2nd Place, Macro: Christian Bachmann. Behind the Shot: The area around Bunaken Island, off North Sulawesi, Indonesia, is famous for its spectacular wall dives. It was at the end of one of these dives, on a deco stop, that I discovered this maroon clownfish. With its fins fluttering at a rapid pace, initially it was difficult for me to get my camera to focus, especially on the fine details. With patience and a little luck, I was able to get this shot, showing its distinctive gleaming white bar, and giving the impression that the fish is actually flying.
1st Place, Compact Camera: Jamie Hall. Behind the Shot: At a dive site called South Lagoon, I noticed a rock-and-coral formation in a sandy area. As I peered into a hole in the middle, I saw one of the largest and most curious giant moray eels (Gymnothorax javanicus) I had ever come across. I moved in cautiously; as I did, the moray stared straight into my lens, not breaking contact for a moment. I was anxious not to stress the animal, so I took time to slowly draw closer. I clicked a few shots as the eel continued to stare and was over the moon when I viewed the image.
1st Place, Macro: Cai Songda. Behind the Shot: This shot reminds me how a seemingly boring night dive became one of my most memorable ones. Ascending from nearly 100 feet with nothing to show, I was doing my safety stop when I spotted this blanket octopus. At the time, it amazed me that all the necessary elements for a wonderful shot seemed to come together: Colors were vibrant, the reflections alluring, and the octopus very cooperative, as if striking a pose.
3rd Place, Compact Camera: Ferenc Lőrincz. Behind the Shot: This grouper was waiting with its mouth open for the cleaner fish at a cleaning station. I lit the fish from both sides with my flashes, allowing only a little bit of light in the back to create a black background.