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2016/17 Medal Winners

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Winners medal

Winning here (or even just being placed) is Underwater Photography's most coveted accolade because it says you succeeded in the most competitive environment there is, against the top talent of the moment.

Every year a panel of judges select the best images entered in our online photo contest from the previous year. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded for the top three from each category in order of merit.

The judges comprise of industry professionals, previous year's World Champions, our site moderators - anyone we can rope in! They are unpaid, non-affiliated, and (of course) cannot vote for themselves.

You may not agree with the judges. You may think you have 'better shots' at home - prove it! Enter this year's contest.

World Champion 2016/17
The judges award the photographer who submits the most consistent and complete portfolio over the year World Champion. Other photographers of distinction are awarded Grand Master.

winnerThe overall 2016/17 World Champion is...

Over/Under (shots half topside, half U/W)

shots that cross the surface boundary (so under/overs like Snells Window too)

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Gold Medal Winner
Over/Under (shots half topside, half U/W)

Overunder shot. A green Iguana takes a breath after an underwater incursion in a semi-submerged cave on the island of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Green Iguanas are everywhere on the island, they are part of every house's garden and...pools...

Location: Netherlands Antilles

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Silver Medal Winner
Over/Under (shots half topside, half U/W)
profile Steven Miller United States

White eyes, inky black

Location: Micronesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Over/Under (shots half topside, half U/W)
profile Alex Suh United States

Over Under of Great White Shark

Location: Mexico

Runner Ups
Over/Under (shots half topside, half U/W)

Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)

shots taken using ambient light i.e. unlit by flash or continuous lighting like HID but filters on the lens are allowed if declared

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)
profile Nick Blake United Kingdom

'The Light Shines On' Diver in Kukulkan Cenote, Yucatan Peninsular, Mexico

Location: Mexico

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)

Tannhauser gate

Location: Mexico

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)

oceanic black tips

Location: South Africa

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)

Wide Angle - Wrecks

anything man-made that is sunk including cars, tanks, planes etc. - oh and ships!

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Wrecks

"R2D2" inside Fujikawa Maru

Location: Micronesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Wrecks

A diver explores the engine room of the ex-USS Kittiwake. I used a slave strobe and placed it so it would burst light through the metal structure in front of the diver.

Location: Cayman islands

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Wrecks
profile Tanya Houppermans United States

'Life In The Big City' - The wreck of the U352 off the coast of North Carolina is reminiscent of a bustling city, with all of the residents busily going about their daily routines

Location: United States

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Wrecks

Wide Angle - Divers

Divers doing what divers do - underwater or on the surface

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Divers

Freediving in the amazing Barracuda Lake , Coron , Philippines . Freediver : MJ Paula

Location: Philippines

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Divers
profile Troy Mayne Australia

Mirror Mirror. Taken with a Nikon D300 in a Sea and Sea housing with a Sigma 10-20mm lens. Fortunate enough to get the Turtles reflection in the mask as the Turtle swam around the diver on the Great Barrier Reef.

Location: Australia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Divers
profile Graham Watters United Kingdom

Taken in Mexico . Full res

Location: Mexico

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Divers

Wide Angle - Marine Life

wide angle shots with no divers in frame

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Marine Life
profile Allen Walker South Africa

"Vexation" This young female raggie finally snapped and fought back when a big potato bass kept on pushing her around, I was lucky enough to capture the moment.

Location: South Africa

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Marine Life

St. seahorse

Location: Italy

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Marine Life

Lost Galaxies

Location: Spain

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Marine Life

Wide Angle - Close Focus

shots taken with a WIDE ANGLE (or fisheye) lens having 1) a well defined close subject (usually strobe-lit) AND 2) a wide angle BACKGROUND with a second subject, usually a diver

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Close Focus

No way out Giant Grouper breakfast ,

Location: Thailand

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Close Focus

toward orbit

Location: Italy

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Close Focus

SMILE! A playful parrotfish seem to smile at my dome

Location: Maldives

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Close Focus

Macro - not swimming

Smaller subjects typically 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5cm) shot on macro settings or with macro equipment that are NOT MOVING usually on the bottom (i.e. between 1:1 and 1:3)

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Gold Medal Winner
Macro - not swimming
profile John Roach United States

A mouthful...Banded Jawfish Opistognathus macrognathus Blue Heron Bridge USA

Location: United States

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - not swimming

Stay'n alive... Saturday night fever.

Location: Italy

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - not swimming

sawblade shrimp

Location: Indonesia

Runner Ups
Macro - not swimming
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John Parker
United Kingdom
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Nadya Kulagina
Kazakhstan
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Macro - swimming

Smaller subjects typically 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5cm) shot on macro settings or with macro equipment that are in MID WATER not touching anything (i.e. between 1:1 and 1:3)

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Gold Medal Winner
Macro - swimming

Nightfever

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - swimming

Squid with reflection

Location: Guam

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - swimming

Pikeblennie fight

Location: Netherlands Antilles

Runner Ups
Macro - swimming

Macro - Nudibranchia

Sea slugs. A subject popular with macro guys! (means naked gills) Flatworms allowed

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Gold Medal Winner
Macro - Nudibranchia

Colors

Location: Italy

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - Nudibranchia

Light Sabers

Location: Papua New Guinea

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - Nudibranchia

Nudibranch

Location: Malaysia

Runner Ups
Macro - Nudibranchia

Macro - Super macro

Shots taken (at smaller than 1:1) with multiple extension rings, diopters, or teleconverters of extremely small subjects typically less than 1 inch (2.5 cm)

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Gold Medal Winner
Macro - Super macro

Jump!

