Environmental Science

Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022 Winners Included Sea Snake Mating and Octopus Skirts

Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022 Winners Included Sea Snake Mating and Octopus Skirts

The Ocean Photographer Of The Year 2022 winners have been revealed, showcasing captivating images that reveal the strength, fragility, and alien character of our oceans’ ecosystems. The contest, which is sponsored by Oceanographic Magazine, aims to raise awareness of the various challenges that marine life faces while also celebrating the creatures and animals that keep the oceans healthy.

Ocean Photographer Of The Year welcomes camera-loving individuals from all over the world to submit their marine photographs each year. The 2022 competition is as spectacular as ever with categories portraying our human connection to the ocean, the effect and optimism surrounding environmental challenges, and more.

Listed below are some of our favorites.

Winner overall: Ben Thouard
In Teahupo’o, which means “place of skulls,” a surfer struggles with the underwater turbulence caused by the “heaviest wave in the world”. La France Polynésie

The winning picture this year, which depicts a surfer being forced beneath one of the biggest waves in the world, will appeal to surfers. According to photographer Ben Thouard, this is the “unseen side of surfing.” “Surfing such a heavy wave is a great task. I have so much respect for both the wave and the surfers.”

Runner-up: Katherine Lu
A blanket octopus displays its stunning patterns and hues. Philippines

Dr. Julian Finn of Museums Victoria, who first observed a blanket octopus in the wild, described it as “illustrating the most severe case of sexual size dimorphism in a non-microscopic animal.” It must be stated, however, that the male-only measures 2.4 centimeters (0.9 inches) in length, but a mature female can reach lengths of up to two meters (6.6 feet), making this the widest sex size disparity in the animal kingdom.

Katherine Lu, who finished in second place, admitted, “I was quite sick during this dive. “I devoted a lot of time to attempt to level out close to the surface. I hesitated briefly before throwing myself down when my guide desperately signaled for me to come down. Fortunately, my ears adjusted, and I was able to see this stunning blanket octopus. She lifted up her blanket to reveal herself in all her beauty as we swam beside her, seemingly by magic.”

Massimo Zannini commends the use of wildlife
A goose fish forages in the foreshore. Italy

Fans of fish Twitter may be reminded of the Great Goose Fish Wobbegong Scandal of 2021, in which the community of irate wobbegongs called out a popular Tweet for incorrectly identifying what seemed to be a potato that had been mashed on the seafloor. Instead of a wobbegong, the tasseley creature in question was a geese fish, which also secured Zannini a berth among the Wildlife finalists.

Highly praised for conservation (impact) – André Musgrove
A dead coral reef’s fragments are all around a woman who is lying on the ocean floor. Bahamas

It’s challenging to categorize André Musgrove because he is a professional freediver, underwater stunt performer, underwater cameraman, photographer, and past Ocean Photography Awards, judge. Musgrove employs visuals in his starring role as an underwater photographer and filmmaker to take distinctive shots that convey a narrative.

Taking credit for the highly praised image, Musgrove remarked, “This snapshot demonstrates how we have become swallowed by our own destruction as a result of irresponsible climate change actions.” “I wanted to draw attention to the problem of coral reefs dying from both natural and anthropogenic causes. Climate change has made countries like The Bahamas more vulnerable to hurricanes that are stronger and have caused destruction on Bahamian islands.”

Brooke Pyke’s Portfolio won the Female Fifty Fathoms Award in Western Australia.

This puzzling portrait of what appears to be a knot of sea snakes is part of award-winning photographer Brooke Pyke’s body of work. If you look a bit closer, you might be able to see that the couple are Stoke’s sea snakes. In addition to taking stunning pictures of manta rays, whale sharks, and humpback whales, Pyke discovered the duo in the waters near Western Australia.

Highly recommended for adventure — Brandi Mueller
A diver plunges into the depths while being guided by light beams. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

According to photographer Brandi Mueller, “the huge sunbeams flowing into Cenote Azul Ha on this day were bright enough to light a diver and the cavern walls.” The diver appears to be floating in the air and soaring close to the light due to the transparency of the water.

Visit the Ocean Photographer Of The Year 2022 website to view more of the winning photos and finalists, or speak with National Geographic explorer Bertie Gregory to learn more about the challenges of underwater photography.