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2015/16 Medal Winners

medal
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 2015/16
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 2015/16 World Champion is...

The UnderwaterPhotography.com photo course collection
click here to buy the book
See the best images from the last 10 years of the contest in all their glory in...
The UnderwaterPhotography.com photo course collection
120 full color pages

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)
profile Terry Steeley United Kingdom

'Lemon Shark evening split' — Subal underwater housing, Canon 1Dx, Canon EF 8-15mm@15mm, f11, 1/160, ISO400, ambient light and Inon Z240 strobe

Location: Bahamas

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

Taste The Rainbow

Location: United States

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

Cave split. Cenote Tajma Ha

Location: Mexico

Runner Ups
Over/Under (shots half topside, half U/W)
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Steven Miller
United States
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Jim Machinchick
United States
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Jim Catlin
United Kingdom
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Underwater Photo course

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)

Mantaflight, Hanifaru Bay

Location: Maldives

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)
profile Michael Dornellas United States

A beautiful Octopus

Location: United States

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)
profile Lauren Berger United States

Whilst diving in the Socorro islands we came across a family of majestic Humpbacks at Roca Partida in the Socorro islands. These gentle giants stole my heart!

Location: Mexico

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Natural Light (no strobe)
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Beth Watson
United States
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Raoul Caprez
Switzerland
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Underwater Photo course

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

1941 Red Sea. Thr Gulf of Suez. SS Turkia.

Location: Egypt

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Wrecks

Dakota DC3

Location: Turkey

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Wrecks
profile Terry Steeley United Kingdom

It's the moments in life that change us forever... — Subal underwater housing, Canon 5Dmk2 Canon 8-15mm fisheye @ 15mm, f8, 1/250, ISO400, Manual white balance. No strobes

Location: Bahamas

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Wrecks
Underwater Photo course

Wide Angle - Divers

Divers doing what divers do - underwater or on the surface

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Divers
profile Paul Colley United Kingdom

Free diver

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Divers

Three free-divers strike a pose upside down under the ice in Morrison's Quarry. Canon 6D, 15mm lens, cropped and colour corrected in PS.

Location: Canada

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Divers
profile Henley Spiers United Kingdom

Jade & the Sardines

Location: Philippines

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Divers
Underwater Photo course

Wide Angle - Marine Life

wide angle shots with no divers in frame

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Gold Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Marine Life
profile Craig Mcinally United States

A curious baby humpback swims by me on the way to get a breath. The escort male is just visible behind momma. Despite the protection of the adult whales, two orcas killed and ate the baby the day after this photo was taken.

Location: Mexico

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Marine Life
profile Geo Cloete South Africa

~ Feed Me! ~

Location: South Africa

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

"The Order of Things" - Life in the ocean is so unknown, yet we fly to the moon, experiment on Mars, all our research to find a human habitat in space in stead of understanding the ocean, a habitat that supports earth!!! A rather crazy notion!!!

Location: South Africa

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Marine Life
Underwater Photo course

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

Contact solar

Location: Italy

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Silver Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Close Focus

shallow life (Thau lagoon, France)

Location: France

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Bronze Medal Winner
Wide Angle - Close Focus

Hippocampus guttulatus #3

Location: France

Runner Ups
Wide Angle - Close Focus
Underwater Photo course

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 Terry Steeley United Kingdom

Backlit thorny seahorse Ambon, Maluku Islands, Indonesia — Subal underwater housing, Canoin 5D m2, Canon EF100 macro, f25, 1/200s, ISO200, Inon Z240 remote strobe,

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - not swimming

Be my Valentine

Location: Indonesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - not swimming

Gobi on a seapen

Location: Indonesia

Runner Ups
Macro - not swimming
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Henley Spiers
United Kingdom
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Terry Steeley
United Kingdom
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Underwater Photo course

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

Muddle. Box Jellyfish - Morbakka virulenta. Sail Rock, Thailand

Location: Thailand

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - swimming

Golden Cowfish

Location: Indonesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - swimming

The Lion's Roar

Location: Philippines

Runner Ups
Macro - swimming
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Terry Steeley
United Kingdom
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Chase Darnell
Cayman islands
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Underwater Photo course

Macro - Nudibranchia

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

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Gold Medal Winner
Macro - Nudibranchia

Sunbathing doto

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - Nudibranchia

Tricolore

Location: Indonesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - Nudibranchia

Sea hare potrait

Location: Philippines

Runner Ups
Macro - Nudibranchia
Underwater Photo course

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

Ready to face the world? One almost ready to hatch cuttlefish.