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - Super macro

Pipefish,

Location: Malaysia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - Super macro
profile Wayne Jones Australia

Caprella sp.

Location: Philippines

Runner Ups
Macro - Super macro

Macro - Close-Up

Shots taken of a subject between 3 inches and 1 foot (7.5 to 30cm) in size (e.g. large fish or diver head) that dominates the frame - any background is incidental and occupies LESS THAN 50% of frame

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Gold Medal Winner
Macro - Close-Up

Acrobat Snake eel with periclimenes magnificus Lembeh strat Nikon D800E , 105 macro , snoot RETRA

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - Close-Up

Hippocampus histrix with snooted backlite strobe

Location: Philippines

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - Close-Up

THE SEXIEST TAIL hairly shrimp taken in Lembeh.

Location: Indonesia

Runner Ups
Macro - Close-Up

Sharks

Shots where sharks are the predominant subject. Sponsored by Stuart Cove's

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Gold Medal Winner
Sharks
profile Jim Machinchick United States

Pelagic Sharks, like this Blue Shark are under the most pressure from fishing and the finning industry. A very curious Blue Shark with some war wounds and souvenir.

Location: United States

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Silver Medal Winner
Sharks
profile Tanya Houppermans United States

'Ebb and Flow' - A river of bait fish swirl past a sand tiger shark in the wreck of the Aeolus off the coast of North Carolina

Location: United States

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Bronze Medal Winner
Sharks
profile Chris Perkins South Africa

Wide Open I had the camera on the end of a pole for this one. After many failed attempts and near misses, everything aligned - I got the right shark, the right angle, the right camera depth, and the right timing - and I ended up with this beauty.

Location: South Africa

Runner Ups
Sharks

Temperate Waters

Seas with green water well north or south of tropical zones typically cold enough for drysuits!

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Gold Medal Winner
Temperate Waters

A stubby squid in flight! A night dive brings an unexpected jewel. This brilliant squid floats thru the dark sea waiting for its next shrimp meal. Canon 100mm macro with dual sea and sea d1 strobes.

Location: Canada

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Silver Medal Winner
Temperate Waters
profile Spencer Burrows United Kingdom

Playful Seal - Farne Islands UK

Location: United Kingdom

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Bronze Medal Winner
Temperate Waters
profile Spencer Burrows United Kingdom

'Hydroid light' Medusa Hydroid in the early morning light

Location: United Kingdom

Runner Ups
Temperate Waters

Freshwater

shots taken bodies of water with no salt e.g. in lakes, streams, pools, rivers i.e NOT the Sea!

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Gold Medal Winner
Freshwater

Trout eaten by Pike

Location: Germany

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Silver Medal Winner
Freshwater

Lez river

Location: France

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Bronze Medal Winner
Freshwater

Lillies under Palm Trees

Location: Guam

Runner Ups
Freshwater

Fashion

Underwater Fashion Photography, Trash the Dress, Wedding and Couple shots and any other shot with models underwater

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Gold Medal Winner
Fashion
profile Lucie Drlikova Czech Republic

Back To Bubble Sometimes we choose to live in a bubble that we hesitate to prick. Who knows if this illusion is what makes life worth living?

Location: Czech Republic

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Silver Medal Winner
Fashion

"Under my Umbrella" taken on breath hold in Barracuda Lake at around 9m . Model :MJ Paula Jumuad

Location: Philippines

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Bronze Medal Winner
Fashion

"The cage"

Location: Spain

Runner Ups
Fashion

Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)

Shots that have been digitally edited outside of the camera for creative reasons (not brightness/contrast etc.) in a program like PhotoShop

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Gold Medal Winner
Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)
profile Conor Culver United States

"The Ambassador" Sea snakes are similar to divers, they rise to the surface and go below back to the reefs. As divers we have to be ambassadors for the ocean, spread awareness and inform everyone about the oceans. This image symbolizes that.

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)
profile Steven Miller United States

The Lovers.

Location: Micronesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)

Space Creation

Location: Israel

Runner Ups
Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)

Topside (above water but marine related)

shots above the surface. Can be on land but with relevance to the marine environment

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Gold Medal Winner
Topside (above water but marine related)
profile Geo Cloete South Africa

~ Breaking The Silence ~

Location: South Africa

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Silver Medal Winner
Topside (above water but marine related)

The emperor penguin family on the Antarctic sea ice (Ross Sea - Baia Terra Nova - Antarctica - PNRA- ISMAR-CNR)

Location: Antarctica

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Bronze Medal Winner
Topside (above water but marine related)

One of many banded sea kraits we found both underwater and on land at Isle of Pines, New Caledonia. Shot with Olympus E-M5, 60mm f/2.8. Thanks for having a look!

Location: New Caledonia

Runner Ups
Topside (above water but marine related)


Contest entries
Dragon Wreck. That s a dredger ship. The image shows the propulsion gear of the dredge conveyor.
By Eduardo Arribada
posted 19:03 CST Today (1 hour ago)
 Pink dream .
By Filip Staes
posted 16:23 CST Today (4 hours ago)
Woobegong shark surrounded bij Glassfish  Raja Ampat  West Papua.
By Filip Staes
posted 16:17 CST Today (4 hours ago)
   Basket Star and Amphipods   
Olympus EM1 MK1  60mm macro lens   SMC
By Gemma Dry
posted 16:17 CST Today (4 hours ago)
Squid  Bonaire
By Aleksandr Marinicev
posted 13:22 CST Today (7 hours ago)
Front or back
By Carsten Schroeder
posted 12:29 CST Today (8 hours ago)
Take me to the Contest!
Previous year's winners


Remember, if you don't enter you won't win!