A rare glimpse of the swimming macaque wins 2023 Ocean Art contest
Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the 2023 winners. This year’s overall winner is Suliman Alatiqi, with his photo Aquatic Mammal. It shows a rare and fascinating portrait of a crab-eating macaque resolutely swimming through the ocean. As always, there are also category winners to admire, so let’s dive right in!
About the contest
What’s new with this year’s Ocean Art competition is that it separated the old Underwater Art categories into Underwater Digital Art and Underwater Fashion. As with the old Underwater Art category, the jury removed editing rules for these two categories and allowed imaginations to fly.
Other categories included never-before-seen behaviors, extra-terrestrial blackwater scenes, images that brought hope and solutions for ocean conservation, ingenious lighting techniques, and stunning animal portraits. There are 14 different categories for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from photographers from over 90 countries, which was a difficult task!
Nirupam Nigam, Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and a partner in Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel, commented:
“As you can see from the judges’ comments, this year’s competition emphasized the decision-making process for selecting the best underwater photos of 2023 – prompting reflection on the nature of a photo, AI, and AI tools. The winners epitomize pure photography.”
The world of photography has undergone a significant transformation with the rapid development of AI technology. However, this year’s winning photographs showcase humanity’s creative resilience over machines. Adhering to the newly implemented regulations prohibiting generative AI imagery in all primary categories, the awarded photos are entirely authentic and unaltered.
Ocean Art rewarded the most extensive selection of prizes this year– with over $120,000 in prizes awarded.
And the winner is…
As mentioned, the 12th Ocean Art’s Best in Show is Suliman Alatiqi. His photo of a diving macaque came after weeks of planning and documentation, and it represents the zeal and commitment needed to capture the world’s best underwater image. Other than the overall victory, this image also brought him first place in the Portrait category.
“During fieldwork at Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, spanning several weeks, I focused my efforts on documenting the maritime behavior of the Crab-eating macaque with particular focus on their water forages. The macaques have adapted very well to living around the sea and will venture into the water for various reasons including transportation, scavenging, cooling down and playing. Highly efficient swimmers, they can dive for up to half a minute and can cover short distances faster than most humans. This photo offers a rare glimpse of the swimming movement of a male macaque.”
You can read an interview with Suliman here and learn more details about his image. And now, enjoy the category winners and runner-ups (second place) below. You can find the complete list of winners and runner-ups at the Underwater Photography Guide.
More from Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest
- These underwater photos are breathtakingly beautiful – they won the 2018 Ocean Art underwater photo competition
- 2019 Ocean Art contest winners show the incredible beauty and diversity of the underwater world
- Winners of 2020 Ocean Art “Safe under the Sea” contest reveal the magnificent underwater world
- Stunning close-up shot of two pike fighting wins 2021 Ocean Art contest
- Close-up of octopus mom and her babies win 2022 Ocean Art underwater photo contest
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.