The stunning winners of this year's Ocean Art underwater photo contest
The annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, now in its eighth year, is a chance to get up close and personal with our marine cousins so many times removed. Here are all this year's winners and runners up in a spectacular photo gallery.
Thousands of entries from photographers in 78 countries have been evaluated across 17 categories by a panel of expert underwater snappers to determine this year's Ocean Art winners and distribute some US$85,000 worth of prizes. The contest is run by the Underwater Photography Guide, a website dedicated to the art, science, techniques and gear involved in shooting below the surface.
This year's overall winner: our hero image at the top of the page. Greg Lecoeur's joyful capture of a crab-eater seal is dynamic, fun, beautiful and just a tad cute. Other notable shots that caught our eye include Fabien Michenet's extraordinary frame of a larval tripod fish, which took out first in the brand new Blackwater category, giving us a transparent view of this little fella's developing skeleton and organs.
The other new category for this year's contest was Conservation, which drew in a collection of frankly tragic images highlighting some of humanity's terrible contributions to underwater life.
“I continue to be amazed by the wonderful images that today's underwater photographers are producing," says Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Geitler. "The two new categories, Conservation and Blackwater, were true standout categories. Especially the Conservation category – the winning images produce powerful emotion, and will influence a new generation of ocean conservation."
Jump into the gallery to see all the winners and runners-up from each category. Beautiful stuff.
Source: Ocean Art Awards