Ocean Photographer of the Year 2023

In 2023 alone, there were over 8000 entries from all around the world for the prestigious award of Ocean Photographer of the year - what a huge job for the panel of judges!!

The competition is sponsored by the Oceanographic magazine, who also publish the results and winner and finalists on their website in each of the nine categories:

• Ocean Photographer of the Year
• Wildlife Photographer of the Year
• Fine Art Photographer of the Year
• Adventure Photographer of the Year
• Conservation (Hope) Photographer of the Year
• Human Connection Award: People & Planet Ocean
• Young Photographer of the Year
• Ocean Portfolio Award
• Female Fifty Fathoms Award

In 2023, the overall winner of the Ocean photographer of the Year was marine biologist and amateur photographer Jialing Cai for her stunning image of a paper nautilus — a type of octopus with its own shell — floating on a piece of ocean debris taken somewhere in the waters of the Philippines.

The Oceanographic magazine sets a broad objective for the competition - "to showcase the beauty of our planet" and "dazzle the world." 1

It is interesting to learn about the background and motivations of this underwater marine biologist and photographer from China. An interview with Jialing Cai with The Oceanographic magazine can be found here, if you are interested.

Photographers of all types – coastal, marine, underwater and drone specialists - responded from around the world with stunning imagery of marine encounters, beautiful vistas, and thought-provoking interpretations of the human-ocean connection.

Here is a link to the magazine’s website which shows us the winners in each category, with a short description of each photograph:

Winners Gallery - Oceanographic
Oceanographic Magazine

The following link gives more detail if you are interested – showing the finalists as well as the winners in each category, and also there are tabs at the top of the page to the previous three years' awards.

I think you are in for a real treat if you have time to browse through some of the categories. You can click on any photo and you will find a short description of the subject, country or origin and the photographer! I am sure you will find them just stunning……

Ocean Photographer of the Year 2023 winners revealed
Today, after receiving thousands of beautiful and impactful images, winners of the Ocean Photographer of the Year 2023 were revealed.

But there is an added bonus for anyone who happens to live in, or be visiting Sydney, Australia, before 26th May 2024!

For the first time, over 100 photographs of the beautiful and thought-provoking imagery from the competition will be on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, in Sydney central.

These incredible images from some of the world’s best ocean photographers – professional and amateurs alike – are all unique moments in timne, many of which also highlight the issues which threaten the longevity and sustainability of our world oceans and the plight of the creatures living within.

DO let us know your thoughts if you are able to see this exhibition in the coming months!


  1. A quotation from a spokesperson from Oceanographic magazine, in launching the competition and awards.

With huge thanks to the Oceanographic magazine for their well designed website allowing us to see these wonderful images…..

There is more information about the exhibition at the Maritime Museum, Sydney, if you click here.