Ocean Art 2023 Winners Announced

Ocean Art Contest Announces the World's Best Underwater Photographs
By UWPG News

12th Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest Winners Announced 

Ocean Art Contest Announces the World’s Best Underwater Photography 


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!

Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide at https://www.uwphotographyguide.com/ocean-art-contest-winners-2023

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; a 7 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: 


Best of Show

“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



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

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: Suliman Alatiqi

2nd Place: Alessandro Raho

3rd Place: Jules Casey

4th Place: Gabriel Jensen

Honorable Mention: Celia Kujala

Honorable Mention: Kat Zhou 



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: 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 


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 Anderson

3rd 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: Bryant 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 



Media Contact 
Nirupam Nigam
Editor-in-Chief, UWPG



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