International photography awards honors Filipino lensman

DUMAGUETE CITY -– A staunch campaigner for the protection of the environment, especially the oceans, and who is working for the protection of Tañon Strait between Negros and Cebu Islands, is one of the six Filipinos cited by the largest world photography competitions.

The judges of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards announced Tuesday in a media release that they “honour the work of Filipino photographer Danny Ocampo, whose image ‘Fish Tornado’ is commended as top 50 in the world in the awards’ Open Wildlife category.

Ocampo, oceans campaign manager of Oceana, spends a lot of his time in Negros Oriental, specifically in Dauin town and the world famous dive destination, Apo Island, which he considers a “second home”.

Over 227,000 images from 183 countries were submitted to the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, a media release said Wednesday.

Danny Ocampo, who is based in Marikina City, is recognized as a commended photographer alongside the shortlisted photographers of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions, all of which are also announced Tuesday, Feb. 28.

In the open competition, judges were looking for the best single images across ten categories, representing the finest contemporary photography today.

Ocampo is an environmentalist, animal lover and ocean lover (underwater photographer, dive master and windsurfer).

He has been working for environmental NGOs since high school on various issues.

He started diving in 1989 when he was 19 years old and started taking underwater pictures using a Nikonos III film camera.

Ocampo is also an advocate of ethical and responsible tourism, diving and underwater photography.

His commended image “Fish Tornado” was taken in Dimakya Island in Busuanga, Palawan and captures the schooling behaviour of Big-eye trevally residing in a marine protected area.

“I feel so honoured to get the recognition as one of the top 50 commended photographers in the Wildlife Category. I don’t usually have time to join photography competitions and I choose those that factor in responsible and ethical practices (especially for diving and underwater photography wherein manipulation has become the norm most of the times)”, Ocampo was quoted as saying.

“This recognition given to me by the Sony World Photography Awards hopefully will give me more opportunities to share my underwater images and promote my advocacy for responsible and ethical underwater photography”.

Fish Tornado

The category winners for the Open competition will be announced March 28, and the overall Open Photographer of the Year title revealed April 20 at an awards ceremony in London. Prizes include the latest Sony digital imagery equipment, and a USD5,000 cash prize.

As a commended photographer, Danny Ocampo’s image will be shown alongside the awards’ other commended plus the shortlisted and winning images at the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition in London from April 21-May 7.

The commended image will also be given a global audience as it is published on the World Photography Organisation website.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 sees the 10th anniversary of the Sony World Photography Awards and a decade-long partnership with its headline sponsor, Sony.

Each year, the awards recognize and reward the very best contemporary photography captured over the last year entered into any of the awards’ four competitions – Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus.

With 49 nationalities represented, the 2017 shortlists reinforce the awards’ international appeal and unique ability to present the greatest images taken by photographers from all corners of the world on a truly global scale.

Each of the four competitions are judged anonymously by internationally acclaimed industry professionals, carefully selected by the World Photography Organisation.