2019 Ocean Art Contest Winners

8th Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest Winners Announced

Ocean Art Contest Announces the Best Underwater Photos of the Year

Culver City, CA – January 13, 2020 – The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced its 2019 winners. The 8th annual competition attracted an extremely high caliber of photos from oceans around the world. These photos showcase the best underwater photographs of the year. 2019 was one of the most competitive years to date. Our two new categories, conservation and blackwater diving, had an overwhelming response of incredible photos and were two of the highlights of the competition.

Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide at:


The Best of Show is a heart-stopping photo of a crab-eater seal maneuvering quickly through freezing waters under Antarctic ice by Greg Lecoeur. The winner of the Rising Star Photographer Award, and a close runner-up for best of show, was Julie Casey with a jaw-dropping photo of 6 juvenile seahorses. Other extraordinary winders include dramatic animal behavior, stunning marine life portraits, heart wrenching and uplifting conservation scenes, weird and wonderful blackwater creatures, ocean adventure, and many, many photos that showcase the powerful beauty that is found in our underwater planet. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 78 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.

Ocean Art 2019 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Martin Edge, and Marty Snyderman, accompanied by Underwater Photography Guide publisher Scott Gietler. 

Over $85,000 in prizes will be awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world. 

The most lucrative prizes included a luxury liveaboard trip on the Socorro Vortex, Indonesia liveaboard trips (and 50% off a companion) on the S.M.Y. Ondina and M.Y. Oceanic, a 7 nights Palau liveaboard trip on the Solitude One, a 7 or 8 nights Indonesia liveaboard trip on the Coralia, a 7 nights Solomon Islands liveaboard trip with Bilikiki Cruises, a 7 night dive package at Villa Markisa Resort in Bali, Indonesia, a 9 night Passport to Paradise dive package at three Indonesian destinations with Critters@Lembeh and Murex Dive Resorts, multiple Paralenz Dive Cameras and accessories, and gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Premium travel prizes are provided by Siladen Resort & Spa (Indonesia), Solitude Liveaboards & Resorts (Indonesia), Atlantis Dive Resort (Philippines), Volivoli Beach Resort (Fiji), Crystal Blue Dive Resort (Philippines), El Galleon Dive Resort/Asia Divers (Philippines), Aquamarine Diving (Indonesia), Atmosphere Resorts (Philippines), Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort (Philippines), Eco Dive Resort (Indonesia), Blackbeard’s Cruises – Allstar Liveaboards (Bahamas), and scuba travel agency Bluewater Travel. Premium gear prizes are provided by Sea & Sea, Think Tank Photo, and Ikelite. Sixteen different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography, including compact cameras, Novice shooters, and DSLR cameras.

The quality of images submitted this year was exceptional – making judging very difficult and demonstrating that the winning images are some of the best in the world. Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, “I continue to be amazed by the wonderful images that today’s underwater photographers are producing. The two new categories, Conservation and Blackwater, were true standout categories. Especially the Conservation category – the winning images produce powerful emotion, and will influence a new generation of ocean conservation.” 

Complete list of winners

Best of Show
“Crab-Eater Seal” by Greg Lecoeur


1st Place: Nicholas More
2nd Place: Tobias Friedrich
3rd Place: Adam Martin
4th Place Borut Furlan
5th Place: Taeyup Kim

Honorable Mention: Alessandro Buzzichelli
Honorable Mention: Jose Antonio Castellano


1st Place: Stefano Cerbai
2nd Place: Wu Yung-Sen
3rd Place: Dave Johnson
4th Place: Petr Polách
5th Place: Hakan Basar

Honorable Mention: Paolo Bondaschi
Honorable Mention: Yatwai So

Marine Life Behavior

1st Place: Paula Vianna
2nd Place: Paolo Bausani
3rd Place: Steven Kovacs
4th Place: Hannes Klostermann
5th Place: Pedro Carrillo Montero

Honorable Mention: Steven Kovacs
Honorable Mention: Jason Cluen


1st Place: Virgina Salzedo
2nd Place: Davide Lombroso
3rd Place: Claudio Zori
4th Place: Emry Oxford
5th Place: Mok Wai Hoe

Honorable Mention: Greg Lecoeur
Honorable Mention: Galice Hoarau


1st Place: Greg Lecoeur
2nd Place: Tobias Friedrich
3rd Place: Johan Sundelin
4th Place: Johan Sundelin
5th Place: Aldo Costa

Honorable Mention: Celia Kujala
Honorable Mention: Mirko Zanni


1st Place: Jenny Stock
2nd Place: Andrea Pescarolo
3rd Place: Andrey Savin
4th Place: Mauro Apuleo
5th Place: Cedric Peneau

Honorable Mention: Chun Ho Tam


1st Place: Paolo Isgro
2nd Place: Leon Zhao
3rd Place: Paolo Isgro
4th Place: Qing Lin


1st Place: Eduardo Acevedo Fernandez
2nd Place: Nicholas More
3rd Place: Enrico Somogyi
4th Place: Greg Lecoeur
5th Place: Yen-Yi Lee

Honorable Mention: Nicholas More


1st Place: Fabien Michenet
2nd Place: Paolo Bausani
3rd Place: Steven Kovacs
4th Place: Lureen Ferretti
5th Place: Tianhong Wang

Honorable Mention: Fabien Michenet
Honorable Mention: Steven Kovacs
Honorable Mention: Suzan Meldonian


1st Place: Shane Gross
2nd Place: Alessandro Grasso
3rd Place: Brooke Lori Pyke
4th Place: Nicole Helgason
5th Place: Francis Perez

Honorable Mention: Pasquale Vassallo
Honorable Mention: Rafael Fernandez Caballero

Underwater Art

1st Place: Francisco Sedano
2nd Place: Enrico Somogyi
3rd Place: Jenny Stock
4th Place: Tae Wook Kang

Honorable Mention: Kimber Greenwood
Honorable Mention: Aîa Mar

Novice Wide Angle

1st Place: George Kuo-Wei Kao
2nd Place: George Kuo-Wei Kao
3rd Place: George Kuo-Wei Kao
4th Place: Jake Wilton
5th Place: Jeongin Kim

Honorable Mention: Jeongin Kim

Novice Macro

1st Place: Julie Casey
2nd Place: Michael Loh
3rd Place: George Kuo-Wei Kao
4th Place: Mel Wu
5th Place: Kierstin Zetterberg

Honorable Mention: Naomi Strong

Compact Wide Angle

1st Place: Talia Greis
2nd Place: Minsik Roh
3rd Place: Benhur Sarinda
4th Place: Enrico Somogyi
5th Place: Enrico Somogyi

Compact Macro

1st Place: Stan Chen
2nd Place: Stan Chen
3rd Place: Fabien Martinazzo
4th Place: Fabien Martinazzo

Honorable Mention: Donghoon Lee
Honorable Mention: Alessio Tinti

Compact Marine Life Behavior

1st Place: Ferenc Lorincz
2nd Place: Fabien Martinazzo
3rd Place: Willy Irawan
4th Place: Simon Deblock

Honorable Mention: Lawrence Wu

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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