Anuar Patjane Floriuk's extraordinary black and white underwater photographs have been winning awards and stunning people around the globe for several years now. His painterly monochrome compositions present an undersea universe from a perspective that evokes a thrilling sense of wonder.

Back in 2015, Floriuk won the one of the world's largest photographic competitions, the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Award, with an astounding photograph entitled Whale Whispers. The image, captured off the coast of Roca Partida Island in Mexico featured a humpback whale and her newborn calf. The very same image went on to win a prize in the 2016 World Press Photo competition and catapulted Floriuk into the position of one of the most impressive underwater photographers in the world.

The photograph ultimately took a spot in the artist's ongoing series called Underwater Realm. The goal of the project is to bring into focus issues surrounding the conservation and protection of our oceans. In a frank mission statement Floriuk writes of the project,

"With the underwater series, I try to drive our attention towards the beauty of our oceans and a truth usually unnoticed: We are brutally overfishing in our oceans, and our attention should be concentrated on the way we fish as well as what we eat from the ocean. We see and care when a forest is gone because it is visible to everybody, but we don't see when we destroy life underwater, we don't see how nets from the tuna, the shrimp industry and the whaling vessels cause damage and death to the sea. We are not familiar with this environment because we don´t see what we destroy, and this needs to change very quickly so we can reverse this course. By sharing the beauty of our oceans we might start to care more and build or strengthen the connection between us and the sea."

Although Floriuk does occasionally shoot in color, much of his underwater work is presented in stark monochrome. The incorporation of black and white photography into an unfamiliar underwater environment results in gorgeously uncanny images, with divers floating in empty spaces often surrounded by massive beastly animals.

Floriuk argues that color is often a distraction in photography, to both him as an artist and an audience member. Speaking to My Modern Met in 2015 he explains, "When I photograph and my state of mind is on 'photo mode,' I mostly see forms, lines, composition, and light, but color escapes from me most of the time. I like the purity of black and white; I find that in most cases, color won't add to the image, but will only distract the viewer. In my opinion, color should be used only when it adds to a composition."

All Floriuk's work is available in a range of custom prints with a percentage of sales from his Underwater Realm project going to conservation groups dedicated to protecting our oceans.

Take a look through our gallery for a trip into the spectacular undersea world of Anuar Patjane Floriuk.

View gallery - 26 images