Ocean Currents

Announcing the 2019 Photo Contest Winners

You won’t believe these stunning captures

Judges Choice_Golden Hour_Kyle Soto
© Kyle Soto

Our annual Photo Contest has come to a close, and I think it’s safe to say that this was our best yet. Hundreds of you sent your spectacular ocean photos—and we couldn’t have been more impressed!

You showed us colorful sunsets, massive whales and teeny tiny nudibranchs. You captured both the ocean’s beauty and the many threats that it’s facing. Thank you for sharing your images with us—we are so grateful.

Of all the fin-tastic submissions, there were some that stood out. Our Judge’s Choice winner was selected by our esteemed panel of judges and our category winners were selected by YOU, our voters.

We’re proud and honored to present the winners of our 2019 Photo Contest. Congratulations to ALL of our entrants, and we hope to see you next year for our 2020 contest!

Judge’s Choice Winner

“Golden Hour” by Kyle Soto

Judges Choice_Golden Hour_Kyle Soto
© Kyle Soto
Photographer Description: An endangered green sea turtle rises to the surface for a breath. The sun began its ascent over the horizon, sending beams of golden light rays through the water column. Boca Raton, Florida.


Embracing the color and light of the ocean along with the emotion given off by the turtle, strikes the viewer upon first glance.

Ben Hicks
2019 Photo Contest Judge

Marine Wildlife Winner

“Pygmy Seahorse” by Tanya Lister

Marine Wildlife_Pygmy Seahorse_Tanya Lister
© Tanya Lister
Photographer Description: Pygmy Seahorse. Tulamben, Indonesia

Coastlines & Seascapes Winner

“Motukiekie Reefstars” by Kim Free


“Beautiful colors! Those reef stars are so interesting, I love that they are the subject in the foreground without losing the setting.”

Irjaliina Paavonpera
2019 Photo Contest Judge

Underwater Wonders Winner

“Golden Jellyfish” by Shane Keena

Human Impact Winner

“Fade to White” by Morgan Bennett-Smith

Ocean Aerials Winner

“Shark Water” by Lewis Burnett

JF1_0679 (1)

The photographer has captured a truly remarkable moment in nature here, in a way that is both powerful and extremely eye catching. I loved this image from the moment I first seen it!

Grant Thomas
2019 Photo Contest Judge

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this year’s photo contest, as well as our panel of judges who made this contest possible! Enjoy the slideshow below of some additional honorable mentions from the photo contest entries.

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