The winner of Nikon's annual Surf Photo of the Year has been been awarded to Trent Mitchell for his remarkable image entitled Unbound from a collection he has been working on for over five years. The Australian-based photographic competition celebrates the "best of the best" in surf photography.

The annual competition celebrates both the best single surf-themed photograph and the best surf video or film from the last twelve months. As seen in the broad variety of images from the shortlist the photographs encompass everything from evocative shots of waves to more abstract, even experimental, compositions.

The winning photograph this year comes from a series called Tessellated Seas, a multi-year work in progress from Trent Mitchell examining the uncanny patterns that appear on the ocean surface. Mitchell explains the project saying, "I love observing subtle changes in weather across the canvas of the sea. There's something hypnotic about watching energy in motion and I've always been magnetically drawn to it."

A film called The Big Wave Project took out the Surf Video of the Year award for its feature-length trip through the history of big wave surfing. The exhilarating film, from Australian filmmaker Tim Bonython, took five years to make and followed a core crew of big wave riders as they travelled around the world in search of gigantic swells.

Check out some of the extraordinary images shortlisted by the competition in the gallery.

Source: Nikon

View gallery - 40 images