Winners of the underwater photography competition Ocean Art Contest 2023 (21 photos)

24 February 2024
Category: competitions, nature, 0+

The winners and finalists of the underwater photography competition Ocean Art Contest 2023 have been announced. The competition, which is now in its 12th year, received entries from more than 90 countries. The winners showcased stunning portraits and interesting behavior of marine life, beautiful underwater scenes, clever lighting techniques and inspiring ideas for ocean conservation.

We present to your attention several interesting works from the competition.

1. "Childbirth" by Todd Ackie. Honorable Mention, Marine Life Behavior

A seahorse releases its young off the east coast of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

2. "Octopus Macropus, Polpessa" by Alessandro Raho. 2nd place, "Portrait"

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The animal demonstrated unusual defensive behavior: it did not try to hide, but opened its tentacles to look more threatening. The picture was taken in Noli (Ligurian Sea, Italy).

3. "Aquatic Primate" by Suliman Alatiki. 1st place, "Portrait", and winner in the "Show" category

A crab-eating macaque feeds in the waters off Thailand's Phi Phi Islands.

4. "Keeper of the Cuties" by Yen-Po Huang. 2nd place, "Nudibranchs"

Tulamben, Indonesia. Costasiella kuroshimae is a shellless gastropod called the Sheep Leaf. He has a tiny cute face and beautiful eggs arranged in a perfect circle and he guards them.

5. "Pygmy Poser" by Byron Conroy. 2nd place, "Macro photography"

A pygmy seahorse photographed in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.

6. "Beauty" by Celia Kujala. Honorable Mention, "Portrait"

Norris Rocks, Hornby Island, Canada. "This photo was taken when a beautiful sea lion swam towards me and looked into my eyes with tenderness, melting my heart."

7. "Mother's Day" by Josh Raya. 2nd place, "Behavior of marine life"

A mother and calf manatee swim together in the Crystal River, Florida, USA.

8. "The Shark Constellation" by Enrico Pompei. 4th place, "Black and White"

Raja Ampat, Indonesia. "We found this young whale shark while diving in the southern part of Raja Ampat National Park. It circled around us for hours, eating small fish. I took this photo moments before it disappeared into the blue, the white flecks of its livery outlined the silhouette like a constellation."

9. "Everything Is Alright" by Gabriel Jensen. 4th place, "Portrait"

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Pier, Florida, USA. A lizard head with a gaping mouth and a comically calm surgeon fish.

10. "Snowy Night" by Jialing Cai. 3rd place, "Water Deep"

Anilao, Batangas, Philippines. "I took this photo while diving a few days after the eruption of Taal Volcano in the Philippines in early 2020. This female paper nautilus (Argonaut) was perched on a floating piece of wood in very murky water. When I pressed the shutter button, the surrounding particles were reflected my flashlight in such a way that it created the illusion of falling snow."

11. "Hello" by Keri Frankenstein. Honorable Mention, "Conduct"

Bimini, Bahamas. "As a school of bottlenose dolphins were feeding in the crater, I slowly sank to the bottom and this dolphin swam up to say 'Hello.'

12. "A New Start" by Jules Casey. 3rd place, "Portrait"

Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. "Every year thousands of gigantictheir spider crabs come to Port Phillip Bay for their annual molt. At this time, they are vulnerable to predators, so they gather in large numbers to reduce the risk of being eaten. This freshly molted giant spider crab stands in front of a group of crabs that are yet to molt, and I had the opportunity to take a portrait photo."

13. "Cubs' Rest Time" by Celia Kujala. 2nd place, "Cold Water"

Juvenile California sea lions play fight off Mexico's Coronado Islands. "California sea lions are born in early summer on the Coronado Islands. Play is very important to their development. By late fall they are very confident in the water and can often be seen playing, fighting with each other. I saw these two cubs twirling around together and playfully biting each other. It's all just for fun for now while they learn skills that will help them later in life."

14. "Art" by Stephen Kovacs. Honorable Mention, "Waterdeep"

"I've seen a lot of snail larvae over the years of deep sea diving, but on one particular dive in Manado, Indonesia, this particular mollusk caught my attention. I'd never seen it so colorful and dazzling before. The snail was in constant motion, but sometimes it for a brief moment, symmetrically spread to its full height, demonstrating itself as a work of underwater art."

15. "Bed Buddies" by Suliman Alatiki. 1st place, "Wide Angle Shot"

Roca Partida, Mexico. "Whitetip reef sharks are one of the few species of sharks that rest in place. On Roca Partida, a small island, whitetip sharks can often be seen huddled together. I wanted to photograph them all facing me, and with a lot of patience and a careful approach, I was able to do so ".

16. "After the Wedding" by Peter Pogany, 1st place, "Nudibranchs"

Anilao, Batangas, Philippines. "I've dived Anilao three times in the past two years. We encountered this species on our first tour and were delighted to find them mating."

17. "Sea Lion Playing with a Sardine Ball" by Jorgen Rasmussen. 1st place, "Black and White"

Magdalena, Baja California, Mexico. "Every November, sardines congregate off the west coast of Mexico. This, in turn, attracts a variety of predators. Working with a local fisherman, we were exploring deep water off the continental shelf and spotted a lone sea lion. The sea lion was chasing the sardines, and the ball kept changing shape as the lion was tearing it apart."

18. "Birthday" by Kenji Sato. 1st place, "Behavior of marine life"

Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. "Black cardinals live in shallow coastal waters, and the males incubate the eggs received from the females in their mouths. The eggs hatch in about a week. Until they hatch, the males remain motionless behind a rock and feed the eggs with fresh seawater. The fry hatch and spit out of their mouths a few hours after sunset, and this moment is quite impressive."

19. “Circle of Life”, author Andrea Michelutti. Honorable Mention, "Conduct"

"Anilao, Batangas, Philippines. The bright colors and intricate patterns of marine gastropods are mesmerizing, but they hide a harsh reality. The clam Favorinus tsuruganus feeds on the eggs of another member of its species: a ribbon of purple eggs laid by the clam Hexabranchus sanguineus fell prey to Favorinus tsuruganus, which also laid your white eggs on top."

20. "Attire for the Sea", by Serge Melesan. 3rd place, “Black and White”

"Living just below the sea's surface in a lagoon off the island of Mayotte in the western Indian Ocean, bottlenose dolphins are social animals with a hierarchy. It's a magical encounter when they accept you into their midst."

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