Digital Cameras

Ocean Art contest winners highlight the amazing spectacle of the Big Blue

Ocean Art contest winners high...
Winner of the Wide-Angle category, a mother humpback whale with her playful calf in the background
Winner of the Wide-Angle category, a mother humpback whale with her playful calf in the background
View 39 Images
The overall winning photograph, a rarely observed courtship ritual between three devil rays
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The overall winning photograph, a rarely observed courtship ritual between three devil rays
Winner of the Wide-Angle category, a mother humpback whale with her playful calf in the background
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Winner of the Wide-Angle category, a mother humpback whale with her playful calf in the background
Honorable mention in the Wide Angle category. Pacific Red Sockeye salmon swimming up the Adams River in Canada
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Honorable mention in the Wide Angle category. Pacific Red Sockeye salmon swimming up the Adams River in Canada
Honorable mention in the Wide Angle category. An underwater crevice captured in the Solomon Islands
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Honorable mention in the Wide Angle category. An underwater crevice captured in the Solomon Islands
5th Place in the Wide Angle category. A massive migration of golden rays in the Pacific waters off the coast of Costa Rica
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5th Place in the Wide Angle category. A massive migration of golden rays in the Pacific waters off the coast of Costa Rica
2nd place in the Underwater Art category. A sunrise at Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay in Australia
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2nd place in the Underwater Art category. A sunrise at Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay in Australia
3rd Place in the Underwater Art category. A freediver in Yucatan, Mexico
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3rd Place in the Underwater Art category. A freediver in Yucatan, Mexico
4th Place in the Underwater Art category. 30 to 40 different shots woven together to create a unique and strange narrative photograph entitled Treasure Hunters
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4th Place in the Underwater Art category. 30 to 40 different shots woven together to create a unique and strange narrative photograph entitled Treasure Hunters
Winner in the Underwater Art category. A simple swirl effect added to an image taken in Bali, Indonesia
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Winner in the Underwater Art category. A simple swirl effect added to an image taken in Bali, Indonesia
Honorable mention in the Underwater Art category. A freediver swimming in a Cenote in Merida, Mexico
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Honorable mention in the Underwater Art category. A freediver swimming in a Cenote in Merida, Mexico
2nd Place in the SuperMacro category. A tiny porcelain crab in Anilao, Philippines 
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2nd Place in the SuperMacro category. A tiny porcelain crab in Anilao, Philippines 
4th Place in the SuperMacro category. An incredible close up on a nemofish egg before it hatched. Taken in Souther Leyte, Philippines
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4th Place in the SuperMacro category. An incredible close up on a nemofish egg before it hatched. Taken in Souther Leyte, Philippines
5th Place in the SuperMacro category. An octopus eye
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5th Place in the SuperMacro category. An octopus eye
Honorable mention in the Reefscapes category. A field of recently bleached coral from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
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Honorable mention in the Reefscapes category. A field of recently bleached coral from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
3rd Place in the Reefscapes category. An experiment in lighting up a reef at night 
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3rd Place in the Reefscapes category. An experiment in lighting up a reef at night 
4th Place in the Portrait category. A close look into the eye of a humpback whale calf
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4th Place in the Portrait category. A close look into the eye of a humpback whale calf
Honorable mention in the Portrait category. A clownfish hanging out among the tentacles of sea anemones in Okinawa, Japan
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Honorable mention in the Portrait category. A clownfish hanging out among the tentacles of sea anemones in Okinawa, Japan
Honorable mention in the Portrait category. A fish called the chaenopsid blenny in Kanagawaken, Japan
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Honorable mention in the Portrait category. A fish called the chaenopsid blenny in Kanagawaken, Japan
2nd Place in the Portrait category. A young croc charging toward a pair of divers in Banco Chinchorro, Mexico
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2nd Place in the Portrait category. A young croc charging toward a pair of divers in Banco Chinchorro, Mexico
Winner of the Nudibranchs category. Taken in Anilao, Philippines
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Winner of the Nudibranchs category. Taken in Anilao, Philippines
Honorable mention in the Nudibranch category.  Lembeh, Indonesia
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Honorable mention in the Nudibranch category.  Lembeh, Indonesia
2nd place in the Novice DSLR category. A wild crocodile in Jucaro, Cuba
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2nd place in the Novice DSLR category. A wild crocodile in Jucaro, Cuba
Winner in the Novice DSLR category. A giant manta ray faces off with a diver in Socorro, Mexico
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Winner in the Novice DSLR category. A giant manta ray faces off with a diver in Socorro, Mexico
Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Wide Angle category. Moray eels hide from hunting hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos
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Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Wide Angle category. Moray eels hide from hunting hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos
Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Wide Angle category. The Million Hope shipwreck in the Red Sea
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Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Wide Angle category. The Million Hope shipwreck in the Red Sea
Winner in the Mirrorless Wide Angle category. Swimming with a pod of spotted dolphins in Bimini, Bahamas
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Winner in the Mirrorless Wide Angle category. Swimming with a pod of spotted dolphins in Bimini, Bahamas
Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Macro category. Face to face with an unidentified fish in the Bahamas
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Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Macro category. Face to face with an unidentified fish in the Bahamas
5th Place in the Mirrorless Behavior category. A pod of friendly false killer whales off the coast of Mexico
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5th Place in the Mirrorless Behavior category. A pod of friendly false killer whales off the coast of Mexico
Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Behavior category. A crown jellyfish under attack with a giant Kingfish waiting in the wings
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Honorable mention in the Mirrorless Behavior category. A crown jellyfish under attack with a giant Kingfish waiting in the wings
2nd Place in the Mirrorless Behavior category. Curious sand tiger sharks off the coast of Morehead City, North Carolina, USA
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2nd Place in the Mirrorless Behavior category. Curious sand tiger sharks off the coast of Morehead City, North Carolina, USA
4th Place in the Marine Life Behavior category. A parrotfish runs the gauntlet between grey reef sharks
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4th Place in the Marine Life Behavior category. A parrotfish runs the gauntlet between grey reef sharks
3rd Place in the Marine Life Behavior category. Clownfish eggs being tended to by a father
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3rd Place in the Marine Life Behavior category. Clownfish eggs being tended to by a father
2nd Place in the Marine Life Behavior category. Two male Anthias fighting in Bali, Indonesia
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2nd Place in the Marine Life Behavior category. Two male Anthias fighting in Bali, Indonesia
Winner of the Macro category. A rare glimpse at a sharp-eared enope squid
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Winner of the Macro category. A rare glimpse at a sharp-eared enope squid
2nd place in the Compact Wide Angle category. Yellow and white gorgonians off the coast of Italy
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2nd place in the Compact Wide Angle category. Yellow and white gorgonians off the coast of Italy
3rd Place in the Compact Wide Angle category. A rare glimpse of the Budego
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3rd Place in the Compact Wide Angle category. A rare glimpse of the Budego
2nd Place in the Compact Macro category. A coral goby amidst some colorful coral
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2nd Place in the Compact Macro category. A coral goby amidst some colorful coral
2nd Place in the Compact Behavior category. A soap fish photographed mid-meal
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2nd Place in the Compact Behavior category. A soap fish photographed mid-meal
Winner in the Cold Water category. An upside-down grey seal
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Winner in the Cold Water category. An upside-down grey seal

