Stunning photographs of the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards finalists

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Aimee Jan, Ocean Photographer of the Year, Laureate
A green turtle, surrounded by glass fish. (Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia)

Oceans cover over 70% of our beautiful planet Earth. Much of their vast waters remain unexplored by scientists, adventurers and photographers, leaving much to be seen. Fortunately, there are ocean photographers out there to pique our interest and capture the unseen sights of marine life. The second edition of the Ocean Photography Awards seeks to show the many corners of our oceans – and the environmental dangers they face – through the skillful lenses of the world’s best professional and amateur photographers. The recently launched competition announced the winners of eight annual awards, including Adventure Photographer of the Year and Youth Photographer of the Year.

Created by Oceanographic review in partnership with SeaLegacy, the competition aims to “inspire change when we need it most”. The oceans are under threat, but the competition aims to show its magic to a wide audience, emphasizing the need to protect our waters. “We are all creatures of the ocean, even if we don’t know it,” the competition reminds the world.

Photographer Aimee Jan won the coveted first prize and the title of Ocean Photographer of the Year 2021 for her image of a green sea turtle surrounded by a school of glass fish. “I was snorkeling when a colleague of mine told me there was a turtle under a ledge in a school of glass fish, about 10 meters deep,” said remembers Jan. “When I dove in to watch, the fish separated perfectly around the turtle. I told him, “I think I just took the best picture I ever took.”

The competition was fierce this year, full of breathtaking images of gentle whales, mind-blowing penguins and unsettling pollution, but Jan won unanimously. Ultimately, however, every photographer has played a vital role in bringing our beautiful oceans into focus. Marc Hayek, CEO of Blancpain, partner of the competition, commented: “Their images reveal the ocean for what it is – or at least what it should be – a place full of life, colors and of wonder. They also remind us of the injustices we inflict on it.

Scroll down to check out some of the incredible nominees for this year’s Ocean Photography Awards competition. For the full list of nominees and their images, you can visit the Ocean Photography Awards website.

Created by Oceanographic review in partnership with SeaLegacy, the competition aims to “inspire change when we need it most”.

Hannah Le Leu Youth photographer

Hannah Le Leu, Youth Photographer of the Year, Laureate
“A hatched green sea turtle cautiously surfaces for breath, in a sky full of hungry birds. Heron Island, Australia.

Scroll down for some of the most mind-boggling winners and finalists of 2021.

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Martin Broen, Exploration Photographer of the Year, Winner
Speleothems cast long shadows at the Dos Pisos cenote. (Quintana Roo, Mexico)

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Matty Smith, Ocean Photographer of the Year, Third Place
A hawksbill turtle hatchling, just a few minutes old, swims for the first time.

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Galice Hoarau, Collective portfolio award, Nominated
Eel larvae. (Lembeh, Indonesia)

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Galice Hoarau, Collective portfolio award, Nominated
Snooty the lemon shark. (Jupiter, Florida)

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Galice Hoarau, Collective portfolio award, Nominated
Juvenile trevally hiding in a box of jellyfish. (Lembeh, Indonesia)

Whale shark surrounded by a school of fish

Alex Kydd, Collective Portfolio Award, Third Place
A whale shark surrounded by a school of juvenile golden trevally on the Ningaloo Reef. (Western Australia)

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Alex Kydd, Collective Portfolio Award, Third Place
A freediver falls into an ocean filled with moon jellyfish. (Raja Ampat, West Papua)

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Alex Kydd, Collective Portfolio Award, Third Place
A whale shark swimming in the blue. (Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia)

Gergo Rugli Ocean Photography

Gergo Rugli, Adventure Photographer of the Year, nominated
A common dolphin pictured in Port Stephens Marine Park off Broughton Island. (Port Stephens, Australia)

2021 Ocean Photography Prize

Stefan Christmann, Collective Portfolio Award
When both parents are foraging, their chicks congregate in nurseries or mini groups.

Underwater photography by James Ferrera

James Ferrara, Adventure Photographer of the Year, Nominated
A sperm whale and Sargassum seaweed. (Roseau, Dominica)

Martin Broen's underwater images

Martin Broen, Adventure Photographer of the Year, Nominated
A diver descends into a cenote. (Quintana Roo, Mexico)

Fabrice Guérin CCA

Fabrice Guerin, Community Choice Award, Nominated
A sea lion hunts for mackerel off the coast of Baja. (Baja California Sur, Mexico)

Community choice Maxwel Hohn

Maxwel Hohn, Community Choice Award, Nominee
A sea nettle drifts in the shallows of Monterey Bay. (California, United States)

Nicholas Samaras Conservation Ocean Photo

Nicholas Samaras, Conservation Photographer of the Year, Nominated
A seahorse clings to a face mask. (Stratoni, Greece)

Conservation Thien Nguyen Ngoc

Thien Nguyen Ngoc, Conservation Photographer of the Year, Nominated
Anchovy fishing boats photographed from above along the coast of Phu Yen Province, Vietnam. (Phu Yen Province, Vietnam)

© Ben Thouard APOY NOMINATED

Ben Thouard, Adventure Photographer of the Year, Winner
Surfer Matahi Drollet catches a wave known as Teahupo’o in Tahiti. (Tahiti, French Polynesia)

Midnight masquerade

Matty Smith, Exploration Photographer of the Year, Second Place
A southern bobtail squid does a performance. (Port of Wollongong, Australia)

See the stunning photographs of the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards finalists

Matty Smith, Collective Portfolio Award, Nominated
Like a miniature rotating galaxy on the ocean surface, the siphonophore Porpita porpita.

Ocean Photography Award: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met has granted permission to submit photos by Ocean Photography Awards.

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