Slideshow: Winners and finalists of the 2020 Ocean Photographer of the Year awards

Winners and finalists of the 2020 Ocean Photographer of the Year awards

Oceanographic Magazine announced the winners and finalists for its annual Ocean Photographer of the Year awards. Over 3,000 images were submitted to six categories. Canadian photographer Nadia Aly was named Ocean Photographer of the Year and also received the Collective Portfolio award.

‘The photograph is perfectly exposed, compellingly dramatic and deeply intriguing. I know from experience that this image was not easy to create. Nadia Aly’s acknowledgement as the Ocean Photographer of the Year is a testament not only to the sheer power and uniqueness of her imagery, but to her journey as a photographer as well,’ says awards judge Cristina Mittermeier.

This top-down image of crabeater seals resting on icebergs has won Florian Ledoux many accolades, from international photography competitions, throughout the year.

Florian Ledoux, who received a third place nod in the Conservation category for his image (above) of crabeater seals resting on icebergs, told DPReview: ‘It gives my work even more exposure and a deep sense to it, and a bigger commitment toward conservation of the oceans’ ecosystems that makes our life possible on Earth. It is an honor be amongst very talented photographers working in the same direction with love for the planet.’

All winners, and highly commended images, can be viewed here.

Winner, The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Nadia Aly

Artist Statement: An aggregation of mobula rays in clear waters off Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Runner-Up, The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Sacha Specker

Artist Statement: Between two realms. A surfer seemingly waves to the world below as he surfs a wave at Log Cabins, Oahu, Hawaii.

Third Place, The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Magnus Lundborg

Artist Statement: A rare white southern right whale photographed off Puerto Pirámides, Argentina.

Winner, Young Photographer of the Year: Cruz Erdmann

Artist Statement: The silky tentacles of a brightly coloured Magnificent Anemone sway in surging water, exposing Maldivian anemone fish. Laamu Atoll, South Maldives.

Runner-Up, Young Photographer of the Year: Ben Cammarata

Artist Statement: A juvenile black skimmer hunts for prey at the water’s surface. Martha’s Vineyard, USA.

Third Place, Young Photographer of the Year: Kyla McKlay

Artist Statement: A dolphin breaches the waterline, USA.

Winner, Community Choice Award: Tobias Baumgaertner

Artist Statement: Two penguins look out across the water, Melbourne’s lights in the distance. St Kilda, Australia.

Winner, Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year: Matt Sharp

Artist Statement: A hermit crab crawls atop a pile of plastic in a shell made from manmade waste in the Maldives.


Runner-Up, Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year: Andrea Benvenutti

Artist Statement: A plastic bottle lies amongst the nests of the world’s largest colony of imperial cormorants, 100km south of Puerto Madryn, Argentina.


Third Place, Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year: Joe Daniels

Artist Statement: A diver’s regulator holder cuts into the flesh of an oceanic whitetip shark, damaging its gills. Photographed in the Red Sea, Egypt.

Winner, Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year: Ben Cranke

Artist Statement: Penguins march through heavy snowfall and strong winds in St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia, Antarctica.

Runner-Up, Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year: Karim Iliya

Artist Statement: A freediver explores a cave in Tonga.

Winner, Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year: Jason Gulley

Artist Statement: A freediving instructor waits for their student to return from a dive below Cenote Angelita’s microbial cloud. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Runner-Up, Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year: Sean Scott

Artist Statement: Two sharks surf a wave at Red Bluff, Quobba Station, in remote Western Australia.

Third Place, Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year: Duncan Murrell

Artist Statement: Three spinetail devil rays engage in sexual courtship – a behavior rarely observed or photographed. Honda Bay, Philippines.