The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced its 2018 winners.

The seventh annual competition attracted a very high caliber of photos from waters around the world and showcases the best underwater photographs of the year, with 2018 being the most competitive year to date.

The Best of Show is a photo of three Giant Devil Rays performing a “ballet,” which uses soft, ambient light to accentuate the movements of elegant giants, shot by Duncan Murrell.

Other award-winning images include some astonishing fish and marine life shots, rarely seen animal behavior, innovative shooting techniques, stunning portraits, seals, ocean adventure, whales and some dramatic moments between humans and marine life.

The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 70 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.

Ocean Art 2018 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Martin Edge, and Marty Snyderman, accompanied by Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler.

Over US$80,000 (70,391) Euros in prizes were 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 a companion) on the S.M.Y. Ondina and M.Y. Oceanic, a seven-night Palau liveaboard trip with Solitude Liveaboards, a seven-night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip on the Solomon PNG Master, 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, and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo.

Premium gear prizes were provided by Bluewater Photo, SEA&SEA, Ikelite, and ThinkTANK Photo.

Sixteen different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography, including compact, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. There is also a new category called “Underwater Art.”

On the quality of image submissions this year, Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler said:

“This year’s outstanding underwater images in the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition continue to raise the bar for underwater photographers. Myself and the other three judges were honored to be viewing such amazing results of the dedication and drive of the human spirit.”

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

(Photo Credit: Duncan Murrell)

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