Results: Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022

2022 WINNER: A surfer battles one of the heaviest waves in the world following a wipe-out. Captured by Ben Thouard, the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022.

The 2022 Ocean Photography Awards has announced its winners. The winning image, of a surfer under the wave after a wipe out, was shot by Ben Thouard. Many congratulations to all the winners, and the many members of the Wetpixel community with images that are among the placings.

A blanket octopus shows off its beautiful patterns and colours.

Press release

Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022 announced

THIRD OVERALL. Brook Peterson A cormorant dives through a huge school of baitfish, creating a series of shapes that mimics that of a human face.
United States

French Polynesia-based photographer, Ben Thouard, has been announced as the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022. Ben’s incredible image – beautifully composed and full of texture and action - shows a surfer battling against one of the heaviest waves in the world, Teahupo’o, which translates at ‘place of skulls’. Chosen from thousands of submissions from around the world, it was a unanimous winner amongst the six world-renowned Ocean Photographer of the Year judges, including Paul Nicklen, David Doubilet and Cristina Mittermeier.

Second place goes to Katherine Lu for her beautiful image of a blanket octopus taken on a blackwater night dive. Third place goes to Brook Peterson for her captivating image of a diving cormorant amongst a school of fish that has formed to create the shape of a human face.

Category winners include images of posing pods of pilot whales, humans exploring the farthest reaches of the ocean, and recovered reefs booming with biomass. All this year’s winners and finalists, along with captions and credits, can be found here.

Several new categories have been added in 2022, including Ocean Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Ocean Fine Art Photographer of the Year and Human Connection Award: People & Planet Ocean. The Ocean Conservation Photographer of the Year has been split into two categories: Hope and Impact.

This year will see the return of the month-long Tower Bridge exhibition, enjoyed by more than one million people in 2021. The free, open-air exhibition will be open to the public from tomorrow, October 5th to November 7th. More information can be found here.

The Ocean Photographer of the Year has a simple mission: to shine a light on the beauty of the ocean and the threats it faces. The competition has this year once again been produced by Oceanographic Magazine in partnership with Blancpain, Princess Yachts and Tourism Western Australia, and in support of conservation organization SeaLegacy.



WINNER. Tom St George
A cave diver surveys an underwater cave system, surrounded by gigantic formations that have taken millennia to form. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

SECOND. Franco Banfi
A freediver swims with a matriarchal pod of five sperm whales.

THIRD. Martin Broen
A diver moves through an abandoned sinkhole-like cenote, like floating through a haunted forest.
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Female Fifty Fathoms Award

WINNER: Brooke Pyke

All images taken in Western Australia

A manta ray cruises above a sandy seabed off Coral Bay, Western Australia.

A playful sea lion looks at its reflection in Brooke’s camera.

Two Stoke’s sea snakes mating.

Fine Art

WINNER. Michael Spencer
Waves break on a misty morning in Scarborough.
United Kingdom

SECOND. Dr Nick More
A porcelain crab feeds in the current.

**THIRD. Martin Broen***
A blue whale and her calf.


WINNER. Nicolas Remy
An aggregation of critically endangered grey nurse sharks of the coast of New South Wales.

SECOND. Andreas Schmid
A pink whipray swims amidst schooling bannerfish.

THIRD. Renee Capozzola
Three green sea turtles gather under the sun in Maui.

Conservation-Human Connection

WINNER. Steve Woods
A freediver interacts with a sperm whale amidst a cloud of Sargassum weed.

SECOND. Simon Lorenz A dive guide cuts an Olive Ridley turtle free from plastic debris.
Sri Lanka

THIRD. Radim Klimes
A surfer floats atop a calm sea.


WINNER. Rafael Fernandez Caballero
A pod of pilot whales pose for a family portrait.

SECOND. Martin Broen
A seemingly giant blue crab feeds in the current.

THIRD. Juan Mizael Palomeque Gonzalez
A manta ray, and beautiful symmetry.


Winner-Matty Smith

Young Ocean Photographer of the Year

WINNER. Ryuta Ogawa A green turtle hatchling takes a breath before its first great journey.

SECOND. Nicolas Hahn
An orca mother and calf play in the open ocean.

THIRD. Julian Jacobs
A juvenile brown pelican surveys the choppy shallows.
United States


WINNER. Simon Lorenz
An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in a mass of ocean debris.
Sri Lanka

SECOND. Rafael Fernandez Caballero
A dead sperm whale, beached and bloody, its tail showing signs of entanglement.

THIRD. Dmitry Kokh
Polar bears make a ‘home’ of an abandoned station on Kolyuchin Island.