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Stunning Underwater Photos Show Calm & Chaos Below Breaking Waves

"Below the Breaking Wave" reveals stunning underwater scenes photographed just as enormous waves crash overhead.

An intrepid photographer has captured the mix of calm and chaos that draw so many to the ocean in a stunning new series called "Below the Breaking Wave."

Matt Porteous — a photographer from the U.K. who goes by the name Studio_M on Instagram — has been around the world snapping shots of everything from a beachside soccer match to lovebirds at their wedding to snowy nighttime snowboarding runs.

But some of his most stunning work comes from his recent series, which he shot beneath powerful waves in the Indian Ocean surrounding the Maldives.

The otherworldly images were taken from underwater, just as enormous waves crashed above the surface.

The crush of the waves often appear like gorgeous stormy skies, but Porteous also captures the calm below those rough waters, showing the joy of a surfer or the chill attitude of a sea turtle as it swims beneath the water off the Huvadhu Atoll area of the Maldives.

In some photos, humans contend with the waves, whether they're trying to swim in the gorgeous blue water or ride the surf.

In other shots, schools of fish go about living their lives underneath incredible color and lighting that Porteous captures perfectly.

In a blog post detailing the series, Porteous wrote that he had always been fascinated with "our world below the breaking waves."

He noted that a single underwater image that captures both the power and the peace of the ocean waves can be a great symbol for the world that we know today ...

... One that can appear both beautiful and crushing in a single moment, and one that needs our increased compassion and protection.

You can check out more of the breathtaking images from "Below the Breaking Wave" on Porteous' website.

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