Ocean Art winners announced – Scuba Diver Mag

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The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the results of the world’s largest underwater photo contest.

Although the AI revolution has quickly changed the global photographic landscape, this year’s winners are a testament to humanity’s creative perseverance over machine. With new rules against the use of generative AI imagery in the primary categories, these photos are 100% real.

This year’s best in show image features a rare and fascinating portrait of a crab-eating macaque resolutely swimming through the ocean, captured by Suliman Alatiqi. The photo is a result of weeks of planning and documentation, and it represents the zeal and commitment needed to capture the world’s best underwater image.

Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide here

This year’s competition separated the old Underwater Art categories into Underwater Digital Art and Underwater Fashion. As with the old Underwater Art category, the team removed editing rules for these to categories and allowed imaginations to fly.

Other extraordinary winners included never before seen behaviours, extra-terrestrial blackwater scenes, images that brought hope and solutions for ocean conservation, ingenious lighting techniques, and stunning animal portraits.

A total of 14 different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from over 90 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners. 

Ocean Art 2023 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland, and Marty Snyderman. 

As we embark on another exciting chapter, Ocean Art 2023 stands as a celebration of ever-evolving photographic artistry alongside technological innovation. The competition was overseen by Nirupam Nigam, Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and a partner in Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Nirupam commented, “As you can see from the judges’ comments, this year’s competition emphasized the decision-making process for selecting the best underwater photos of 2023 – prompting reflection on the nature of a photo, AI, and AI tools. The winners epitomize pure photography.”

Best in Show 

“Aquatic Primate” by Suliman Alatiqi 

Ocean Art
First in Wide-Angle – Suliman Alatiqi

Wide Angle 

1st Place: Suliman Alatiqi 

2nd Place: Ines Goovaerts 

3rd Place: Bryant Turffs 

4th Place: Giancarlo Mazarese 

Honourable Mention: Fabien Michenet 

Honourable Mention: Ipah Uid Lynn 

Ocean Art
First in Macro – Alberto Casati


1st Place: Alberto Casati 

2nd Place: Byron Conroy 

3rd Place: Dennis Corpuz 

4th Place: Lilian Koh 

5th Place: Guillermo Viveros 

Honourable Mention: Greg Sherman 

Honourable Mention: Keith Mash 

Ocean Art
First in Marine Life Behaviour – Kenji Sato

Marine Life Behaviour 

1st Place: Kenji Sato 

2nd Place: Josh Raia 

3rd Place: Kat Zhou 

4th Place: Johan Sundelin 

Honourable Mention: Brandi Romano 

Honourable Mention: Todd Aki 

Ocean Art
First in Portrait – Suliman Alatiqi


1st Place: Suliman Alatiqi 

2nd Place: Alessandro Raho 

3rd Place: Jules Casey 

4th Place: Gabriel Jensen 

Honourable Mention: Celia Kujala 

Honourable Mention: Kat Zhou 

Ocean Art
First in Cold Water – Alessandro Gianniccini


1st Place: Alessandro Giannaccini 

2nd Place: Celia Kujala 

3rd Place: Johan Sundelin 

4th Place: Ferenc Lorincz 

Honourable Mention: Josh Raia 

Honourable Mention: Mayumi Takeuchi-Ebbins 

Ocean Art
First in Nudibranchs – Peter Pogany


1st Place: Peter Pogany 

2nd Place: Yen-po Huang 

3rd Place: Jenny Stock 

Honourable Mention: Cédric Péneau 

Ocean Art
First in Blackwater – Keigo Kawamura


1st Place: Keigo Kawamura 

2nd Place: Peter Pogany 

3rd Place: Jialing Cai 

4th Place: Chris Gug 

Honourable Mention: Kat Zhou 

Honourable Mention: Steven Kovacs 

Ocean Art
First in Underwater Conservation – Victor Huertas

Underwater Conservation 

1st Place: Victor Huertas 

2nd Place: Yinan Liu 

3rd Place: Andrea Michelutti 

Honourable Mention: Dan Mele 

Ocean Art
First in Underwater Digital Art – Justin Lutsky

Underwater Digital Art 

1st Place: Justin Lutsky 

2nd Place: Francisco Sedano Vera 

3rd Place: Conor Culver 

Honourable Mention: Anna Aita 

Ocean Art
First in Black _ White – Joergen Rasmussen

Black & White 

1st Place: Joergen Rasmussen 

2nd Place: Jon Anderson 

3rd Place: Serge Melesan 

4th Place: Enrico Pompei 

Honourable Mention: Serge Melesan 

Ocean Art
First in underwater fashion – Lucie Drlikova

Underwater Fashion 

1st Place: Lucie Drlikova 

2nd Place: Anna Aita 

3rd Place: Julian Nedev 

4th Place: Lucie Drlikova 

Honourable Mention: Vanessa Torres Macho 

Honourable Mention: Lucie Drlikova 

Ocean Art
First in Compact Wide Angle – Bryant Turffs

Compact Wide Angle 

1st Place: Bryat Turffs 

2nd Place: Enrico Somogyi 

3rd Place: Andrea Michelutti 

Ocean Art
First in Compact Macro – Imogen Manins

Compact Macro 

1st Place: Imogen Manins 

2nd Place: Marcus Commodore 

3rd Place: Regie Casia 

Honourable Mention: Miguel Ramirez 

Ocean Art
First in Compact Behaviour – Derek Singer

Compact Behaviour 

1st Place: Derek Singer 

2nd Place: Brandon Hannan 

3rd Place: Andrea Michelutti 

Honourable Mention: Keri Frankenstein 

Honourable Mention: Andrea Michelutti 

The Underwater Photography Guide is the #1 destination for all things underwater photography. Featuring highly-regarded tutorials, technique tips, in-depth gear reviews, amazing international workshops and breaking u/w photo news, UWPG is here to help divers around the world achieve their photo and video goals.

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