Location: Mozambique

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - Super macro

Fightclub - Sceleton shrimp

Location: Indonesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - Super macro

Emperor shrimp on seacucumber

Location: Indonesia

Runner Ups
Macro - Super macro
Underwater Photo course

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

Golden - juv. batfish

Location: Indonesia

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Silver Medal Winner
Macro - Close-Up
profile Luke Gordon United Kingdom

Clearfin Lizardfish (Synodus dermatogenys) predating on Juvenile Acanthuridae, right moment, right time

Location: Indonesia

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Bronze Medal Winner
Macro - Close-Up

"Eye Of The Squid" No crop

Location: Cayman islands

Runner Ups
Macro - Close-Up
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Steven Miller
United States
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Underwater Photo course

Sharks

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

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Gold Medal Winner
Sharks
profile Allen Walker South Africa

"Shout" - One of my personal favourites ;)

Location: South Africa

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Silver Medal Winner
Sharks
profile Tanya Houppermans United States

Shadow Sharks There were so many sand tiger sharks around us while diving off of North Carolina a couple weeks ago, that they seemed to just come out of nowhere.

Location: United States

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Bronze Medal Winner
Sharks
profile Terry Steeley United Kingdom

Few encounters are more rewarding than shooting sunset splits with a wonderfully co-operative lemon shark. — Subal underwater housing, Canon 1Dx, Canon EF8-15mm fisheye @ 15mm, f11, 1/160, ISO320, 2x Inon Z240 strobes

Location: Bahamas

Runner Ups
Sharks
profile
Allen Walker
South Africa
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Underwater Photo course

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
profile Nick Blake United Kingdom

'Hello Cheeky' An excited and boisterous atlantic grey seal at Lundy Island, UK

Location: United Kingdom

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Silver Medal Winner
Temperate Waters
profile Ellen Cuylaerts Cayman islands

Belugas in the wild where they should be! Hudson Bay, Churchill, Canada

Location: Canada

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Bronze Medal Winner
Temperate Waters
profile Matthew Fischbach United States

I think he was trying to tell me something...

Location: United States

Runner Ups
Temperate Waters
Underwater Photo course

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
profile Raoul Caprez Switzerland

Olé !

Location: Mexico

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Silver Medal Winner
Freshwater
profile Terry Steeley United Kingdom

Freediver enjoys the tranquility of the crystal clear water. — Subal underwater housing, Zen DP230, Canon 1Dx, Canon EF8-15mm @ 15mm, f9, 1/80, ISO500, available light

Location: Mexico

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Bronze Medal Winner
Freshwater
profile Paul Colley United Kingdom

Brown Trout on the iconic UK chalk stream - the river Test

Location: United Kingdom

Runner Ups
Freshwater
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Ellen Cuylaerts
Cayman islands
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Underwater Photo course

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

Moonlight Ballet (night underwater photo shooting in swimming pool)

Location: United States

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Silver Medal Winner
Fashion
profile Lucie Drlikova Czech Republic

Dolphins are not Pets!

Location: United States

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Bronze Medal Winner
Fashion

The restlessness of a condemned soul.

Location: Israel

Runner Ups
Fashion
Underwater Photo course

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

"Home Security" part of my Underwater Surrealism series

Location: Palau

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Silver Medal Winner
Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)
profile Lucie Drlikova Czech Republic

ATLANTIDA Poetic name for the mythical continent Atlantis. This image is my very personal project, it reminds me of my childhood. I have dreamed about Atlantida from the moment I first heard song "Atlantida" on the radio, when I was a child.

Location: United States

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

Imagine

Location: United States

Runner Ups
Creative - Manipulated (Photoshopped)
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Conor Culver
United States
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Ken Kiefer
United States
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Underwater Photo course

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

~ Break on Through to the Other Side ~

Location: South Africa

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Silver Medal Winner
Topside (above water but marine related)

Lahaina Makai

Location: United States

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Bronze Medal Winner
Topside (above water but marine related)
profile Emma Camp United Kingdom

A water spout during a storm.

Location: Cayman islands

Underwater Photo course


The UnderwaterPhotography.com photo course collection
click here to buy the book
See the best images from the last 10 years of the contest in all their glory in...
The UnderwaterPhotography.com photo course collection
120 full color pages

Previous year's winners


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