1. Animal Portraits – the Emory Kristof Award of Excellence
Pictures should feature the unique character or spirit of the marine animal as well as express a sense of tenderness and intimacy. We encourage the photographer to push the boundary of standard portraiture. Code: PO
2. Fish Behaviour – the Dr GERRY ALLEN Award of Excellence
Picture must have the WOW factor – instantly capture attention. It may be a rare or fascinating behaviour; simply ‘sitting’, ‘staring’ or ‘sleeping is not enough. While it is essential to show genuine behaviour, we are looking for images of special interest, with aesthetic appeal and dramatic impact.
3. Animal Behaviour – the DOUG PERRINE Award of Excellence
Picture must have the WOW factor – instantly capture attention. It may be a rare or fascinating behaviour; simply ‘sitting’, ‘staring’ or ‘sleeping is not enough. While it is essential to show genuine behaviour, we are looking for images of special interest, especially rarely or never seen before behaviour, with aesthetic appeal and dramatic impact. Any other animals but fish. Code: (AB)
4. Black & White Print – the ERNIE BROOKS II Award of Excellence
Pictures maybe around water or underwater; composition may be of animals or seascapes revealing details, contrast of black, white and grey. The picture should be aesthetically appealing.
5. Colour Prints – the Valerie Taylor Award of Excellence
Pictures maybe around water or underwater; composition may be of animals or seascapes revealing details, shadows and contrast. The picture should be aesthetically appealing.
6. Coral Reefs of the World – the Dr CARDEN WALLACE Award of Excellence
This is a category to celebrate the beauty of coral reefs i.e. landscape composition of coral reefs. Composition must show hard coral or soft coral species – should portray a sense of wilderness, diversity or density of species and impressiveness of the environment/habitat. It should make use of creative lighting, and capture both a feeling of an underwater wilderness and a sense of awe.
7. Creative Vision – the Dr Pascal Lecocq Award of Excellence
We are looking for unique, surprising, artistic interpretations of the ocean. It may be inter-tidal, from the surface or underwater , abstract or ambiguous, but has to be executed to exacting photographic techniques. We will be looking for a distinct, well thought out process, originality and an attempt to convey a greater understanding of our watery planet. In-camera multiple exposures permitted.
8. Small Exotic Animals – the Neville Coleman Award of Excellence
This category is for the macro aficionado – portraits or behaviour of small exotic animals – typically a 1:1 or magnified. Pictures should feature the unique character or spirit of the critters which expresses a sense of tenderness or intimacy with the creature. We encourage the photographer to push the boundary of standard close up images. Code: (SXA)
9. Human & Ocean – the Stephen Frink Award of Excellence
This is a category for a picture of a human in an underwater scene. The model must not be the focus of the image but seen as directional tool that helps to emphasize the beauty of the animal or scene. It should make use of creative lighting, and bring about greater awareness to the animal or environment. Code: (HO)
10. Open Water (Pelagic Zone) – the Brian Skerry Award of Excellence – NEW
This is a category for pelagic animals that generally live in the open ocean or in deep water of over 100m. The picture must clearly reveal the species and the pelagic habitat. Clearly indicate location and depth in the file name. Code: (OWD)
11. Black & Blue Water Exploration – the Dr William Hamner Award of Excellence
This is a category for a picture of planktonic animals captured in open water in the day or night. Though not limited to, the special focus will be animals that have migrated from deep water into the pelagic realm and larvae stage of animals that thrive in the pelagic zone. The emphasis is on never seen before images and pictures that bring about greater awareness of the pelagic environment. Code: (BLW)
12. Emerging Photographer of the Year – the Dr ALEX MUSTARD Award of Excellence – NEW
This category is for new photographers that demonstrate passion, desire and skill in capturing inspiring images; pictures must be shot after 1 Jan 2019. Pictures must show fish, marine animals, or marine birds, marine plants or seascapes. The judges will be looking for original, beautiful or striking shots rather than rare or exotic subjects. Submit three pictures for this category. Images may be either wide angle or macro/close up or combination of both. Code: (OGN)
13. Music & Pictures – the Michael AW Award of Excellence
This category calls for submission of a movie file made from a slideshow of pictures montaged to music. It should be thematic, focus on the marine environment or marine animals. Pictures must be shot entirely by the competitor; music should original or with liscence to use.
Code: (MAP) (See sample video here)
14. OG Master Portfolio – the DAVID DOUBILET Award of Excellence – New
This is a prestigious award will be given for a set of images that raises awareness of the ocean environment through photographic excellence. It should consist of a series of 10 pictures that depict a pristine environment or animals that inspire love of our ocean, or an environment that is currently threatened by destruction and needs urgent conservation attention. Shock value may be useful, but we are looking for genuine photographic excellence. Messages may be positive or negative, pictures may be graphic or symbolic, but must be thought provoking, memorable and encourage concern for nature. The Portfolio maybe thematic or diverse in genre showing the skill of the photographer. Code: (PA)
15. Emerging Ocean Geographic Photo-Journalist – Merit of Excellence
This category is open to all underwater photographers and writers. The essay must be written in first person, about encounters with ocean mammals, reef fish, and invertebrates. Primary focus should be about conservation, natural history or new discoveries.
Text minimum 800 words: Pictures: 6 to 12 pictures to illustrate the essay – photographs must be captured by the competitor.
16. Conservation Picture of the Year– the Dr SYLVIA EARLE ONEOCEAN Award for Excellence
Picture or short video clip (60 sec)– this important award raises awareness of endangered species or a marine protected area through photographic excellence. Species (both animals and plants) must be categorised under the 2011 IUCN Red List as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or near threatened at an international or national level (if the latter, please supply details). Images must be memorable and capture the unique character or spirit of the subject. Code: (ONE)
17. Vision of the Sea Movie – the HOWARD HALL Award for Outstanding Achievement
60% of the video’s content must feature marine species or marine protected area(s) – the message may depict a pristine environment that inspired love of our ocean or an environment that is currently under the threat of destruction and needs urgent conservation attention. Messages conveyed may be positive or negative. Code (MO)