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Ocean Photography Awards
Ocean photographer of the year
I Photo by Nadia Aly

7 Awards, 7 Judges Unlimited Stories

BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Oceanographic

The Ocean Photography Awards™ are a celebration of our beautiful blue planet, as well as a platform to highlight the many plights it is facing.

A total of six categories have been judged, with the overall winner crowned the Ocean Photographer of the Year™ on November 19th this year.

The Prizes:

Find out more about the prizes being awarded at this year’s awards:

The Prizes

In partnership with:

SeaLegacy

For more information about SeaLegacy and the conservation work they do, visit www.sealegacy.org.

Supported by:

Princess

For more information on Princess Yachts and the conservation work they support, visit mcs.princessyachts.com.

Other Partners:

Find out more about the other partners at this year’s awards:

Partners

In partnership with:

SeaLegacy

Supported by:

Princess

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

Oceanographic

The Prizes

More info on prizes

Other Partners

More info on partners

THE
JUDGES

ANDY MANN
CRISTINA MITTERMEIER
JOHN WELLER
LUCIANO CANDISANI
PAUL HILTON
PAUL NICKLEN
SHAWN HEINRICHS
THE OCEAN Photographer of the Year

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MAGNUS
LUNDBORG

3RD PLACE

Third

A rare white southern right whale photographed off Puerto Pirámides, Argentina. Photographer Magnus Lundborg journeyed to the southern Atlantic to photograph this species specifically. “For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamt about seeing right whales in the North Sea, near my home in Sweden. Unfortunately decades of overfishing and whaling has completely wiped them out.”

42°34’18.454”S64°17’20.059”W
Puerto Pirámides
Argentina
  • EARLY
    AFTERNOON
  • STRONG
    CURRENTS
  • FREE
    DIVING

SACHA
SPECKER

2ND PLACE

Second

Between two realms. A surfer seemingly waves to the world below as he surfs a wave at Log Cabins, Oahu, Hawaii. Taken during a four-day assignment documenting the daily life of World Champion surfer, John John Florence, photographer Sacha Specker says, “I have spent the better part of my adult life chasing an image like this”.

21°40’18.8”N158°02’31.2”W
North Shore of Oahu
Hawaii

NADIA
ALY

1ST PLACE

First

An aggregation of mobula rays in clear waters off Baja California Sur, Mexico. “Mobula rays are incredibly sensitive to movement and sound,” says photographer Nadia Aly, “so I took this photo while freediving. We found this aggregation at a discreet location in mid-morning and stayed with it for four hours. The sun was shining and the ocean was gifting!”

24°35’00.0”N112°00’00.0”W
Magdalena Bay
Baja California
  • SUNNY
    CONDITIONS
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER
  • FREE
    DIVING
Info First

NADIA
ALY

Info Second

SACHA
SPECKER

Info Third

MAGNUS
LUNDBORG

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THE OCEAN
Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the single most compelling and/or beautiful image submitted
throughout the competition: the ocean photograph of the year.

Conservation Photographer of the Year

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to protect and restore the oceans.

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Henley
Spiers

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Anemone fish seemingly gaze up at the horrors of a ghost fishing net that has covered their entire reef. “In this image, you see the inhabitants of the reef looking at this human destruction which would quite quickly stifle and destroy their entre existence,” says photographer Henley Spiers. A fleet of dive operators removed the net shortly after this image was taken.

11°20’13.5”N124°06’57.0”E
Malapascua Island
Cebu, Philippines
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • SCUBA DIVE
    FOOTAGE
  • SUNNY
    CONDITIONS

Matthew
Potenski

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A mangrove sapling stands tall as its ecosystem is pulled down around it. It was buried the next day. “The irony of this shot,” says photographer Matt Potenski, “is that I was taking a journalist to this area to see some pristine mangroves and how juvenile lemon sharks use the area as a refuge.”

25°41’56”N79°17’28”W
South Bimini island
the Bahamas
  • SUNNY
    CONDITIONS
  • LATE
    AFTERNOON
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER

Florian
Ledoux

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A polar bear surveys the icy waters north of Svalbard. “In previous work I have shown, from above, how a polar bear can use sea ice to live,” says photographer Florian Ledoux. “This image shows how a polar bear can use an iceberg to hunt. There were several seals in the area, and the bear was actively looking at the water, waiting to make its move.”

79°14’7.5263”NN 23°15’36.4577”E
north-eastern Svalbard
NORWAY

Henley
Spiers

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A ghost net completely covers Kimud Shoal, Cebu, Philippines. “We visited this area in the hope of seeing hammerhead sharks,” says photographer Henley Spiers. “That hope was quickly dashed as we came across a scene that was simply horrific. We swam for 60 minutes without coming to the end of the ghost net.” Dive operators from Malapascua removed the net shortly after this photograph was taken.

11°20’13.5”N124°06’57.0”E
Malapascua Island
Cebu, Philippines

SHANE
GROSS

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Fisherman haul in a purse seine net full of tuna in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. “We were between recreational dives and saw the fisherman hauling in the day’s catch,” says photographer Shane Gross. “I asked permission from our boat captain to get in the water. He asked the fisherman and we got the ok.” Gross eventually had to exit the water as the visibility disappeared due to the volume of blood and fish oil in the water.

1°27’17.8”N124°44’15.7”E
North Sulawesi
Indonesia

RON
WATKINS

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Survivor. A blue shark clearly displays two hooks protruding from its mouth, two lucky escapes. Photographed off the coast of Rhode Island, photographer Ron Watkins says, “I’d dived with blue sharks off the coast of Southern California in similar conditions, but none ever had hooks like this shark”.

41°09’42.1”N71°35'03.5"W
Rhode Island
USA

MARTIN
BERG

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A starving polar bear looks out to sea, waiting for the ice to return. “I was scouting the shoreline when I saw the polar bear on a distant cliff,” says photographer Martin Berg. “The summer had been unusually warm, and the pack ice was further north. Many polar bears, including this one, were stranded ashore.”

80°27’11.2”N25°26’91.5”E
Nordaustlandet on north-eastern Svalbard
NORWAY

Florian
Ledoux

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Walruses huddle on a small patch of land, northeast of Svalbard. With the continued loss of stable sea ice due to climate change, walrus populations are at risk. The species feeds in shallow water, where sea ice plays a critical role in sustaining a healthy food web. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

80°8’12.0723”N28°1’30.0876”E
north-eastern Svalbard
NORWAY
  • DRONE
    FOOTAGE
  • MID
    MORNING
  • SHOT ON
    EXPEDITION

Jeroen
Hoekendijk

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A beached sperm whale on the ‘Razende Bol’ sandbank, southwest of Texel Island, Netherlands, a common beaching spot for numerous whale species in the area. “I try to visit and photograph every stranded whale in the Netherlands,” says photographer Jeroen Hoekendijk. “This location is very inaccessible. I had only visited it once before, when a humpback whale got stranded on the same sandbank only six days before.”

52°58’59.9”N4°39’56.9”E
‘Razende Bol’
Netherlands

Melissa
Romao

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A shark is tangled in the reeled gillnet of an illegal fishing boat caught operating within Liberia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Photographer Melissa Romao boarded the boat as part of a Sea Shepherd team working with the Liberian government and coastguard. She was tasked with capturing photographic evidence of the ship’s illegal activity.

4°52’00.0”°N9°33’00.0”°W
Liberia
West Africa

JOE
DANIELS

3RD PLACE

Third

A diver’s regulator holder cuts into the flesh of an oceanic whitetip, damaging its gills. Photographed in the Red Sea, Egypt, the image is a “visual representation of what we are doing to the ocean”, says photographer Joe Daniels. This shark was caught several weeks after this image was taken and the plastic was removed.

26°18′25″N34°51′20″E
Brother Island
Southern Red Sea
  • SUNNY
    BUT WINDY
  • SCUBA DIVE
    FOOTAGE
  • STRONG
    CURRENTS

ANDREA
BENVENUTI

2ND PLACE

Second

A plastic bottle lies amongst the nests of the world’s largest colony of imperial cormorants, 100km south of Puerto Madryn, Argentina. “I was in this part of the world for research reasons,” says photographer Andrea Benvenuti. “I dreamt about this shot for days, but only had a few minutes to take it. The image was taken during a drone flight to create 3D models of the colony, to study its morphology.”

42°45’49.0”S65°02’05.3”W
Puerto Madryn
argentina
  • Chubut
    province
  • DRONE
    FOOTAGE
  • WINDY
    CONDITIONS

MATT
SHARP

1ST PLACE

First

A hermit crab crawls atop a pile of plastic in a shell made from manmade waste. Photographed on the small island of Thanburudhoo in the Maldives, photographer Matt Sharp hopes his image communicates the direct impact plastic pollution is having on the natural world: “We were so shocked at the plastic waste littering the island. And then I saw this hermit crab crawling through the knee-deep plastic. It demonstrates the scale of the problem.”

4°18’55.8”N73°35’03.4”E
Thanburudhoo
Maldives
  • MOSQUITO
    HEAVEN
  • EARLY
    AFTERNOON
  • OVERCAST
    CONDITIONS
Info First

MATT
SHARP

Info Second

ANDREA
BENVENUTI

Info Third

JOE
DANIELS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Melissa
Romao

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Jeroen
Hoekendijk

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Florian
Ledoux

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

MARTIN
BERG

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

RON
WATKINS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

SHANE
GROSS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Henley
Spiers

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Florian
Ledoux

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Matthew
Potenski

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Henley
Spiers

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to protect and restore the oceans.

CONSERVATION
Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the photographer who most powerfully communicates any
of the many perils facing the ocean today, or stories of hope and recovery.

Adventure Photographer of the Year

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to protect and restore the oceans.

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HANNES
KLOSTERMANN

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Marlin and sea lions work a bait ball. “Each year in autumn, mackerel and sardines migrate south along the coast of the Californian Peninsula in Mexico,” says photographer Hannes Klostermann. “They are followed by an armada of predators, the most magnificent of which is the striped marlin. California sea lions, however, often compete with them for feeding opportunities.”

24°35’00.0”N112°00’00.0”W
Magdalena Bay
Baja California
  • SLIGHT
    SWELL
  • EARLY
    AFTERNOON
  • SNORKEL
    SHOT

RON
WATKINS

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A silky shark in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen marine reserve. “I was trying to capture the crazy action of diving with silky sharks in this area,” says photographer Ron Watkins. “I set my shutter speed to 1/10th of a second and aperture to F/16 and spun the camera as the shark quickly approached to imply motion in the photograph.”

20°49’59.9”N78°55’00.1”E
The Gardens of the QueeN
Cuba

TODD
THIMIOS

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Orcas surf rough water in Norway. “This moment took place above the Arctic Circle,” says photographer Todd Thimios, “A combination of impossible circumstances and years in the Arctic allowed for this very brief moment to come together – in borderline dangerous weather and fading light.”

69°38’24.0”N18°57’00.0”E
Northern Norway
Arctic Circle
  • LARGE
    SWELL
  • FREEZING
    CONDITIONS
  • FREE
    DIVING

OLLE
NORDELL

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Swimmer and environmental activist Lewis Pugh swimming off Antarctica. “We were deep into the Antarctic Peninsula for Lewis’s long distance swim,” says Olle Nordell, expedition photographer for the Lewis Pugh Foundation. “After scouting the bay for a good spot, I positioned myself in a zodiac. My window was small. As Lewis passed me, I framed him with the blue fringe of the glacier.”

64°52’33.2”S63°35’02.0”W
YELCHO BASE
Antarctic Peninsula

Lance
Morgan

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A surfer at the remote Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania. “Gigantic swells have battered the towering cliffs at Shipstern for millennia,” says photographer Lance Morgan. “The fractured rock walls have slowly succumbed to the wind and waves, and piece by piece, created one of the most dangerous waves in the world. This part of the world is raw, rugged and cold, and help is a long way away.”

43°12’33.1”S147°45’06.8”E
Shipstern Bluff
Tasmania
  • LARGE
    SWELL
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • WINDY
    CONDITIONS

HANNES
KLOSTERMANN

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Striped marlins gather in large numbers to feed. “In autumn, striped marlins can often be seen in large numbers in the area around Magdalena Bay, Mexico, where they feed on sardine and mackerel,” says photographer Hannes Klostermann. “I swam with this particular bait ball for more than two hours, with marlins and sea lions hunting right in front of me.”

24°35’00.0”N112°00’00.0”W
Magdalena Bay
Baja California
  • SLIGHT
    SWELL
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • SNORKEL
    SHOT

GRANT
THOMAS

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Paddle boarders float above a reef at sunset. “This image is one of a series of images aimed at demonstrating the innate bond humans have with the ocean, whether we are physically in it or just floating on the surface,” says photographer Grant Thomas. “In creating this picture, timing was everything; I had to shoot exactly at low tide to be close enough to the reef, while simultaneously capturing the sun as it hit the horizon.”

19°43’09.3”S174°16’52.4”W
Vava’u
TONGA
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER
  • EARLY
    EVENING
  • SNORKEL
    SHOT

SCOTT
WILSON

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A pair of small pantropical spotted dolphins ride the pressure wave created by a pygmy blue whale, a subspecies of the largest animal to have ever lived on our planet. “This image gives a powerful perspective of all creatures great and small,” says photographer Scott Wilson, “and illustrates the shared experience and social bonds between them.”

9°01’35.0”N81°07’50.0”E
North East
Sri Lanka

Eric
Wittkopf

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Waves crash on the shore at the aptly named Diamond Beach, Iceland, creating an image full of texture and vibrant hues. “The challenge,” says photographer Eric Wittkopf, “was running towards the shore break, using a long exposure of one-second, and then getting back to safety before the swell hit me.”

64°02’30.5”N16°10’59.2”W
DIAMOND BEACH
ICELAND
  • FREEZING
    CONDITIONS
  • EARLY
    EVENING
  • WINDY
    CONDITIONS

CRAIG
PARRY

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A remora shifts position on a humpback whale. Photographer Craig Parry was hoping to capture a close-up portrait of the whale’s eye when a suckerfish decided to move, providing him with a rare opportunity for a dynamic little-and-large behavioural shot. He has been visiting Vava’u, Tonga, for six years, spending more than 400 hours in the water in search of the perfect eye contact shot.

18°44’02.8”S174°01’43.9”W
Vava’u
TONGA

DUNCAN
MURRELL

3RD PLACE

Third

Three spinetail devil rays engage in sexual courtship in Honda Bay. The species is typically shy and elusive, making this capture particularly special. “It is an image I could never have dreamed of capturing at such close quarters, because this behaviour has been so rarely observed or photographed,” says photographer Duncan Murrell.

9°46′ 0.00″N118°50′ 0.00″E
Honda Bay, Palawan
the Philippines

SEAN
SCOTT

2ND PLACE

Second

Two sharks surf a wave at Red Bluff, Quobba Station, in remote Western Australia. “The huge bait ball the sharks were feeding on had moved very close to the shoreline,” says photographer Sean Scott, who was on an expedition spanning the full WA coast. “I got the long lens out and took a test shot of the waves, and the very next wave the sharks were in it. I didn’t see this happen again throughout the next two days that I was there.”

24°03’00.0”S113°24’00.0”E
RED BLUFF
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  • LARGE
    SWELL
  • EARLY
    AFTERNOON
  • SHOT ON
    EXPEDITION

Jason
Gulley

1ST PLACE

First

A freediving instructor waits for their student to return from a dive below Cenote Angelita’s microbial cloud – a cloud that separates the light-filled freshwater above and the dark saline water below. “The microbial cloud is so thick that it appears to be a floor,” says photographer Jason Gulley, “and visibility inside it is almost zero. Visibility improves a little as you re-emerge into the pitch black saline water below.”

