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Winners of the Underwater Tour Awards Announced
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, August 5, 2020 @ 08:00 AM (EST)


This year’s Underwater Tour around Australia and New Zealand had to be postponed till 2021 due to the pandemic, but the new underwater photography contest accompanying the event, the Underwater Tour Awards, went ahead as planned—albeit featuring a virtual ceremony rather than a physical one.

Chelsea Haebich received the contest’s Guru Award for her five-image portfolio, while Simone Caprodossi, Pavlos Evangelidis, Louise Nott, Yung Sen Wu, and Richard Condlyffe picked up the category wins. An online vote decided the People’s Choice winner, Pierre-Laurent Pablo.

Check out the impressive winning images below. Congratulations to all the talented shooters!
 



PRESS RELEASE

Winners Announced: The Underwater Tour Awards 2020
International Underwater Photography Competition

Australia, 5 August 2020 – The organisers of the Underwater Tour Awards announced the winners of its inaugural, prestigious international photography competition in a livestreamed online award ceremony this evening.

“We are delighted with the high calibre of submissions received in this, our first year” said Darren Jew, Convenor and Head Judge.  “The competition gallery takes us on a remarkable visual tour, showcasing the fine work of competing underwater wildlife photographers and celebrating the natural wonders of the underwater world”.

The annual competition encourages and inspires passion for photography, exploration and discovery from behind the lens and helps raise awareness of the world’s incredible, fragile marine and aquatic inhabitants and their environments.

To ensure the natural world is depicted both creatively and honestly, with due regard shown to the welfare of all marine life and habitats all images entered were subject to the competition’s Ethics Review process, conducted by renowned Marine biologist, Dr Richard Smith, before moving to the first round of judging. 

Led by Convenor Darren Jew, Canon Master and six-times winner of the AIPP Professional Nature Photographer of the Year, the international judging panel; Juergen Freund, Aaron Wong, William Tan and Jasmine Carey, reviewed hundreds of images submitted by photographers from all over the world. 


The Guru Award Winner: 

The competition’s Guru Award was created to celebrate an underwater photographer with talent, skill and creativity who can deliver with more than one high calibre image ....  an award for an excellent photographer, not simply an excellent photograph. From a pool of the highest scoring entrants who entered 5 images in the Awards.

Winner: Chelsea Haebich, Adelaide, Australia


Category Winners

Underwater Characters
Winner: Simone Caprodossi, Byron Bay, Australia

Underwater Scenes
Winner: Pavlos Evangelidis, Brussels, Belgium

Aquatic Abstract
Winner: Louise Nott, Sydney, Australia

Topside Scenes
Winner: Yung Sen Wu, Keelung City, Taiwan

Underwater Black and White
Winner: Richard Condlyffe, Battle Creek, USA

The People’s Choice
Winner: Pierre-Laurent Pablo, Nimes, France
 

The Guru Award Images

The Gatekeeper
 

Drifting Dragon
 

The Cathedral
 

Cheeky!
 

Hingeback Shrimp
 

The Guru Award winner Chelsea Haebich has won a humpback whale swim experience in the warm waters of Tonga provided by Whales Underwater. In addition, over $5000 in cash and partner product prizes were awarded to category winners.

“I am still a few inches off the ground. I genuinely did not think I was in for a chance as I watched all the other amazing shots winning categories! Just WOW!” exclaimed Haebich. “Winning this award might make me stop doubting myself and have a bit more faith in my abilities. Something I struggle with for sure!”

“Moving forward I hope it can put my work out there further and bring people and connections into my life that will help me grow as a photographer and further share this astounding world with more people” She continued “I love seeing people’s curiosity and hearing their questions about the Underwater World. If winning lets me share that more, grow more and impact more people then that would be wonderful and very fulfilling.”
 

Category Winners

Underwater Characters

Northern Gannets Fighting for a Fish
 

Topside Scenes

Mission Complete
 

Aquatic Abstract

Pineapple Swirl
 

Underwater Black and White

Two Spotted Dolphins
 

Underwater Scenes

Leru Cut
 

The People’s Choice

Frog Fish Hanging
 

“The Underwater Tour Awards are a natural community extension of the annual Underwater Tour nationwide speaker series each May” said co-founder Juliette Myers.   “We’d like to thank Whales Underwater, Momento Pro and Nautilus Lifeline for supporting the Awards.  We’d also like to thank our Tour Partners; The Arenui Boutique Liveaboard, Wakatobi, Walindi and Febrina, SEACAM, Momento Pro, Christmas Island, Paradise Taveuni – without whom our annual speakers tour would not be possible”.

Co-founder Tim Hochgrebe added “Thank you to everyone who has taken part this year.  Planning for the Underwater Tour Awards 2021 is already in full swing and we are looking forward to rolling out the Underwater Tour 2021 around the country from 13-20 May”.

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