World’s Best Underwater Photography Sites

Why do the Top 100 Readers Choice Awards, now in their 23rd year, still matter to divers? Because these are your picks, based on thousands of votes from the most experienced dive travelers on the planet. Why do they matter to us? Because every month you hear from our editors on what we think matters in the world of dive travel. For the January/February issue of Scuba Diving we get to listen to you, and we’re taking notes.

Here, we proudly present the No. 1 ranking destinations in the Best Underwater Photography category of the awards. The full list of winning destinations is below.

Underwater Photographer Diving in Cayman Islands


Cayman Islands

Best Underwater Photography in Caribbean and Atlantic

It’s no coincidence that Grand Cayman is home to several photo pros, and is a favorite classroom for a handful of shutter-snapping instructors. Clear skies with consistent sunlight, plus the Caribbean’s famous visibility, grant a reliable baseline, letting you focus on the good stuff — adjusting settings to capture a tarpon just as the silversides all turn, sparkling. — Brooke Morton

Caribbean and Atlantic

  1. Cayman Islands
  2. Bonaire
  3. Bahamas
  4. Bay Islands
  5. Mexico
Anemones Green Water Underwater Photo British Columbia


British Columbia

Best Underwater Photography in North America

Photographers can improve their portfolios in BC’s cool, marine-populated waters. There’s a wealth of colorful photo subjects, and many animals grow to epic proportions: giant plumose anemones, playful Steller sea lions, and the eight-tentacled crowd favorite, Enteroctopus dofleini, aka the giant Pacific octopus. Don a drysuit to ignore the cold, and focus instead on creating award-winning images. — Brandon Cole

North America

  1. British Columbia
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. North Carolina
  5. Washington
Manta Ray Underwater Indonesia Coral Diving



Best Underwater Photography in Pacific and Indian Oceans

The problem isn’t deciding what lenses to pack for your trip to Indo, but which one to bring on each dive. If you take a macro down to shoot pygmy seahorses, you’ll regret not having the fisheye for the massive mantas. You don’t just need a second camera system — you need a buddy/porter to carry a third and fourth. — David Espinosa

Pacific and Indian Oceans

  1. Indonesia
  2. Chuuk
  3. Philippines
  4. Palau
  5. Red Sea
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