The results of the 2012 Underwater Photography Contest, hosted by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, have been announced. The overall winner was Ximena Olds of Florida with her macro shot of a headshield sea slug from St. Thomas, USVI. The contest featured a public vote this year, and this was won by Todd Aki of California with his image of a jellyfish in a sunburst.
The contest attracted over 700 entries and, as always, it great to see so many Wetpixel members among the placings. Congratulations go out to all the winners.
Over 700 images from 20 countries; new interactive ‘Fan Favorite’ category nets 1,200 votes
MIAMI – April 18, 2012 – More than 700 underwater images were submitted for the 2012 Annual Underwater Photography Contest hosted by the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. The ‘Best Overall” photograph was submitted under the Macro category and was shot in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The photo by Ximena Olds depicts a vibrant orange headshield sea slug on a brilliant background of green seagrass.
A panel of experts, including photographer and UM lecturer Myron Wang, underwater photographer Nicole Wang and Rosenstiel School Marine Biology & Fisheries Professor Dr. Michael Schmale judged the photos which came from 20 countries. Awards were given in three categories, Macro, Fish or Marine Animal Portrait, Wide Angle, and Best Overall submission. The School also recognized the Best UM Student Photo, which was of a whale shark submitted by Kyra Hartog.
“The quality of photos keeps getting better each year,” said Myron Wang, who has been judging the contest since its inception. “Judging becomes more difficult when you have so many wonderful pictures to choose from. For me, there were excellent entries in every category but this year’s standout was the great picture of the juvenile sperm whale taken by Douglas Kahle in Dominica – it is spectacular!”
A new addition to the contest, an online ‘Fan Favorite’ poll on the Rosenstiel School blog, garnered more than 1,200 votes. The winner, taking nearly half the votes, was a jellyfish shot by Todd Aki.
The underwater photography contest is held annually, and is open to all amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from their photography. To view the winners of this year’s contest, visit the contest’s website.
The “Best Overall”” prize is a trip on Blackbeard’s Cruises departing from Freeport, Bahamas. This year’s ‘Best UM Student Photo’ was sponsored by Divers Direct. Since 1984, Dania Beach, Fla.-based Divers Direct has serviced the SCUBA community by offering a complete scuba certification curriculum and a large selection of scuba gear including scuba tanks, dive computers, scuba regulators, scuba wetsuits, and scuba masks from the world’s top manufacturers. In addition to being recognized as the United States’ largest scuba retailer, Divers Direct is also well known for their exceptional customer service. For more information visit www.diversdirect.com.
Winners listed by category, and location where photo was shot:
2012 Underwater Photo Contest Winners
Ximena Olds – U.S. Virgin Islands
Todd Aki - California, USA
- Todd Mintz - Bonaire
- Davide Lopresti - Indonesia
- Marcello Di Franceso - Indonesia
- Douglas Kahle - Dominica
- Rockford Draper - Indonesia
- Nicholas Samaras - Greece
- Mark Fuller - Israel
- Matthew Potenski - Bahamas
- Bill Lamp’l - Fiji
- Kyra Hartog - Mexico
- Phillip Gillette - Thailand
- Austin Gallagher - Bahamas