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Winners of Ocean Art 2023 Photography Competition Announced


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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Culver City, CA – January 17, 2024 – 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 our 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. Ocean Art could not have been possible without the help of our generous sponsors who were responsible for the largest selection of prizes ever in an underwater photo contest – with over $120,000 in prizes awarded!

This year’s competition separated the old Underwater Art categories into Underwater Digital Art and Underwater Fashion. As with the old Underwater Art category, we removed editing rules for these to categories and allowed imaginations to fly. Other extraordinary winners included never before seen behaviors, extra-terrestrial blackwater scenes, images that brought hope and solutions for ocean conservation, ingenious lighting techniques, and stunning animal portraits. 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.

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 trip for two to Anthony’s Key Resort in Honduras; a liveaboard dive cruise on the M.Y. Oceanic in Komodo, Flores, Alor, or the Banda Sea; a liveaboard dive cruise on the S.M.Y. Ondina in Raja Ampat, North Banda Sea, Triton Bay, Halmahera, or Cenderawasih Bay; a 10 night liveaboard dive trip aboard the Damai I or Damai II in Indonesia; a 7 night dive package for two at Alami Alor Dive Resort in Alor, Indonesia; a 14 night dive package at the new White Sands Beach Resort in Lembeh with Eco Divers; a7 night liveaboard diving package in Palau aboard the Solitude One; a 7 night stay in Papua New Guinea with Walindi Plantation Resort; a 7 day, 16 dive adventure for two in Raja Ampat with Meridian Adventure; a 7 night liveaboard dive trip with Bilikiki Cruises in the Solomon Islands; a 10 day dive trip with Mermaid Liveaboards in Bali & Komodo; a 7 night dive package to Truk Lagoon with Master Liveaboards; an 8 night all-inclusive dive package in Bohol, Philippines with Magic Oceans Dive Resort; a 7 night dive cruise in Indonesia with Coralia Liveaboard; a 4 night dive package at the Solitude Lembeh Dive Resort in Lembeh, Indonesia; two Sea & Sea YS-D3 Duo strobes; an Ikelite DS 230 Strobe with a modeling light; two $250 gift certificates with Ultralight Camera Solutions; 15 bottles of Li Lé Blue Watersports Hair Care for Divers; and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Premium travel prizes are provided by El Galleon/Asia Divers (Philippines), Explorer Ventures Fleet (Turks & Caicos), Andean Travel Company (Galapagos), Villa Markisa (Bali, Indonesia), Kusu Island Resort (Kusu Island, Indonesia), Luxury Yacht Maldives (Maldives), Tawali Leisure & Dive Resort (Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea), Crystal Blue Dive Resort (Anilao, Philippines), Atmosphere Resorts & Spa (Dumaguete, Philippines), Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort (Anilao, Philippines), Presidente Intercontinental Hotel (Cozumel, Mexico), Spice Island Divers (Ambon, Indonesia), Sea Saba (Saba, Caribbean), Avalon Outdoor (Cuba), Eco Pro Divers (Maldives), and Mexico Liveaboards (Baja California, Mexico).

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.”

Complete list of winners: (All Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide.)

Best in Show

“Aquatic Primate” by Suliman Alatiqi


Best in Show Winner: “Aquatic Primate” by Suliman Alatiqi

Wide Angle
1st Place: Suliman Alatiqi
2nd Place: Ines Goovaerts
3rd Place: Bryant Turffs
4th Place: Giancarlo Mazarese
Honorable Mention: Fabien Michenet
Honorable Mention: Ipah Uid Lynn


2nd Place Wide-Angle: Ines Goovaerts, Spinner Stampede

1st Place: Alberto Casati
2nd Place: Byron Conroy
3rd Place: Dennis Corpuz
4th Place: Lilian Koh
5th Place: Guillermo Viveros
Honorable Mention: Greg Sherman
Honorable Mention: Keith Mash


1st Place Macro: Alberto Casati Cavalluccio

Marine Life Behavior
1st Place: Kenji Sato
2nd Place: Josh Raia
3rd Place: Kat Zhou
4th Place: Johan Sundelin
Honorable Mention: Brandi Romano
Honorable Mention: Todd Aki


1st Place Marine Life Behavior – Kenji Sato: The Birthday

1st Place: Suliman Alatiqi
2nd Place: Alessandro Raho
3rd Place: Jules Casey
4th Place: Gabriel Jensen
Honorable Mention: Celia Kujala
Honorable Mention: Kat Zhou


2nd Place Portrait -Alessandro Raho: Octopus Macropus Polpessa


1st Place: Alessandro Giannaccini
2nd Place: Celia Kujala
3rd Place: Johan Sundelin
4th Place: Ferenc Lorincz
Honorable Mention: Josh Raia
Honorable Mention: Mayumi Takeuchi-Ebbins


1st Place Cold Water – Alessandro Giannaccini: Lunch Time

1st Place: Peter Pogany
2nd Place: Yen-po Huang
3rd Place: Jenny Stock
Honorable Mention: Cédric Péneau


1st Place: Keigo Kawamura
2nd Place: Peter Pogany
3rd Place: Jialing Cai
4th Place: Chris Gug
Honorable Mention: Kat Zhou
Honorable Mention: Steven Kovacs


1st Place Blackwater – Keigo Kawamura: Squid hunting

Underwater Conservation
1st Place: Victor Huertas
2nd Place: Yinan Liu
3rd Place: Andrea Michelutti
Honorable Mention: Dan Mele

Underwater Digital Art
1st Place: Justin Lutsky
2nd Place: Francisco Sedano Vera
3rd Place: Conor Culver
Honorable Mention: Anna Aita

Black & White
1st Place: Joergen Rasmussen
2nd Place: Jon Anderson3rd Place: Serge Melesan
4th Place: Enrico Pompei
Honorable Mention: Serge Melesan

Underwater Fashion
1st Place: Lucie Drlikova
2nd Place: Anna Aita
3rd Place: Julian Nedev
4th Place: Lucie Drlikova
Honorable Mention: Vanessa Torres Macho
Honorable Mention: Lucie Drlikova

Compact Wide Angle
1st Place: Bryat Turffs
2nd Place: Enrico Somogyi
3rd Place: Andrea Michelutti

Compact Macro
1st Place: Imogen Manins
2nd Place: Marcus Commodore
3rd Place: Regie Casia
Honorable Mention: Miguel Ramirez

Compact Behavior
1st Place: Derek Singer
2nd Place: Brandon Hannan
3rd Place: Andrea Michelutti
Honorable Mention: Keri Frankenstein
Honorable 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. For more information, please visit http://www.uwphotographyguide.com
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