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Incredible shots of life underwater in the Shetlands Islands captured by Swedish photographer

© Johan Sundelin / Ocean ArtCatch by Johan Sundelin
Catch by Johan Sundelin

Two stunning images captured in the waters of Shetland have been chosen as finalists in a prestigious underwater photography competition.

Swedish photographer Johan Sundelin’s shots of a grey seal with a fish between its teeth and a plunging gannet earned third and fourth place in the Coldwater category of  the annual Ocean Art 2019 Underwater Photography Competition.

The seal photo came by chance, as Sundelin had planned to go out with a boat to take pictures of the gannets but the sea was too rough next to the cliff they inhabit.

Sundelin said in his entry: “Improvising, we managed to instead find a couple of large grey seals in an area protected from the waves.

“I decided to use a long shutter speed to not only show the speed of the seal but also to emphasise the face. Then a lot of patience and luck made this picture possible.”

When he did manage to capture a gannet in action, he caught the stunning moment the bird beats its fellow predators to the catch.

“Underwater at only about 6 m depth I suddenly heard the sound of jungle drums,” he said.

“Surprised and confused I first looked up towards the boat to see if they were banging for me to go up but they were not.

“I was then thrilled to realise that the sound was from the gannet.”

Sundelin, a keen photographer since the age of ten and a diver since the age of 15, has travelled all over the world, taking photos in destinations from the Galapagos Islands to the Azores.

View more of the stunning images from the competition here.