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Dive deep into the ocean with these stunning underwater photographs

An aggregation of mobula rays in clear waters off Baja California Sur, Mexico. (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Nadia Aly)

Oceanographic Magazine (opens in new tab) has just unveiled the winning and shortlisted images in its annual Ocean Photographer of the Year awards. The contest had over 3,000 images submitted into six categories, but it was Canadian photographer Nadia Aly who won this year's grand title, being named Ocean Photographer of the Year for her underwater shot of mobula rays. 

Awards judge (and prolific conservationist and underwater photographer) Cristina Mittermeier found Nadia's photograph to be "perfectly exposed, compellingly dramatic and deeply intriguing. I know from experience that this image was not easy to create. Nadia Aly’s acknowledgement as the Ocean Photographer of the Year is a testament not only to the sheer power and uniqueness of her imagery, but to her journey as a photographer as well."

Second place: Sacha Specker

Between two realms. A surfer seemingly waves to the world below as he surfs a wave at Log Cabins, Oahu, Hawaii. (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Sacha Specker)
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Third place: Magnus Lundborg

A rare white southern right whale photographed off Puerto Pirámides, Argentina. (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Magnus Lundborg)
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Other shortlisted entries

There was a stunning raft of entries into the competition this year, in the six categories of Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year, Ocean Exploration Photographer of the Year, Ocean Adventure Photographer of the Year, Young Ocean Photographer of the Year, The Community Choice Award and The Collective Portfolio Award.

1st place: Exploration Photographer of the Year category (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Ben Cranke)
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2nd place: Exploration Photographer of the Year category (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Karim Ilya)
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3rd place: Exploration Photographer of the Year category (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Florian Ledoux)
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ocean art 2020

1st place: Adventure Photographer of the Year category (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Jason Gulley)

2nd place: Adventure Photographer of the Year category (Image credit: The Ocean Photographer of the Year: Sean Scott)
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The Ocean Photography Awards, in partnership with SeaLegacy and supported by Princess Yachts, is a celebration of our blue planet and a platform to shine a light on the threats facing the ocean. 

All the winners and commended images, can be viewed here (opens in new tab).

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Lauren Scott
Managing Editor

Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit. 


An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW's sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)


In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography.