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Ocean Photographer of the Year announced

Aimee Jan has been named Ocean Photographer of the Year 2021 for her stunning image of a green sea turtle surrounded by glass fish, which she captured on Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef.

Aimee’s photo was chosen from thousands of submissions from all over the world and was a unanimous winner among the seven world-renowned Ocean Photography Awards judges.

“I was out snorkeling when one of my colleagues told me there was a turtle under a ledge in a school of glass fish, about 10 metres down,” explains Aimee. “When I dived down to look, the fish separated around the turtle perfectly. I said to her: ‘I think I just took the best photo I have ever taken’.”

 

 

The Ocean Photography Awards, produced by Oceanographic Magazine and partners, aims to highlight the beauty of the ocean as well as the threats it faces.

Exeter-based photographer, Henley Spiers, achieved second place with his beautiful photograph of diving gannets off the Shetland Islands, Scotland.

“Diving in amidst the barrage of gannets, I witness the violent synchronicity of these impressive seabirds as they embark on fishing dives,” says Henley. “They hit the water at 60mph, an impact they can only withstand thanks to specially evolved air sacs in the head and chest. The bird’s agility transfers from air to sea where it also swims with incredible speed.”

 

 

In third place, Sydney-based photographer Matty Smith’s image depicts a hawksbill turtle hatchling making its first trip out to sea.

Matty explains; “A hawksbill turtle hatchling, just 3.5cm long and a few minutes old, takes its first swim. It had emerged from an egg just minutes earlier with approximately 100 of its siblings. They quickly made their way into the ocean to disperse as rapidly as they could and avoid predation from birds and fish. I had to work quickly for this shot.”

 

 

This year also saw the introduction of the Female Fifty Fathoms Award, a new category designed to recognise inspiring women in ocean photography. The winner, LA-based photographer Renee Capozzola, impressed judges with her stunning portfolio of work, which includes this split shot of a blacktip reef shark, taken in French Polynesia at sunset.

 

 

The title of Young Photographer of the Year went to Hannah Le Leu for her image of a green sea turtle hatchling cautiously surfacing for air, to a sky full of hungry birds off Heron Island, Australia.

Additional categories include Adventure Photographer, Community Choice Award, Conservation Photographer, Exploration Photographer – and Collective Portfolio Award, which was won by Stefan Christmann for his collection of Emporer penguin photographs.

A free, outdoor public exhibition featuring images from the Ocean Photography Awards 2021 can be found alongside the River Thames, on the Queen’s Walk near Tower Bridge, London, until October 17th.

To view all the images from this year’s Ocean Photography Awards, go to https://www.oceanphotographyawards.com.

 

 

click on images to expand / © Ocean Photography Awards 2021

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