Amazing Finalists of Ocean Photography Awards Pay Homage to the Stunning Seas

Paddle boarders float above a reef at sunset, Vava’u, Tonga

Paddleboarders float above a reef at sunset, Vava’u, Tonga. Grant Thomas, Finalist Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year

If the finalists are any indication, the inaugural Ocean Photography Awards, presented by Oceanographic Magazine, is off to a great start. Over 3,000 entries were whittled down to 100 finalists across six categories. Dealing with issues of conservation, as well as showing off adventures and exploration, these finalist images are a beautiful cross-section of ocean photography.

The finalists include familiar names like Florian Ledoux, whose work in the Arctic frequently wins awards. Here, he's not only nominated for Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year, but is also in the running for the Collective Portfolio Award. Tobias Baumgaertner is up for the Community Choice Award. His photo of two penguins in Australia seemingly embracing as they gaze over the city lights went viral earlier this year, so his inclusion is no surprise.

The awards are also organized in partnership with SeaLegacy, a collective of photographers focused on ocean conservation. Founded by National Geographic photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, SeaLegacy is giving a year-long residency to the photographer who wins the Collective Portfolio Award.

All the winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on November 19, 2020. Prior to the ceremony, there will be talks and discussions with some of the world's leading ocean photographers, so it's well worth tuning in. While we wait for the winners announcement, check out some of the incredible finalists.

The inaugural Ocean Photography Awards has announced the incredible finalists of this international contest.

Lewis Pugh swimming off Antarctica

Swimmer and environmental activist Lewis Pugh swimming off Antarctica. Olle Nordell, Finalist Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year

Two widowed penguins seemingly comfort one another

Two widowed penguins seemingly comfort one another as they gaze upon Melbourne’s lights. St Kilda, Australia. Tobias Baumgaertner, Finalist Community Choice Award

A freediver explores a cave in Tonga.

A freediver explores a cave in Tonga. Karim Iliya, Finalist Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year

Portrait of a Steller Sea Lion

A Steller sea lion inquisitively peers into the photographer’s dome port. Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada. Celia Kujala, Finalist Community Choice Award

A starving polar bear looks out to sea, waiting for ice to return in Svalbard, Norway. Martin Berg, Finalist Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year

A humpback whale calf jumping out of the water in Tonga

A humpback whale calf ‘breakdances’ in the warm waters of Tonga. Jono Allen, Finalist Community Choice Award

Clown Fish Nestled Into a Plant

Henley Spiers, Finalist Collective Portfolio Award.

Whale and Calf Underwater

Grant Thomas, Finalist Collective Portfolio Award.

Sea Photography by Nadia Aly

Nadia Aly, Finalist Collective Portfolio Award.

Staghorn corals exposed at low tide with the Milky Way Overhead

Staghorn corals exposed at low tide, the Milky Way visible in the distance. Koh Bulon Lae Island, Thailand. Sirachai Arunrugstichai, Finalist Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year

Western toad tadpoles photographed off Vancouver Island

Western toad tadpoles photographed off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Maxwel Hohn, Finalist Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year

Magnificent Anemone Swimming in the Maldives

The silky tentacles of a brightly colored Magnificent Anemone sway in surging water, exposing Maldivian anemone fish. Laamu Atoll, South Maldives. Cruz Erdmann, Finalist, Young Ocean Photographer of the Year

Two Sharks Surfing a Wave in Australia

Two sharks surf a wave at Red Bluff, Quobba Station, in remote Western Australia. Sean Scott, Finalist Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year

Walruses Huddled on Land in Northeast Norway

Walruses huddle on a small patch of land, northeast of Svalbard, Norway. With the continued loss of stable sea ice due to climate change, walrus populations are at risk. Florian Ledoux, Finalist Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year

Dead Sea Turtle Hooked to Plastic

Shane Gross, Finalist Collective Portfolio Award.

Aerial Photos of Sea Lions on a Piece of Ice

Florian Ledoux, Finalist Collective Portfolio Award.

Hermit Crab Climbing Out of Plastic on the Beach

A hermit crab crawls atop a pile of plastic in a shell made from manmade waste in the Maldives. Matt Sharp, Finalist Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year

Ocean Photography Awards: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by the Ocean Photography Awards.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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