Guru Awards

Celebrating the Best Ocean and Freshwater Photography

Inspiring adventure and discovery from behind the lens

We welcome photographers from around the globe to take part in the 3rd Annual Guru Awards, promoting the art of aquatic photography and raising awareness of our incredible marine and freshwater environments. The Guru Awards are open to professional and enthusiast photographers. The Awards program features 6 Categories, a publicly-voted People’s Choice Vote, plus the ultimate prize for the top-scoring photographer across all the categories… The Guru Grand Prize.


Entries Open Monday 15th August 2022 at 08:00hrs AEST
(Australian Eastern Standard Time) GMT +10:00
Close Monday 19th September at  21:00hrs AEST
(Australian Eastern Standard Time) GMT +10:00


The Guru Grand Prize

Our major award, the Guru Grand Prize celebrates a great photographer, not just one great photo. The ultimate prize will be awarded to the photographer who attains a high level of achievement across 3 or more of the six competition categories. 


The First Nations custodians of the Southern Sydney area,
The Dharawal People,
have a word for deepwater – that word is “Guru”

The 6 Photographic Categories

Underwater Characters: Underwater photographs depicting marine/aquatic animals or people. Can be taken in freshwater or the ocean.  Must clearly be shot underwater.

Underwater Scenes: Underwater photographs depicting marine/aquatic environments. May include marine animals. Can be taken in freshwater or the ocean. Must clearly be shot underwater.

Topside Scenes: Photographs taken above water depicting ocean or freshwater environments. Seventy percent (70%) of the image should depict water.

Aquatic Abstracts: Underwater or topside photographs of freshwater and/or ocean subjects. Abstracts do not necessarily represent reality, but rather seek to evoke an emotional response using shapes, colours, and textures.

Underwater Black and White: Any photograph taken underwater, must display no colour, only grey tones. Must be clearly shot underwater.

[NEW] Reportage: A factual, journalistic presentation of threats, activism and/or actions relating to the underwater environment.


The People’s Choice Vote [NEW FORMAT IN 2022]

All shortlisted entries will be eligible for inclusion in the People’s Choice pool.


Opt-in for a Report Card [NEW FEATURE IN 2022]

All entrants will be able to opt-in  to receive a Report Card from our scoring team, reflecting acheivement against the competition’s Six Scoring Criteria: Impact; Composition; Technique; Subject; Storytelling, and Innovation. 


Helpful links