2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year, Overall Winner Ben Thouard, A surfer battles one of the heaviest waves in the world following a wipe-out. Tahiti, French Polynesia
From the Pacific to the Atlantic, our planet's magnificent oceans are as stunning as they are essential. To help highlight their importance, the Ocean Photographer of the Year invites photographers from around the world to enter images centered around Earth's waters. The winners of the 2022 edition of this competition travel far and wide to capture exciting, emotional, and overall beautiful scenes from the ocean.
The overall winner of this year’s OPoY contest is French Polynesia-based photographer, Ben Thouard, who captured a riveting image of a surfer battling against one of the heaviest waves in the world called Teahupo'o, meaning “place of skulls.” Thouard managed to take this incredible shot of the 6-foot swell while freediving in the ocean.
Some of the other notable categories in the contest include Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year and Exploration Photographer of the Year. The former was won by Kerim Sabuncuoglu for his portrait of a dead moray eel on an abandoned fishing line. The latter was topped by Martin Broen, who captured speleothems as they cast long shadows at cenote Dos Pisos in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
“The Ocean Photographer of the Year has a simple mission: to shine a light on the beauty of the ocean and the threats it faces,” OPoY states. This annual photo contest is produced by Oceanographic Magazine in partnership with Blancpain, Princess, Yachts, and Tourism Western Australia, and in support of conservation organization SeaLegacy.
You can view the winners of the 2022 OPoY awards at the Tower Bridge in London for free from October 5 to November 7, 2022.
Check out the stunning winners of the 2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year awards.
Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year, Winner Ben Thouard, (image A) Surfer Matahi Drollet catches a wave known as Teahupo’o in Tahiti. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Adventure Ocean Photographer of the Year, Second Ben Thouard, (image B) A wave known as Teahupo’o, as seen from below. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year, Third Sebastien Pontoizeau, A freediver duck dives to capture a photograph of a humpback whale. Réunion Island
Community Choice Award, Winner Phil de Glanville, Surfer Jack Robinson rides the famous break known as ‘The Right’, home to some of the heaviest waves in the world. Denmark, Western Australia
Ocean Photographer of the Year, Winner Aimee Jan, A green turtle, surrounded by glass fish. “I was out snorkelling when one of my colleagues told me there was a turtle under a ledge in a school of glass fish, about 10 metrMes down,” says photographer Aimee Jan. “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’.” Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Ocean Photographer of the Year, Second Henley Spiers, “Diving in amidst the barrage of gannets, I witness the violent synchronicity of these impressive seabirds as they embark on fishing dives,” says photographer Henley Spiers. “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.” Isle of Noss, Shetland, UK
Ocean Photographer of the Year, Third Matty Smith, “A hawksbill turtle hatchling just 3.5cm long and a few minutes old takes its first swim,” says photographer Matty Smith. “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.” Lissenung Island, Papua New Guinea
Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year, Winner Kerim Sabuncuoglu, A dead moray eel on an abandoned fishing line. Bodrum, Turkey
Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year, Second Galice Hoarau, (A) A gull caught on a ghost fishing line. Saltstraumen, Norway
Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year, Third Steven Kovacs, (A) A female paper nautilus drifts along on a piece of trash. Anilao, Philippines
Exploration Photographer of the Year, Winner Martin Broen, (A) Speleothems cast long shadows at cenote Dos Pisos. Quintana Roo, Mexico
Exploration Photographer of the Year, Second Steven Kovacs, A rare deep water cusk eel larva. Florida, USA
Exploration Photographer of the Year, Third Matty Smith, (A) A portrait of a squid. Bushrangers Bay, Australia