Results: Underwater Tour Awards 2021

The Guru Grand Prize Winner: Amanda Blanksby

The 2021 Underwater Tour Awards has announced its winners. The Guru Grand Prize is awarded to the individual with the highest scored images across all the categories. The winner of this award was Amanda Blanksby. Wetpixel offers hearty congratulations to all the winners.

Press release

Winners Announced-The Underwater Tour Awards 2021

International Underwater Competition

Australia: 21 May 2021: The organizers of the Underwater Tour Awards announced the winners of its second annual, prestigious international competition in the live-streamed Underwater Tour Show broadcast this evening.

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.

The Guru Awards – Photographic Competition

The only international photography competition of its kind to incorporate a systematic Ethical Review for images submitted, the Underwater Tour Awards Team is committed to ensuring 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 and author, Dr Richard Smith, before moving to the first round of judging.

Led by convenor Darren Jew, Canon Master and six-time winner of the AIPP’s Professional Nature Photographer of the Year, the international judging panel: Juergen Freund, Alex Kydd, Rachael Talibart and Y-Zin Kim reviewed several hundred images submitted by photographers from all over the world.

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

The Guru Grand Prize

The competition’s Guru Grand Prize celebrates 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. The winner is chosen from a pool of the highest scoring entrants who entered one image in each of the five different categories of the Awards.

The Guru Grand Prize Winner: Amanda Blanksby, Wembley, Western Australia.

Category Winners:

Underwater Characters

Winner: Luc Rooman, Kieldrecht, Belgium

Underwater Scenes

Winner: Wayne Osborn, Applecross, Western Australia

Aquatic Abstract

Winner:Richard Condlyffe, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

Topside Scenes

Winner: Pavlos Evangelidis, Nea Arithrea, Greece

Underwater Black and White

Winner: Kristian Laine, Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia

The People’s Choice will be finalised on 23 May. All finalists’ images can be seen on underwatertourawards.com.au.

We introduced two new awards in 2021:

The Eco-Hero Award

We invited nominations for individuals going above and beyond to consistently share and encourage positive ecological change within their community environment.

Winner: Louise Hardman, Coffs Harbour, News South Wales, Australia

From the Heart to the Ocean

This Award category was open to all creatives working in any medium - we called out for the community to inspire us with their work.

Winner: Natasha Waller, Old Beach, Tasmania, Australia

Leafy Sea Dragon: Colored pencil on black cotton rag in a blackwood frame

Congratulations to all winners and well done to all entrants” Darren Jew encouraged.

The Underwater Tour Awards are a natural community extension of the annual Underwater Tour nationwide speaker series, scheduled each May in Australia. This year we have rolled out a virtual broadcast show which has enabled us to engage with an audience around the world” said co-founder Juliette Myers. “We’d like to thank all our valued Partners. SEACAM, Paradise Taveuni, Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, Momento Pro, CameraPro, Heron Island, Christmas Island, Wakatobi, Nautilus Liveaboards, Walindi Plantation Resort, MV Febrina, MV Oceania, Lady Elliot Island, and Scubapro. Without their support the Underwater Tour Show and Awards would not be possible”.

Co-founder Tim Hochgrebe added “Thank you to everyone who has watched the show and taken part this year. Planning for the Underwater Tour Awards 2022 is already in full swing and we are looking forward to seeing you next year”.