The international Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) photo contest has announced their winning photos for 2017 edition. French photographer Gabriel Barathieu has been named this year’s winner for the above image of what one judge called a “balletic and malevolent” dancing octopus. The image taken in the lagoon of the island of Mayotte, beat more than 4500 pictures entered by photographers from 67 different countries.

“I had to wait for a low spring tide when the water was just 30cm deep (one foot) so that the octopus would fill the water column. I got as close as possible with a wide angle lens to create this image, which makes the octopus look huge,” Gabriel said in a statement.

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The UPY contest awarded prizes in 10 categories, including Wide Angle, Macro, Wrecks, Behavior, Up & Coming, and, in British waters, Wide Angle, Compact, and Macro shots.

Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017, Dancing Octopus by Gabriel Barathieu

Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017, Dancing Octopus by Gabriel Barathieu

Commended, Macro - Larval Lionfish by Steven Kovacs

Commended, Macro – Larval Lionfish by Steven Kovacs

Commended, Up & Coming - Whale calf posing by Christophe Lapeze

Commended, Up & Coming – Whale calf posing by Christophe Lapeze

Commended, Wrecks - Last Flight by Steve Jones

Commended, Wrecks – Last Flight by Steve Jones

Winner, Macro - Prey by So Yat Wai

Winner, Macro – Prey by So Yat Wai

Commended, Macro - Nudi Art by Katherine Lu

Commended, Macro – Nudi Art by Katherine Lu

Commended, Portrait - Green Turtles in the rays by Greg Lecoeur

Commended, Portrait – Green Turtles in the rays by Greg Lecoeur

Highly Commended, British Waters Wide Angle - Amphibious helicopter by Steve Jones

Highly Commended, British Waters Wide Angle – Amphibious helicopter by Steve Jones

Third Place, Behavior - Cleaner by Liang Fu

Third Place, Behavior – Cleaner by Liang Fu

Runner-up, British Waters Wide Angle - Competition by Richard Shucksmith

Runner-up, British Waters Wide Angle – Competition by Richard Shucksmith

Winner, Wrecks - The wreck of the Louilla at sunset by Csaba Tökölyi

Winner, Wrecks – The wreck of the Louilla at sunset by Csaba Tökölyi

Highly Commended, Portrait - Imp of darkness by Damien Mauric

Highly Commended, Portrait – Imp of darkness by Damien Mauric

British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 - Out of the Blue by Nick Blake

British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 – Out of the Blue by Nick Blake

Commended, Behavior - The Game by Edwar Herreño

Commended, Behavior – The Game by Edwar Herreño

Highly Commended, Macro - Paddle Flap Rhinopias by John Parker

Highly Commended, Macro – Paddle Flap Rhinopias by John Parker

Commended, Behavior - Toads mating by Luc Rooman

Commended, Behavior – Toads mating by Luc Rooman

Commended, Wide Angle - Silversides at Twilight by Tony Myshlyaev

Commended, Wide Angle – Silversides at Twilight by Tony Myshlyaev

Winner, Wide Angle - One in a Million by Ron Watkins

Winner, Wide Angle – One in a Million by Ron Watkins

Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2017 - Orca Pod by Nicholai Georgiou

Most Promising British Underwater Photographer 2017 – Orca Pod by Nicholai Georgiou

Highly Commended, Macro - Backlight Shrimp by Fábio Freitas

Highly Commended, Macro – Backlight Shrimp by Fábio Freitas

Commended, Wrecks - Three Warriors by Nadya Kulagina

Commended, Wrecks – Three Warriors by Nadya Kulagina

Highly Commended, Up & Coming - Medusa Blenny on the Lookout by Jade Hoksbergen

Highly Commended, Up & Coming – Medusa Blenny on the Lookout by Jade Hoksbergen

Highly Commended, Behaviour - Dolphins hunting by Greg Lecoeur

Highly Commended, Behaviour – Dolphins hunting by Greg Lecoeur

Highly Commended, Wide Angle - Prince of the waters by Yannick Gouguenheim

Highly Commended, Wide Angle – Prince of the waters by Yannick Gouguenheim

Winner, Behavior - Your home and my home by Qing Lin

Winner, Behavior – Your home and my home by Qing Lin

Commended, British Waters Wide Angle - Can I help you by Ellen Cuylaerts

Commended, British Waters Wide Angle – Can I help you? by Ellen Cuylaerts

More info: website