20°08’14.0”N87°34’40.0”W
Cenote Angelita,
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
  • SCUBA DIVE
    FOOTAGE
  • MIDDAY
    SHOOT
  • CLOUDY
    CONDITIONS
Info First

Jason
Gulley

Info Second

SEAN
SCOTT

Info Third

DUNCAN
MURRELL

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

CRAIG
PARRY

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Eric
Wittkopf

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

SCOTT
WILSON

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

GRANT
THOMAS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

HANNES
KLOSTERMANN

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Lance
Morgan

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

OLLE
NORDELL

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

TODD
THIMIOS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

RON
WATKINS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

HANNES
KLOSTERMANN

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to protect and restore the oceans.

ADVENTURE
Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the photographer who most successfully translates our species’
connection with – and fascination of – life in, on and around the ocean.

Exploration Photographer of the Year

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Stay connected to SeaLegacy’s global movement
to protect and restore the oceans.

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Florian
Ledoux

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A polar bear scans the ocean for prey from the vantage point of an iceberg. “This polar bear was walking along the top of a large iceberg in front of the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard,” says photographer Florian Ledoux. “It was hunting – looking for seals in the water.”

79°14’7.5263”N23°15’36.4577”E
north-eastern Svalbard
NORWAY
  • SHOT ON
    EXPEDITION
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • OVERCAST
    CONDITIONS

SJ
Bennett

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Two technical divers descend into the Blue Abyss, Mexico. This site is accessed by an hour-long underwater scooter ride and a 20-minute swim through a shallow cave system. “You pop through a hole and suddenly the floor drops out to around 70m,” says photographer SJ Bennett. The two divers pictured are at depths of approximately 15m and 30m deep.

​20º17’55.29”N87º24’13.57 W
Sistema Sac Actun,
Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • SUNNY
    CONDITIONS
  • SCUBA DIVE
    FOOTAGE
  • MID
    MORNING

Maxwel
Hohn

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Western toad tadpoles photographed off Vancouver Island, British Columbia. ”I had this particular image, with the back ambient lighting, in mind for several years,” says photographer Maxwell Hohn, who captured the image while on expedition as part of a four year project on the species. “This particular mid-morning proved to be perfect.”

49°39’02.2”N125°26’57.8”W
VANCOUVER ISLAND
BRITISH COLUMBIA

FRED
buyle

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A freediver swims below a breaking wave off Rurutu Island, Autrales, French Polynesia. “We had actually spent nine hours looking for humpback whales and decided to have a quick look at the breaking waves,” says photographer Fred Buyle. “I try to be instinctive in the way I shoot, taking 90% of my images without planning them.”

22°28’48.4”S151°20’18.6”W
RURUTU ISLAND
French Polynesia
  • LARGE
    SWELL
  • STRONG
    CURRENTS
  • FREE
    DIVING

SirachaiArunrugstichai

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Staghorn corals exposed at low tide, the Milky Way visible in the distance. It took photographer Sirachai Arunrugstichai a year to capture the image from the time he first visualised it: “I stumbled upon this pristine intertidal reef while working on a story. I wanted to capture the exposed corals during spring tide with the Milky Way in the same frame. I waited for 10 months for the Milky Way and the corals to fit in the same frame.”

99º32’31.3”E6º49’55.66”N
Koh Bulon Lae Island
THAILAND
  • NEW MOON
    NIGHT
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • LOW
    TIDE

Alfred
Minnaar

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A diver poses beneath the ice of Lake Baikal, the coldest lake in the world. Photographer Alfred Minnaar was in Siberia, Russia to photograph members of a recreational dive club who hadn’t missed a Saturday dive for 20 years. The average temperature of the lake was 1 degrees Celsius, with topside temperatures ranging from -5 degrees Celsius to -20 degrees Celsius.

53°33’31.3”N108°09’54.0”W
Lake Baikal
SIBERIA, RUSSIA

Nadia
Aly

HIGHLY COMMENDED

An aggregation of mobula rays in clear waters off Baja California Sur, Mexico. “Mobula rays are incredibly sensitive to movement and sound,” says photographer Nadia Aly, “so I took this photo while freediving. We found this aggregation at a discreet location in mid-morning and stayed with it for four hours. The sun was shining and the ocean was gifting!”

