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In pictures: Stunning shots from photography competition show life underwater as part of World Oceans Week

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These stunning images have been named as winners in an underwater photography contest, celebrating World Oceans Week.

The Life Under Water Challenge travel photography contest was based on marine life beauty and conservation, calling upon amateur and professional photographers to share their most captivating photos and stories of life underwater.

The contest, managed by Positive.Travel, had three winners – one chosen by a public vote, one chosen by a panel of esteemed judges and one selected by the organisers.

The judges’ winner was selected by an esteemed panel of judges featuring TV host and YouTuber Eva Zu Beck, wildlife photographer Carlo Depaulis and Co-founder of Principe di Salina and Positive Travel Advisory Board Member Anita Motta.

Public Vote Winner – Victor de Valles Ibanez

© Victor de Valles Ibanez
Victor’s winning entry

The winner of the public vote was Victor de Valles Ibanes, whose winning entry showcases him freediving in Ciutadella, Menorca.

Victor is an amateur photographer who has been living in Menorca for ten years, where he captures much of his beautiful underwater and nature shots.

Victor said: “I love the underwater life and I started to freedive and take photos of underwater caves.

“With my photos I want to share the hidden gems of this amazing world and show to the people what we have to preserve. I want to give them a reason to love them and cooperate taking care of it.”

Judges’ Winner – Jono Allen

© Jono Allen
Jono’s stunning shot

The winner of the judges vote is Jono Allen, whose astonishing image of a mother and calf humpback whales swimming in a coral reef in Tonga scooped him the vote of the judges.

Jono is a wildlife photographer, freediver and environmentalist scientist based in Byron Bay who dedicates his time to experiencing the magical beauty of nature, learning about the environment, and capturing the beauty of our world in his photography.

Jono said: “Understanding the wildlife in front of me, being able to interact and connect with it has been absolutely everything.

“The difference between seeing a whale underwater, and having one spin around me in joy is simply incomparable. This is why my guided encounters and photography focus on connection above anything else.”

Contest judge Eva Zu Bucks saidof Jono’s image: “For capturing an intimate moment between two creatures that share a bond of love. This photo transcends the boundaries between humans and animals.”

Positive Travel Winner – Angelina Pilarinos

The Positive Travel winner is Angelina Pilarinos for her continued service to marine life over the years, and sharing her love for responsible tourism on the Great Barrier Reef with newcomers.

Her winning image showcases a pod of dolphins swimming Agincourt Reef, within the Great Barrier Reef.

Angelina said: “Through work I go to the reef almost every day and it has become my home. I’ve become an ambassador for the Reef and I document it every chance I get.

“I want to show people that the Great Barrier Reef is not dead, but it is struggling. Climate change is our biggest threat and we need to start making environmentally friendly changes.”

For more of the finalists, visit