Ocean Photographer of the Year 2021

von | Sep 14, 2021 | News

We are happy to announce that Stefan won the 2021 “Ocean Photographer of the Year – Collective Portfolio” Award with is portfolio of the emperor penguins of Atka Bay. By showing a long-held committment to one species (emperor penguins) and even one place (Atka Bay, Antarctica) Stefan was able to create an outstanding body of work that ultimately convinced the jury.

It needs to be said that the jury consisted of conservation photography legends like Cristina Mittermeier, Ami Vitale, Paul Nicklen, Andy Mann, Shawn Heinrichs, John Weller as well as André Musgrove.

Stefan’s portfolio comprises 10 images showcasing not only the life-cycle of the charismatic emperor penguins, but also the perils they find themselves in. With climate change being the biggest threat to their very existence, his portfolio depicts a very urgent issue.

He says: “If we do not want emperor penguins to be the next polar bears, we need to act now!”

The Ocean Photography Awards are hosted each year by Oceanographic Magazine in collaboration with SeaLegacy, Blancpain, Princess Yachts and Western Australia.

Check out what award presenters Lizzie Daly (BBC Wildlife presenter/Filmmaker ) and Will Harrison (Editor of Oceanographic Magazine), as well as Stefan himself had to say about this body of work.


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Currently, Stefan’s work is shown in a wonderful exhibition on the Queens Walk in London, just by famous tower bridge. Additionally, he will also be assigned a 1-year residency in the SeaLegacy Collective – a distinguished group of world-renowned photographers and filmmakers, who are committed to lending their influence and sharing their work to amplify SeaLegacy’s mission and protect our planet’s oceans. We will keep you informed about any developments that will follow his induction.

Stefan is incredibly grateful for being selected for this award and sends his heartfelt congratulations to all of the other category winners and anybody, who placed an image in this competition. The quality of the work is simply outstanding and showcases in a brilliant way how precious our Ocean is!