24°35’00.0”N112°00’00.0”W
Magdalena Bay
Baja California
  • SUNNY
    CONDITIONS
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER
  • FREE
    DIVING

Henley
Spiers

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A settling wunderpuss photographed at night during a blackwater dive in Anilao, Philippines. “Ninety percent of reef life starts out in this pelagic zone,” says photographer Henley Spiers. “During the day it stays relatively deep, and safe, only coming up to the surface at night to feed. I like to think the wunderpuss was chasing the shrimp that you also see in the bottom of the frame.”

18°41′ 0.00″S174°2′ 0.00″W
Anilao
Philippines
  • NIGHT TIME
    DIVE
  • SCUBA DIVE
    FOOTAGE
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER

Jason
Gulley

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A cave diver enters Little River Spring in Mexico during a flood. “During most floods there is a brief period, typically a few days, when the water level in the river and aquifer are nearly equal and the normally roaring flow of water in the cave slows to a trickle,” says photographer Jason Gulley. “As spring flow diminishes, rolling clouds of orange river water begin creeping slowly into the cave before the spring completely reverses flow and floodwaters pour into the aquifer.”

29°17’10.80”N83° 9’34.20”W
LITTLE SPRINGS
FLORIDA

FRED
buyle

HIGHLY COMMENDED

A researcher operates a 360-degree camera and sound recording system as waves and fish move around him, photographed off Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The equipment was being tested for a cetacean communications research programme that hopes to decode the language of sonar and clicks.

21°06’54.4”S55°32’11.0”E
Réunion ISLAND
EAST AFRICA
  • 360°
    Camera
  • STRONG
    CURRENTS
  • FREE
    DIVING

Florian
Ledoux

3RD PLACE

Third

Crabeater seals rest on slabs of sea ice in Antarctic waters at dawn. “The night before this image was taken we were making slow progress through the sea ice and decided to stop,” says photographer Florian Ledoux. “We saw the seals feeding in an open area at the edge of the broken ice. I knew I would have the opportunity to get an image of the seals resting after they had eaten.”

64°50’10.608”S63°29’35.304”W
YELCHO BASE
antarctic peninsula
  • DRONE
    FOOTAGE
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER

Karim
Iliya

2ND PLACE

Second

A freediver explores a cave in Tonga. Despite having visited this site more than 100 times, photographer Karim Iliya had never see the light quite like it was on this particular day: “It looked like he [the subject] was looking into another world. It made me think about exploration on this planet, and how you can even go somewhere you’ve already been and see it in a new way.”

18°44’02.8”S174°01’43.9”W
Vava’u
Tonga
  • LARGE
    SWELL
  • LATE
    AFTERNOON
  • FREE
    DIVING

BEN
Cranke

1ST PLACE

First

Penguins march through heavy snowfall and strong winds in St Andrew’s Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica. Photographer Ben Cranke spent a total of 50 hours across five days at this location, accessed via a zodiac from a small yacht. He captured this image on the final day of his expedition.

54.4393°S36.1099°W
St Andrew’s Bay,
South Georgia Island
  • LARGE
    SWELL
  • EARLY
    AFTERNOON
  • HEAVY
    SNOW
Info First

BEN
Cranke

Info Second

Karim
Iliya

Info Third

Florian
Ledoux

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

FRED
buyle

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Jason
Gulley

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Henley
Spiers

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Nadia
Aly

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Alfred
Minnaar

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

SirachaiArunrugstichai

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

FRED
buyle

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Maxwel
Hohn

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

SJ
Bennett

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Florian
Ledoux

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Stay connected to SeaLegacy’s global movement
to protect and restore the oceans.

EXPLORATION
Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the photographer who most dramatically brings the rawness
of ocean exploration to life.