Now in its 7th year, the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition offers up an extraordinary collection of underwater imagery spanning everything from abstract art photography to amazing images of marine behavior. Let's take a look at the stunning winners.

This year's winning shot, entitled Devil Ray Ballet, captures the graceful mating behavior of spinetail devil rays. The photograph, snapped at Honda Bay in the Philippines, shows two males circling a female, in this rarely observed courtship ritual.

The overall winning photograph, a rarely observed courtship ritual between three devil rays
The overall winning photograph, a rarely observed courtship ritual between three devil rays

The massive photo competition spans 16 categories, including Macro and Supermacro images, alongside Marine Life Behavior, Reefscapes, and Underwater Art. From thousands of entries, a number of winners were selected, sharing over US$80,000 in prizes.

Founder of the competition Scott Gietler, and owner of Underwater Photography Guide, suggested marine behavior photography seemed to be one of the bigger photographic trends that emerged from the deluge of entries.

"In addition to incredible behavior photos, this year saw a lot of humpback whales and crocodiles," says Gietler. "Both must be in abundance around the world!"

2nd Place in the Portrait category. A young croc charging toward a pair of divers in Banco Chinchorro, Mexico
2nd Place in the Portrait category. A young croc charging toward a pair of divers in Banco Chinchorro, Mexico

Francois Baelen's remarkable humpback whale shot, entitled Gentle Giants, won first place in the Wide Angle category. Taken at Reunion Island, Saint-Gilles, this astounding composition was all captured in camera as the mother whale in the foreground rested while her calf plays with a human diver in the background.

Other impressive winning shots include a playful snap of an upside-down grey seal, an astonishingly detailed look at a sharp-eared enope squid, and a frightening image of a parrotfish trying to run the gauntlet of sharks in a feeding frenzy.

Take a look through our gallery to see more spectacular winning shots.

Source: Underwater Photography Guide

2 comments
Nobody
A little too much Photoshop enhancement for me. The line between a good photographer and a good photoshopper seems to get crossed fairly often. I would prefer to see the raw photos and compare them. You would never see colors this vivid underwater even with a diving light.
ljaques
I prefer raw photos, too. Say hello to the Aussie seal @ pic 39.