATER PHOTOGRAPHY I EVER SEEN.WAITING FOR NEXT!!!!!!!

    0
  88. 90

    These photos are amazing but how would a human be able to breath underwater for so long and in the darkness?

    0
  89. 91

    thank you for this amazing underwater photos. May you have a look on my underwater photos: http://www.stefanleitner.com/fotos/die-besten-unterwasserfotos/
    or
    http://www.stefanleitner.com/unterwasser-fotos/

    Stef

    2
  90. 92
  91. 93

    Cheryl Pilkington

    January 23, 2011 10:02 am

    Take me with you.

    0
  92. 94

    these pictures are prity cool for losers

    0
  93. 95

    Thank you for sharing :)
    Just started to take underwater pics, but just in a pool…
    Cant wait to take pics in the ocean..
    I love the world down under!!

    0
  94. 96

    That is so HOT

    0
  95. 97

    Beautiful collection of underwater photos, I wish you would have the EXIF info or list of underwater gear that was used. It would be great to learn from this.

    Here are some photos taken with a Nikon P7000 and Underwater Housing in the Bahamas: http://www.flickr.com/photos/underwater_cameras/

    and our photography store: housingcamera.com

    We just had a customer that asked some questions about Fashion photography and using these pictures I was able to give him some examples of what he intends to do . I wanted to recommend him some lights, thats why I wished I could see the different gear these shots were taken with.

    Anyway , great post , thanks.

    Tal

    1
  96. 98

    The photograph you claim is from sugarock99 is actually taken by Elena Kalis, so are several of the photographs on sugarock99′s webpage. You might want to change that and give the rightful photographer the credit…

    0
  97. 99

    these pictures are really awesome and absolutely great hats off

    0
  98. 100

    Amazing photos.. sooo beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    0
  99. 101

    i think there should be more pics and LESS COMMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!

    0
  100. 102

    absolutely stunning!!

    2
  101. 103

    awesome inspiration in these of all photographs even learning from listed ideas. thanks for sharing

    2
  102. 105

    All was amazing except those with scantily clad people.

    -5
  103. 106

    ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING

    0
  104. 107

    Danielle Susalla

    March 29, 2012 8:34 pm

    Wow, these are fantastic images! Wish that some of them were in the upcoming Liquid Capture: Masters of Underwater Photography exhibition at Oceanside Museum of Art in San Diego, CA opening April 28, 2012. Visit the museum to see about 40 additional image of underwater photography artists from around the world .

    0
  105. 108

    barry jackson

    May 8, 2012 8:56 pm

    just plain and simple genius, beautiful work I am truly inpressed with the quality and creativity and hope only to come one tenth as close to your work, thank you so much!

    1
  106. 109

    Really beautiful!

    0
  107. 110

    superbb, mind blowing!

    0
  108. 111

    very atteractive pictures

    0
  109. 112

    I love it.
    Unfortunately I have no hope to come any way near with my humble g12

    0
    • 113

      Hi Tom,

      You would be surprised at the results professional photographers are able to accomplish with the G12. Many contest like the HP Red Sea are not dominated by compact cameras. Last years winner, Amir Stern, used a Canon S100.

      Tal
      Mozaik Underwater Cameras

      0
  110. 114

    i love it, it is very osomevery good picture

    0
  111. 115

    stunning.. lost for words!!

    0
  112. 116

    Wow, amazing,beautiful, what an insperation your pictures are,I love the colour ,the flow,they are just perfection

    0

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