Young Photographer of the Year

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Kyla
McLay

3RD PLACE

Third

A common dolphin, between two realms. “As I hung over the bow of my family’s boat, camera in hand, I picked a young common dolphin to follow through my lens when suddenly it breaks the surface of the glassy water,” says 17-year-old photographer Kyla McLay. “The dolphin’s beak is barely piercing through the water’s surface, and a wave of froth sits on its back.”

33°23’16.4”N118°24’58.7”W
Santa Catalina Island
CALIFORNIA
  • GLASSY
    CALM WATER
  • SUNNY
    CONDITIONS
  • EARLY
    AFTERNOON

BEN
CAMMARATA

2ND PLACE

Second

A juvenile black skimmer hunts for prey at the water’s surface. “I had waited many hours on a dock for a black skimmer to get close enough for a decent photo,” says photographer Ben Cammarata. “When this bird came into view, I snapped a few photos at a slow shutter speed in order to show their speed and elegance while hunting.”

41°23’47.7”N70°30’41.3”W
Brayley’s Way
Martha’s Vineyard

CRUZ
ERDMANN

1ST PLACE

First

The silky tentacles of a brightly coloured Magnificent Anemone sway in surging water, exposing a Maldivian anemone fish, an endemic species only found in the atolls of the Maldives. “This photo was taken in time with the surge of waves breaking overhead,” says photographer Cruz Erdmann, “just as the tentacles of the anemone revealed the full body of the anemone fish.”

2°08’00.0”N1°47’00.0”E
Laamu Atoll
South Maldives
  • SCUBA DIVE
    FOOTAGE
  • SUNNY
    BUT WINDY
  • STRONG
    CURRENTS
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CRUZ
ERDMANN

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BEN
CAMMARATA

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Kyla
McLay

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YOUNG
Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the photographer under the age of 18 who most effectively
combines a sense of youthful curiosity with clear ocean literacy.

Community Choice Award

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Celia
Kujala

SHORTLIST

A Steller sea lion inquisitively peers into photographer Celia Kujala’s dome port off the coast of Hornby Island, British Columbia. “Steller sea lions are listed as near-threatened on the IUCN Red List,” says Kujala. “I hope this image makes people want to protect them and their ocean home.”

49°32’07.4”N124°40’33.2”W
HORNBY ISLAND
BRITISH COLUMBIA

Tanner
Mansell

SHORTLIST

Predator and prey, photographed off the coast of Jupiter, Florida. “The sun was going down and the lighting was epic,” says photographer Tanner Mansell. “Evening thunderclouds were building, but light rays were still poking through here and there. Everything came together. When bull sharks attack, they extend their jaws. It was exciting to try to get that moment on camera. This is one of my all-time favourite moments, and all-time favourite shots.”

26°56’03.1”N80°05’39.1”W
JUPITER
FLORIDA

Jono
Allen

SHORTLIST

A humpback whale calf ‘breakdances’ in the warm waters of Tonga. Photographer Jono Allen captured this moment on the final day of a three-week trip searching for an intimate calf encounter. “We hadn’t had any luck during the entire season, and then all of a sudden on the last day we came across this wonderful and joyful calf,” says Allen.

18°41′ 0.00″S174°2′ 0.00″W
Vava’u
Tonga

Jacopo
Brunetti

SHORTLIST

A grey whale mother and calf are photographed in shallow waters on the Pacific coastline of Baja California Sur. “I didn’t want to bother the whales,” says photographer Jacopo Brunetti, who captured this image while out freediving, “so I just did one pass and took a single picture.” A number of other whale species, including humpbacks, migrate through Baja’s waters, often staying close to the shoreline.

24°35’00.0”N112°00’00.0”W
Magdalena Bay
Baja California
  • CALM
    WATERS
  • EARLY
    MORNING
  • FREE
    DIVING

TobiasBaumgaertner

1ST PLACE

First

Two widowed penguins seemingly comfort one another as they gaze upon Melbourne’s lights. “I originally intended to capture an image that shows the pressures that human developments can have of wild animal populations,” says photographer Tobias Baumgaertner. “This image is so much more. It communicates togetherness and love.”

