Awards + Books

Behind the Shots: Ocean Art 2023 Winners

Behind the Shots: Ocean Art 2023 Winners

The Underwater Photography Guide does it again with year's Ocean Art awards! 2023 was a monumental year for Ocean Art as it saw an unprecedented $120,000USD in prizes awarded. As always Ocean Art is a highly anticipated and well-publicized awards competition for the underwater photography community. 

We're happy to share some of the winning photos from Ikelite Ambassadors and customers from around the globe. Congrats to all the winners and to Underwater Photography Guide on another successful year! 


Bryant Turffs | Ikelite Ambassador

3rd Place, Wide Angle

bryant turffs 3rd place taken with ikelite underwater housing

"In Our Shadow" • Ikelite Canon 7D Mark II Underwater Housing © Bryant Turffs


Ferenc Lorincz

4th Place, Cold Water

ferenc lorincz ikelite strobes

"Carp Love" • Ikelite DS 160 II Strobes © Ferenc Lorincz


Chris Gug

4th Place, Blackwater 

4th place black water chris gug taken with ikelite strobes

"Dangerous Shelter" • Ikelite DS230 Strobes © Chris Gug


Steven Kovacs | Ikelite Ambassador

Honorable Mention, Blackwater

steven kovacs ikelite housing and strobes

"Underwater Art" • Ikelite Nikon D500 Housing, Ikelite DS160 II Strobes © Steven Kovacs


Conor Culver

3rd Place, Underwater Digital Art

conor culver taken with ikelite housing and strobes

"Fall Writer" • Ikelite Nikon D800E Housing, Ikelite DS160 Strobes © Conor Culver

“The Big Fin Reef Squid was photographed in Beangabang, Alor, Indonesia on a muck/night dive.

"My idea for this image was to try and create a narrative with the ink blotches and the squid. Whenever I think of an author, I think of them in the autumn in the mountains. So I wanted to put the squid in that kind of environment. Lastly, as artists we use our art as a way to convey our emotions. When squid are threatened or scared (their emotions) they release their ink. This was just my meanings for this image, but I’ve always wanted the viewers to come up with their own. So my hope is that others view this image and come up with their own narrative.

"All of the images were photographed by me, the background is near Crested Butte, Colorado and the sketch book was photographed in my studio in Golden, Colorado. All of them were taken with my Nikon D800E.”  - Conor Culver


Serge Melesan

3rd Place, Black & White

serge melesan ikelite strobes

"Dress for the Sea" • Ikelite DS160 Strobes © Serge Melesan


Serge Melesan 

Honorable Mention, Black & White

just below serge melesan ikelite ds160 strobes

"Just Below" • Ikelite DS160 Strobes © Serge Melesan


Derek Singer

1st Place, Compact Behavior

derek singer stay at home mom taken with ds 161 strobes

"Stay-at-Home Mom" • Ikelite DS161 Strobes © Derek Singer


Learn From the Pros

Want to cash in on the incredible prizes available from underwater photography competitions? Learn how to capitalize on your creativity with lessons from 100x competition winner Steven Kovacs. Or, take our advice on the basic tips for entering a photo contest. Or, tune into our Weekly Newsletter where you'll get a weekly dose of underwater photography tips and tricks to improve your craft and stay connected to the community. Whether you're in it for the fame, the glory, or just plain fun, competitions are a great way to improve your skills and make you a better photographer. 


Additional Reading

Photo Contest Tips From a 100x Winner

Tips on Entering a Photo Contest

Winner's Profile | Kevin Coombs Discovering Shipwrecks and Winning Photo Competitions

Fighting for the Best Picture: Live Underwater Photography Competitions

Safety Advice for Underwater Photographers

Beyond the Lens with Underwater Surrealist Conor Culver

Featured Photographer: Bryant Turffs on Looking Deeper 

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