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Vote For Your Favourite Finalist In The 2015 PADI Diving Society Membership Card Photo Contest

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PADI card contest

With over 400 amazing entries to choose from, the 10 Finalists have now been selected for the 2015 PADI Diving Society Membership Card photo contest.

PADI now need you to help them pick the winner by voting for your favourite. The photo  with the most votes by 26th September 2014 (23:59 UTC) will be the winner, and will be used as the 2015 PADI Diving Society Membership Card.

To cast your vote, visit the contest’s Facebook page here.

Blogs

Diver Discovering Whale Skeletons Beneath Ice Judged World’s Best Underwater Photograph

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UPY

An emotive photograph showing a freediver examining the aftermath of whaling sees
Alex Dawson from Sweden named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024. Dawson’s
photograph ‘Whale Bones’ triumphed over 6500 underwater pictures entered by underwater
photographers from around the world.

“Whale Bones was photographed in the toughest conditions,” explains chair of judging
panel Alex Mustard, “as a breath-hold diver descends below the Greenland ice sheet to bear
witness to the carcasses. The composition invites us to consider our impact on the great
creatures of this planet. Since the rise of humans, wild animals have declined by 85%. Today,
just 4% of mammals are wildlife, the remaining 96% are humans and our livestock. Our way
needs to change to find a balance with nature.”

UPY

Photo: Rafael
Fernandez Caballero

Whales dominated the winning pictures this year with Spanish photographer Rafael
Fernandez Caballero winning two categories with his revealing photos of these ocean giants:
a close up of a grey whale’s eye and an action shot of a Bryde’s whale engulfing an entire bait
ball, both taken in Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico. Fernandez Caballero took ‘Grey
Whale Connection’ while drifting in a small boat, holding his camera over the side in the water
to photograph the curious whale. ‘The End Of A Baitball’ required Fernandez Caballero to dive
down and be in exactly the right place at the moment the whale lunged. “The photo shows
the high speed attack,” he said, “with the whale engulfing hundreds of kilograms of sardines
in one bite — simply unforgettable to see predation on such a scale.”

UPY

Photo: Rafael
Fernandez Caballero

Lisa Stengel from the United States was named Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024 for her image of a mahi-mahi catching a sardine, in Mexico. Stengel used both a very fast shutter speed and her hearing to catch the moment. “If you listen there’s an enormous amount of sound in the ocean,” she explained. “The action was too fast to see, so I honed in on the sound of the attacks with my camera to capture this special moment.”

“It is such an exciting time in underwater photography because photographers are capturing such amazing new images, by visiting new locations and using the latest cameras,”
commented judge Alex Mustard. “Until this year I’d hardly ever see a photo of a mahi mahi,
now Lisa has photographed one hunting, action that plays out in the blink of an eye.”
The Underwater Photographer of the Year contest is based in the UK, and Jenny Stock,
was named as British Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024 for her image “Star
Attraction”, which finds beauty in species of British wildlife that are often overlooked.
Exploring the west coast of Scotland, Stock explained “in the dark green depths my torch
picked out the vivid colours of a living carpet of thousands of brittle stars, each with a
different pattern. I was happily snapping away, when I spotted this purple sea urchin and I
got really excited.”

Photo: Jenny Stock

In the same contest, Portuguese photographer, Nuno Sá, was named ‘Save Our Seas
Foundation’ Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2024, with his photo ‘Saving
Goliath’, taken in Portugal. Sá’s photo shows beachgoers trying to save a stranded sperm
whale. The picture gives us hope that people do care and want to help the oceans, but also
warns us that bigger changes are needed. “The whale had been struck by a ship and its fate
was sealed,” explains Sá. “An estimated 20,000 whales are killed every year, and many more
injured, after being struck by ships-and few people even realise that it happens.”

UPY

Photo: Nuno Sá

More winning images can be found at www.underwaterphotographeroftheyear.com.

About Underwater Photographer of the Year

Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition, based in the UK, that celebrates photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes, rivers and even swimming pools, and attracts entries from all around the world. The contest has 13 categories, testing photographers with themes such as Macro, Wide Angle, Behaviour and Wreck photography, as well as four categories for photos taken specifically in British waters. The winners were announced in an award ceremony in Mayfair, London, hosted by The Crown Estate. This year’s UPY judges were experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Tobias Friedrich and Dr Alexander Mustard MBE.

Header image: Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024 winner Alex Dawson

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World’s Best Underwater Photographers Unveil Breathtaking Images at World Shootout 2023

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The winners of the prestigious World Shootout 2023 underwater photography competition were announced at this year’s BOOT Show, captivating audiences at the world’s largest diving and water sports exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany. Hundreds of photographers from 54 countries competed across nine categories, pushing the boundaries of creativity and technical skill.

Grand Prize Winners

  • Picture of the Year: Spanish photographer Eduardo Acevedo “secured” the top Honor with the prestigious prize the “boot Dusseldorf Director’s Prize, earning an Andromeda statuette and a €2,000 cash prize.
  • Best 5 Images Portfolio: Luc Rooman from Belgium triumphed in this category, winning a dream 4-week diving trip for two to Papua New Guinea, valued at $18,900.
  • Amateur Photographer: Alexandra Ceurvorst from the USA impressed the judges with her talent, taking home the 1,000 cash prize award.

Celebrating Diversity and Innovation

This year’s competition saw 11,680 entries from 964 photographers, showcasing a remarkable spectrum of skills and perspectives. From the intricate wonders of Macro photography to the beauty of “Black Water”, the “Underwater Fashion” category added a touch of artistry and innovation, while the ever-important ” Environmental & Conservation” category served as a powerful reminder of the need to protect these fragile ecosystems.

Looking Ahead: AI and Ocean Conservation

World Shootout founder and producer David Pilosof unveiled an exciting addition for the 2024 competition: this year the Environmental category will be focusing on the impact of plastic on our oceans and future.

This category will embrace the potential of AI or other editing software as a tool to amplify the conservation message.

Entrants will submit campaigns of three original underwater photographs dealing with plastic pollution, along with their final AI assistance processing. This innovative approach encourages artistic expression while raising awareness about a critical environmental issue.

Explore the Stunning Collection

Discover the complete album of competition entries by clicking here.

For Low-resolution photos of finalist entries in eight categories, click here.

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