THE OASIS PHOTOCONTEST is an international photo competition sponsored by the Italian nature photography magazine Oasis. Twenty thousand photos from 44 countries were entered in the most recent competition’s 10 categories, which include “Underwater”.
The contest is claimed to be the most important of its kind in Italy – and to have one of the largest jackpots in Europe, with nearly 40,000 euros including cash prizes and photo-expeditions to Africa up for grabs.
Italian photographer Salvatore Ianniello took first place in the Underwater category for his image of a nudibranch and peacock worm, with countryman Edoardo Di Pisa taking second for his whale shark and the USA’s Steven Kovacs third for his unusual grey snapper portrait.
“The Underwater category has been a particular success for the high number of participants, and photographs of excellent quality,” says Oasis. Registration is now open for the 2012 competition and the organisers are keen to see more UK and other international entries – find out more by visiting

1st: A Flabbellina ischitana nudibranch uses its rhinophores to open the tentacles of this Spirografo spallanzani worm, in a shot taken near Naples by Salvatore Ianniello.

2nd: Barred from using flash in this instance, Edoardo Di Pisa took this whale-shark image as it came within 10m of him, surrounded by silvery fish, and slowly turned.

3rd: While in the Caribbean Steven Kovacs aimed to photograph common grey snapper creatively by spinning the camera at a slow shutter speed to obtain a blurred circular effect in the background. Then, as he spent time with a large school, a group of 12 fish suddenly separated from the main group to investigate the camera.

4th: This moment of symbiosis between a sea anemone and a clownfish off Bunaken in Indonesia was shot with a wide-angle lens and a 1/250th shutter speed to isolate
the subject. Adriano Occhi (Italy) came fourth.

5th: Simone Caprodossi (Italy) recorded the release of 100 hawksbill turtles in Dubai – in the background is Burj Al Arab, an icon of luxury that also houses the turtle rehabilitation centre.

6th: “Everything happened fast!” said Daniel Selmeczi (Hungary) when, after a week of rough seas, he caught up with South Africa’s Sardine Run.

8th: Paolo Rossi (Italy) captures the typical behaviour of the coconut octopus, which uses empty clam and coconut shells to hide from other species.

9th: Nuno Sá (Portugal) was photographing fin whales off the Azores when he identified the huge dorsal fin of a basking shark – it passed close by.

10th: This picture was taken off Naples in January by Pasquale Vassallo (Italy). With Vesuvius blanketed and the sky and water clear, he was delighted when an octopus turned up.