Culver City, CA – January 13, 2021 – The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the best underwater photos this year with its 2020 winners. Despite global travel restrictions and the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 9th annual competition attracted an extremely high caliber of photos from oceans around the world.
Underwater explorers took photos in their own backyards or select destinations open to travel and revisited their archives to bring us some eye-catching photography. This unique assortment of photos could not have been possible without the help of our generous sponsors who have all had to navigate a changing travel and dive industry.
Many of these same sponsors helped the Ocean Art competition raise money earlier this year to donate to the WHO and CDC in their fight against Covid-19. These photos showcase the perseverance of underwater artistry amidst the adversity of the times.
Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide at http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/2020-ocean-art-contest-winners
The Best of Show is a once-in-a-lifetime moment of an octopus taking a selfie with the help of the photographer and his curious family in the background. The photo was captured by photographer Gaetano Dario Gargiulo close to his home in the tide pools of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, New South Wales, Australia.
Other extraordinary winners include astonishing scenes of animal behavior, images that bring hope for the next generation of sea creatures, displays of ingenious photographic technique, and conservation scenes that reflect on not just the need to conserve our planet, but our species as well. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 80 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.
Ocean Art 2020 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland, and Marty Snyderman.
Over $45,000 in prizes have been awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world.
Ocean Art prizes are provided by some of the world’s top scuba diving resorts, liveaboard dive yachts, and underwater photo gear manufacturers. Grand prizes include a choice of 7 or 8 nights for two aboard the Coralia Liveaboard in Raja Ampat or Komodo, a 7 night liveaboard trip on the M.V. Bilikili in the Solomon Islands, a 7-night dive package with Villa Markisa, a 7 night dive package at Siladen Resort & Spa in Bunaken, a 12 night Passport to Paradise with Murex Dive Resorts and Lembeh Resort to three different Indonesian destinations, a 5-night dive vacation with AquaMarine Diving Bali & Ramayana Candidasa, a 7-night dive vacation at Atlantis Philippines Dive Resorts, and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel.
Premium travel prizes are provided by Volivoli Beach Resort (Fiji), Crystal Blue Dive Resort (Philippines), and Solitude Liveaboards & Resorts (Philippines and Indonesia). Premium gear prizes are provided by Sea & Sea and Ikelite. 12 different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography.
The photographic ingenuity from competitors is getting better every year - making judging very difficult and demonstrating that the winning images are some of the best in the world. Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, “The Ocean Art team was thrilled to see that so many photographers were able to get out, dive, and immerse themselves in photography this year. The Best of Show was especially impressive. My only concern is that the octopus should get its share of the prize, as it did assist in taking the shot!”