Congratulations to all winners of the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition 2019, organised by the Underwater Photography Guide. Over $85,000 in prizes have been awarded to 85 professional and amateur photographers in categories from Coldwater to Blackwater.
This thrilling photo of a crab-eater seal dodging through freezing waters under Antarctic ice won Greg Lecoeur the Best in Show award.
The winner of the Rising Star Photographer Award, the 1st Place Novice Macro and a close runner-up for best of show, was Jules Casey with an superb shot of six seahorses.
Jules commented “I picked up a second hand TG4 early in 2019 & I’ve spent almost every day in the water with it since. Capturing 6 baby seahorses all facing in the same direction while sharing a piece of weed is an extremely challenging shot. These babies will often pull in different directions & face away from the camera. So I’m absolutely delighted to be able to share such a split second in time before this scene changed dramatically. ” He used an Olympus TG-4 Camera, Sea & Sea YS-03 Strobe with settings 1/250, F6.3, ISO 200.
Other extraordinary winning photos include dramatic animal behaviour, stunning marine life portraits, heart wrenching and uplifting conservation scenes, weird and wonderful blackwater creatures and many, many photos that showcase the powerful beauty that is found in our oceans.
This amazing photo is of pink whip rays catching a ride on a small-eyed ray on the Yongala shipwreck in Australia. The photographer says “The theory is that by doing this they seek protection from predators, save energy and also get leftovers from the big ray. This rare behaviour…has been registered on the same dive site for around a decade, with different individual small-eyed rays. Could this be passing on through generations?”
The judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Martin Edge, and Marty Snyderman, accompanied by Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 78 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.
Over $85,000 in prizes have beem awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world. The most lucrative included a luxury liveaboard trip on the Socorro Vortex, Indonesia liveaboard trips (and 50% off a companion) on the S.M.Y. Ondina and M.Y. Oceanic, a 7 nights Palau liveaboard trip on the Solitude One, a 7 or 8 nights Indonesia liveaboard trip on the Coralia and a 7 nights liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises.
The quality of images submitted this year was exceptional – making judging very difficult and demonstrating that the winning images are some of the best in the world. Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, “I continue to be amazed by the wonderful images that today’s underwater photographers are producing. The two new categories, Conservation and Blackwater, were true standout categories.”