37°51’50.40″S144°58’55.20″E
St Kilda, Melbourne
Australia
  • MIDNIGHT
    SHOOT
  • COASTAL
    WALK
  • +28 HOURS
    SPENT
Info First

TobiasBaumgaertner

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SHORTLIST

Jacopo
Brunetti

Info

SHORTLIST

Jono
Allen

Info

SHORTLIST

Tanner
Mansell

Info

SHORTLIST

Celia
Kujala

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COMMUNITY CHOICE
Award

The public vote!

The most popular image, as chosen by you.

Collective Portfolio Award

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Grant
Thomas

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Grant Thomas is an award-winning underwater photographer, writer, and expedition guide with a fascination for the natural world. Originally from the United Kingdom, he moved to Asia to work as a scuba-diving instructor. His work has taken him around the world, from the warm tropical waters of Indonesia to the glacier-covered landscape of the Arctic.

FROM: SCOTLAND
BASED: ALWAYS ON THE MOVE
  • WORKS
    IN ASIA
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
    + Ikelite housing
  • PHOTOGRAPHY FOCUS
    CONSERVATION

Florian
Ledoux

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Florian is an award-winning wildlife photographer who works in the polar regions. He started his photographic career in the French Navy as a photo reporter. His passion for nature and later the High Arctic led him to pursue personal projects and his dreams of using his love for nature to document the polar regions. By using drones, Florian aspires to bring a new perspective to life in these remote places.

FROM: FRANCE
BASED: NORWAY
  • WORKS IN the
    POLAR REGIONS
  • DJI Phantom
    4 Pro
  • PHOTOGRAPHY FOCUS
    CONSERVATION

SHANE
GROSS

3RD PLACE

Third

Shane Gross is a Canadian marine conservation photojournalist and Emerging League member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He is currently based in The Bahamas working to conserve queen conch, Nassau grouper, seagrass and mangrove habitats, among others. Shane’s work has been recognised by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Underwater Photographer of the Year, Nature Photographer of the Year and many others. He is widely published around the world and his first book, Bahamas Underwater, is out soon.

FROM: Canada
BASED: The Bahamas
  • WORKS IN
    the Caribbean
  • Nikon D500
    + Aquatica housing
  • PHOTOGRAPHY FOCUS
    CONSERVATION

Henley
Spiers

2ND PLACE

Second

Henley Spiers is an award-winning photographer who has featured regularly in the international press, including The Sunday Times and Der Spiegel, as well as multiple magazine covers. In 2019, he co-authored Black is the New Blue Vol. II, showcasing blackwater diving. His latest book, the Guide to Cebu, was co-written with his wife and frequent collaborator, Jade. Sought after as a teacher and guide, Henley also leads photographic trips to see incredible underwater wildlife encounters around the globe.

FROM: United Kingdom/France
BASED: United Kingdom
  • WORKS
    IN ASIA
  • Nikon D850
    + Nauticam housing
  • PHOTOGRAPHY FOCUS
    ALL-ROUNDER

Nadia
Aly

1ST PLACE

First

Nadia Aly is an award-winning wildlife photographer, with a focus on underwater marine life. Her primary goal is to educate people about the diverse populations of sea creatures that exist in the ocean. She hopes her photography can raise awareness and interest in supporting efforts to conserve the ocean and its inhabitants.

FROM: CANADA
BASED: United States
  • WORKS
    WORLDWIDE
  • Canon 1DX Mark II
    + Nauticam housing
  • PHOTOGRAPHY FOCUS
    CONSERVATION
Info First

Nadia
Aly

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Henley
Spiers

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SHANE
GROSS

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Florian
Ledoux

Info

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Grant
Thomas

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COLLECTIVE PORTFOLIO
Award

Awarded to the photographer who, through a striking body of work,
connects with the judging panel and their shared mission at SeaLegacy.

A year-long residency of the Collective awaits the winner.

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Oceanographic

VOLUME I, 2020

“A stunning collection of ocean photography.”
Shawn Heinrichs

SHOP NOW @oceanographic_mag