Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler said: “While we continue to see challenges and travel restrictions brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 10th annual competition was a testament to the high calibre of craftmanship found in our global community of underwater artists. This year’s Ocean Art competition celebrates a decade in the search for the world’s best photos of marine life behaviour, unique portraits of intriguing underwater critters, and images that instill an urgency for conserving our invaluable subsurface planet. Ocean Art could not have been possible without the help of our generous sponsors who have all had to navigate a changing travel and dive industry.”
This year’s Ocean Art Best of Show is unique among previous best of show winners for featuring freshwater fish – a pair of pike locked in a ferocious battle. The photo was captured by photographer Luc Rooman at the Domein Muisbroek dive site near Antwerp, Belgium.
Other extraordinary Ocean Art winners include stirring black and white scenes in the new Black & White category, images that bring hope and solutions for ocean conservation, exhibitions of imaginative photographic technique, and dramatic animal portraits. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 81 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.
Ocean Art 2021 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland and Marty Snyderman. Over $35,000 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 seven or eight nights aboard the Coralia Liveaboard in Raja Ampat or Komodo, a seven-night dive package in Bali with Villa Markisa, a 14-night dive package in Lembeh with Eco Divers (White Sands Beach Resort), an Indonesian dive cruise and 50% off a companion with M.Y. Oceanic, an Indonesian dive cruise and 50% off a companion with S.M.Y Ondina, and gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Premium travel prizes are provided by El Galleon/Asia Divers (Philippines) and Siladen Resort & Spa (Indonesia). Premium gear prizes are provided by Sea & Sea, SeaLife, Ikelite, and Think Tank. 13 different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography.
After ten years of judging this competition, there has been no shortage of novel photographic techniques and fresh ideas in the winning photographs. Scott Gietler commented: “We were excited to see photographers continue to travel locally and internationally to capture amazing photos. For the incredible best of show, they did not have to travel far. To obtain such a gripping / jaw-biting / jaw-dropping photo, the photographer almost had to have had a personal relationship with these two fish!”
Ocean Art winners
Best of Show
Marine Life Behaviour
Snoeken by Luc Rooman
Black & White
Compact Wide Angle
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