The Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner Small Exotic Animal 5-Baby-Seahorses-with-One-Upside-Down banner

Australasia’s best amateur underwater photographers were announced at the Australia International Dive Expo in Sydney on Sunday this week. A panel of judges chose the winners in five categories: Australian Water, Compact Camera, Portrait, Small Exotic Animals and Seascapes at a live judging event at the Dive Expo on Sunday.

The line up of judges brought together by renowned publisher of Ocean Geographic magazine, underwater photographer and expedition leader Michael Aw, was a virtual Who’s Who of underwater photography in Australia. World-famous shark conservationist Valerie Taylor was joined by photographer and vice president of the Rolex Underwater Scholarship, Jayne Jenkins; photographers Matthew Smith and Brett Lobwein; professional colour grader Peter Lightowler and Nikon’s Chris Dalton.

The quality of entries was exceptionally high, making it a tough job for the judges to choose just two finalists in each category – in fact each decision was debated at length!

Five winners and five runners up were finally decided on, with the overall title of Australasian Underwater Photographer awarded to PT Hirschfield, who won in two categories. Hirschfield won a 7-day Gardens of the Queen Cuba Dive package by Avalon Cuban Dive Centre.

Here are the winning images.

Australian Water

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner AU Water Port-Jorgen-Rasmussen-1

Winner: Leopard Seal by Jorgen Rasmussen Prize: 5 Nights / 10 dives at Dive Munda in the Solomon Islands

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 AU Water Andy Wingate

Runner Up: Black frogfish by Andy Wingate
Prize: Diveplanit travel voucher AUD 300, Ocean Geographic – Gardens of the Queen, Cuba AUD 500 voucher, Ocean Geographic expedition vouchers AUD 250

Compact Camera

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner Compact Squid by PT Hirshfield

Winner: Squid in blue water by PT Hirschfield
Prize: 3-Day Ribbon Reefs liveaboard Trip on Spirit of Freedom

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Compact Camera Runner Up Kerrie Burow

Runner Up: Batfish in blue water by Kerrie Burow
Prize: Diveplanit travel voucher AUD 300, Ocean Geographic – Gardens of the Queen, Cuba AUD 500 voucher, Ocean Geographic expedition vouchers AUD 250

Portrait

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner Portrait Reef octopus: Yung-Sen Wu

Winner: Reef octopus by Yung-Sen Wu
Prize: 7 nights/5 dive days at Volivoli Beach Resort, Fiji

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Runner Up Portrait Marco Gargiulo

Runner Up: Flying Fish by Marco Gargiulo
Prize: Diveplanit travel voucher AUD 300, Ocean Geographic – Gardens of the Queen, Cuba AUD 500 voucher, Ocean Geographic expedition vouchers AUD 250

Small Exotic Animals

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner Small Exotic Animal 5-Baby-Seahorses-with-One-Upside-Down

Winner: Baby seahorses by PT Hirschfield
Prize: 5 nights, 30 dives at Atlantis Philippines Resort, Dumaguete

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Runner Up Small-exotic-animals_Marchione-giacomo

Runner Up: Porcelain Crab Double Exposure by Giacomo Marchione
Prize: Diveplanit travel voucher AUD 300, Ocean Geographic – Gardens of the Queen, Cuba AUD 500 voucher, Ocean Geographic expedition vouchers AUD 250

Seascapes

Winner Seascapes by Marco Gargiulo

Winner: Seascapes by Marco Gargiulo
Prize: 10-day trip on Teman Liveaboard diving Raja Ampat

Australasia Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 Runner Up Seascapes WarrenKeelan

Runner Up: Warren Keelan
Prize: Diveplanit travel voucher AUD 300, Ocean Geographic – Gardens of the Queen, Cuba AUD 500 voucher, Ocean Geographic expedition vouchers AUD 250