Take A Surreal Trip Underwater In This Breathtaking Photography Contest

Is this real life?

Recently, the winners of the 2015 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest were announced.


There were 15 categories and over $70,000 in prizes was handed out.

Categories ranged from "Wide-Angle," to "Marine Life Behavior," to "Macro," and even "SuperMacro."

Let's check out some of the best in each category.

1st Place in Wide-Angle Ocean Art - "The Satellite" - Tuscany, Italy

Photographer Francesco Visintin explains he was motivated to explore, "jellyfishes in the shallow water of Versilia coast," after a few different weather conditions combined to boost their natural numbers.

2nd Place in Wide-Angle Ocean Art - "Nemo is in da House" - Papua New Guinea

Matteo Visconti grabbed this snap in Fathers Reef, Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, thus reigniting our love for "Finding Nemo" in one picture.

1st Place Macro Ocean Art - "Feeling Exposed" - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Jeff Milisen grabbed a shot of this fella in Hawaii while, "on a blackwater dive."

He further explained that "we had over 1000 blackwater dives under our belt and none of us had ever seen anything like it, whether on earth or boldly going elsewhere!"    

This picture also won the award for "Best In Show."

1st Place Cold Water Ocean Art - "Anemone Light" - The Oslo Forjd, Norway

Taken by Lill Haugen in Norway, he explained the "'Deeplet sea anemone' or North sea anemone (Bolocera tuediae) can be found in the cold, green waters of the Oslo fjord in Norway, at depths from 25 meters and below – like an oasis in the mud."

There, a species of red shrimp hides out and he was able to grab this photo by backlighting the anemone and "by placing the strobe behind the anemone and using a remote slave sensor trigger to fire the strobe."

1st Place Portrait Ocean Art - "Pilot Whales" - Nice, France

When Greg LeCoeur was sailing in the Mediterranean, he spotted this friendly pod of Pilot Whales.

He got inspired and jumped in to swim with the whales, who "accepted me in the blue water," he recounts.

Before they swam away, he was able to grab this shot " in the crystal blue water."

1st Place Compact Wide-Angle - "Cetaceclipse" - Guadeloupe

Brian Christiansen was sailing in Deshaies, Guadeloupe.

He explains, "no sooner had the first sip of coffee touched my lips than I realized a pod of dolphins was swimming around our little sailboat."

He grabbed his camera and jumped right in to play with the dolphins, who also began playing around with him as well. This was just one of many amazing shots he said he was able to grab.

2nd Place Compact Wide-Angle - "Friends" - British Columbia, Canada

Taken in Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada, Stephen Holinski made a new friend with this photogenic sea lion.

He said that this particular colony of sea lions were "energetic, curious, and have no sense of personal space."

1st Place Nudibranchs Ocean Art - "Sunny Day" - Mediterranean

Roland Bach explains he was on the coast of, "the Balearic island Minorca on a place called Punta den Siulet," when he took this photo.

He was able to grab this great shot of a "Felimare picta" when the lighting was just right.

1st Pool-Conceptual Ocean Art - "The Painter of the Sea" - Apulia, Italy

Francesco Pacienza took this photo during a 45-minute session in a cave in Santa Maria al Bagno, Salento, Apulia, Italy.

2nd Place Pool-Conceptual Ocean Art - "A Most Equisite Underwater Mermaid Tea Party" - Austin, Texas

Taken in a private residence by Sarah Teveldal, these mermaids took some time out of their day to enjoy the most exquisite of tea parties.

She explained, "we designed and staged a tea party at the bottom of a 12 ft. deep pool," in order to get this creative shot.


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