An eye-catching photo of a pink river dolphin breaching the surface of the Amazon river sees Kat Zhou from the United States named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023. Zhou’s photo ‘Boto Encantado’ perfectly frames this endangered species, whose numbers are falling year on year, by photographing it simultaneously above and below the surface at sunset.
“There’s a legend among locals that river dolphins, or ‘botos’, can transform into handsome men known as ‘boto encantado’ to seduce women,” says Kat. “Though I did not witness the transformation, I was enchanted by these beautiful mammals in a different way.” Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition based in the UK that celebrates photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes, rivers, and even swimming pools. Here are the rest of the winning images.