The 2021 Underwater Tour Awards Winners are..

We are absolutely thrilled to have announced the Winners of the Underwater Tour Awards during the livestreamed Underwater Tour Show on 23 May.

Our aim from the outset was for the annual Underwater Tour Awards competition to encourage and inspires passion for photography, exploration and discovery from behind the lens and help 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 hundreds of images submitted by photographers from all over the world. 

We are delighted with the high calibre of submissions received. 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.

You can see more information about the winners and their entries by clicking on their names.

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

Amanda has won $5000 of gleaming Silver products from SEACAM and a Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless Camera from CameraPro with $200 CameraPro voucher. The prize value is $10,000.

Category Winners:

Underwater Characters. Winner:   Luc Rooman, Kieldrecht, Belgium

Luc has won $500 cash, a SCUBAPRO Nova 850 rechargeable torch and battery pack, a Momento Pro $200 voucher and a Living Image A2 size premium cotton paper print of the winning image.

Underwater Scenes. Winner:  Wayne Osborn, Applecross, Western Australia

Wayne has won $500 cash, a SCUBAPRO Glide BCD, a Momento Pro $200 voucher and a Living Image A2 size premium cotton paper print of the winning image.

Aquatic Abstract. Winner:  Richard Condlyffe, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

Richard has won $500 cash, a SCUBAPRO Glide BCD, a Momento Pro $200 voucher and a Living Image A2 size premium cotton paper print of the winning image.

Topside Scenes. Winner: Pavlos Evangelidis, Nea Arithrea, Greece

Pavlos has won $500 cash, a SCUBAPRO Nova 850 rechargeable torch and battery pack, a Momento Pro $200 voucher and a Living Image A2 size premium cotton paper print of the winning image.

Underwater Black and White. Winner:  Kristian Laine, Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia.

Kristian has won $500 cash, a SCUBAPRO Nova 850 rechargeable torch and battery pack, a Momento Pro $200 voucher and a Living Image A2 size premium cotton paper print of the winning image.

People’s Choice Award. Winner:  Craig Lambert, Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, Australia

Craig has won Scubapro Jet Sport Fins, Zoom Mask and Spectra Dry Snorkel, a copy of Darren Jew’s Underwater Australia, Little Urchin Reef Friendly Sunscreen, Finslap H2O Drink Bottle and a Living Image A2 Fine Art Print of winning entry

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

Louise has won a stay on Lady Elliot Island, sanctuary for over 1,200 species of marine life and known for its abundance of manta rays, turtles, amazing array of spectacular marine life and unspoilt coral reef.

From the Heart to the Ocean – the Max Benjamin Award. 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

Natasha has won a stay at Walindi Plantation Resort in Papua New Guinea.  A biodiversity hot spot with over half the worlds coral species, this Award is named in honour of Walindi’s much-loved founder, Max Benjamin. 1947-2020.

Congratulations to all winners and well done to all entrants!

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. 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.

Thank you to everyone who has watched the show and taken part this year. 

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