Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022: winners' ethereal deep-sea shots revealed

Ben Thouard captured a surfer battling the water in an incredible image that scooped the top prize

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The Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022 winners have zoomed in on the beauty of the seas and the threats the ocean faces.

This year's top prize has gone to Ben Thouard, a photographer who lives in French-Polynesia, who captured a brave, lonely surfer battling against one of the heaviest waves in the world. The wave is known as Teahupo'o, or "place of skulls".

Thouard's entry was chosen from thousands of submissions, but he was unanimously voted winner by the judging panel, which comprised six renowned photographers, including Paul Nicklen, David Doubilet and Cristina Mittermeier.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the winning shots from the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022 competition

Second place went to Katherine Lu, for her image of a blanket octopus taken on a blackwater night dive in the Philippines.

Katherine Lu's photo of a blanket octopus showing off its beautiful patterns and colours in the Philippines. Photo: Katherine Lu / Ocean Photographer of the Year

Then came Brook Peterson, from the US, who shot a cormorant diving through a school of fish that had a formation in the shape of a human face.

There were plenty of other winners in other categories, from Ocean Wildlife Photographer of the Year to the Human Connection Award: People & Planet Ocean.

Entries were submitted from all over the world, from the Maldives to Sri Lanka and Indonesia, as well as Australia, Mexico and the UK, to name a few.

First place in Conservation Photographer of the Year was Simon Lorenz, who captured an Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in a mass of ocean debris in Sri Lanka.

First place, Conservation Photographer of the Year (IMPACT), goes to Simon Lorenz, for his photo of an Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in a mass of ocean debris in Sri Lanka. Photo: Simon Lorenz / Ocean Photographer of the Year

Lorenz came in second for the Human Connection Award, too, as he also submitted an image of a dive guide cutting the turtle loose.

A particularly striking shot of waves breaking on a misty morning in Scarborough, England, by Michael Spencer, took home Fine Art Photographer of the Year.

First place, Fine Art Photographer of the Year, Michael Spencer. Waves break on a misty morning in Scarborough, England. Photo: Michael Spencer / Ocean Photographer of the Year

Second place in that category went to Dr Nick More, whose photo of a porcelain crab feeding in the currents of Indonesian waters is almost haunting.

Winning works in the competition, which is produced by Oceanographic Magazine, are now being displayed at a free, open-air, month-long exhibition at Tower Bridge in London until November 7.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: highly commended pictures unveiled — in pictures

Updated: October 07, 2022, 11:04 AM
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