The winners of the 2019 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition have been announced.

Organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, the eighth-annual competition attracted an extremely high caliber of photos from oceans around the world, showcasing the best underwater photographs of the year.

The Best of Show is a photo (see above) of a crab-eater seal maneuvering quickly through freezing waters under Antarctic ice by Greg Lecoeur. The winner of the Rising Star Photographer Award, and a close runner-up for best of show, was Julie Casey with a photo of six juvenile seahorses.

Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest Winners Announced (Image credit: Julie Casey)
Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest Winners Announced (Image credit: Julie Casey)

Two new categories, conservation and blackwater diving, had incredible photos and were two of the highlights of the competition.

The judges — Tony Wu, Martin Edge, and Marty Snyderman, accompanied by Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler — evaluated thousands of entries from 78 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.

Over US$85,000 (~76,390 Euros) in prizes will be awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world.

The most lucrative prizes included a luxury liveaboard trip on the Socorro Vortex, Indonesia liveaboard trips (and 50% off for a companion) on the S.M.Y. Ondina and M.Y. Oceanic, a seven-night Palau liveaboard trip on the Solitude One, a seven- or eight-night Indonesia liveaboard trip on the Coralia, a seven-night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises, a seven-night dive package at Villa Markisa Resort in Bali, Indonesia, a nine-night Passport to Paradise dive package at three Indonesian destinations with [email protected] and Murex Dive Resorts, multiple Paralenz Dive Cameras and accessories, and gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel.

Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler said:

“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. Especially the Conservation category — the winning images produce powerful emotion, and will influence a new generation of ocean conservation.”

Here’s the list of first-place winners:

  • Best of Show: “Crab-Eater Seal” by Greg Lecoeur
  • Wide Angle: Nicholas More
  • Macro: Stefano Cerbai
  • Marine Life Behavior: Paula Vianna
  • Portrait: Virginia Salzedo
  • Coldwater: Greg Lecoeur
  • Nudibranch: Jenny Stock
  • Supermacro: Paolo Isgro
  • Reefscapes: Eduardo Acevedo Fernandez
  • Blackwater: Fabien Michenet
  • Conservation: Shane Gross
  • Underwater Art: Francisco Sedano
  • Novice Wide Angle: George Kuo-Wei Kao
  • Novice Macro: Julie Casey
  • Compact Wide Angle: Talia Greis
  • Compact Macro: Stan Chen
  • Compact Behavior: Ferenc Lorincz

Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide website at uwphotographyguide.com.

(Top Image credit: Greg Lecoeur)

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