International Underwater Photography Competition
The organisers of the Underwater Tour Awards announced the winners of its inaugural, prestigious international photography competition in a livestreamed online award ceremony this evening.
“We are delighted with the high calibre of submissions received in this, our first year” said Darren Jew, Convenor and Head Judge.  “The competition gallery takes us on a remarkable visual tour, showcasing the fine work of competing underwater wildlife photographers and celebrating the natural wonders of the underwater world”.
The annual competition encourages and inspires passion for photography, exploration and discovery from behind the lens and helps raise awareness of the world’s incredible, fragile marine and aquatic inhabitants and their environments.

To ensure 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, Dr Richard Smith, before moving to the first round of judging.  
Led by Convenor Darren Jew, Canon Master and six-times winner of the AIPP Professional Nature Photographer of the Year, the international judging panel; Juergen Freund, Aaron Wong, William Tan and Jasmine Carey, reviewed hundreds of images submitted by photographers from all over the world.  
The Guru Award Winner:  
The competition’s Guru Award was created to celebrate 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. From a pool of the highest scoring entrants who entered 5 images in the Awards.
The Guru Award Images
Winner: Chelsea Haebich, Adelaide
The Gate Keeper. Shot by Chelsea Haebich - Winner Guru at the Underwater Tour Awards 2020
The Gatekeeper
Leafy Seadragon. Shot by Chelsea Haebich - Winner Guru at the Underwater Tour Awards 2020
Drifting Dragon
The Cathedral. Shot by Chelsea Haebich - Winner Guru at the Underwater Tour Awards 2020
The Cathedral
Cheeky! Shot by Chelsea Haebich - Winner Guru at the Underwater Tour Awards 2020
Hingeback Shrimp. Shot by Chelsea Haebich - Winner Guru at the Underwater Tour Awards 2020
Hingeback Shrimp
The Guru Award winner Chelsea Haebich has won a humpback whale swim experience in the warm waters of Tonga provided by Whales Underwater. In addition, over $5000 in cash and partner product prizes were awarded to category winners.
“I am still a few inches off the ground. I genuinely did not think I was in for a chance as I watched all the other amazing shots winning categories! Just WOW!” exclaimed Haebich. “Winning this award might make me stop doubting myself and have a bit more faith in my abilities. Something I struggle with for sure!” 
“Moving forward I hope it can put my work out there further and bring people and connections into my life that will help me grow as a photographer and further share this astounding world with more people” She continued “I love seeing people’s curiosity and hearing their questions about the Underwater World. If winning lets me share that more, grow more and impact more people then that would be wonderful and very fulfilling.”
Category Winners
Underwater Characters. Simone Caprodossi - Northern Gannets Fighting for a Fish
Underwater Characters:  Simone Caprodossi, Byron Bay - Northern Gannets Fighting for a Fish
Topside Scenes. Yung Sen WU - Mission CompleteTopsides Scenes:  Yung Sen WU, Taiwan - Mission Complete
Aquatic Abstract. Shot byLouise Nott - Pineapple Swirl
Aquatic Abstract:  Louise Nott, Sydney - Pineapple Swirl
Underwater Black and White. Shot by  Richard Condlyffe, USA - Two Spotted DolphinsUnderwater Black and White:  Richard Condlyffe, USA - Two Spotted Dolphins
Underwater Scenes. Shot by Pavlos Evangelidis - Leru CutUnderwater Scenes: Pavlos Evangelidis, Belgium - Leru Cut
The People's Choice. Shot by Pierre-Laurent Pablo - Frog Fish HangingThe People’s Choice:  Pierre-Laurent Pablo, France - Frog Fish Hanging
“The Underwater Tour Awards are a natural community extension of the annual Underwater Tour nationwide speaker series each May” said co-founder Juliette Myers.   “We’d like to thank Whales Underwater, Momento Pro and Nautilus Lifeline for supporting the Awards.  We’d also like to thank our Tour Partners; The Arenui Boutique Liveaboard, Wakatobi, Walindi and Febrina, SEACAM, Momento Pro, Christmas Island, Paradise Taveuni – without whom our annual speakers tour would not be possible”.
Co-founder Tim Hochgrebe added “Thank you to everyone who has taken part this year.  Planning for the Underwater Tour Awards 2021 is already in full swing and we are looking forward to rolling out the Underwater Tour 2021 around the country from 13-20 May”.