Israeli-American nature photographer Amos Nachoum received a special recognition award this month from the Our World Underwater for his dedication to the marine environment. The Our World Underwater international underwater photography and video competition — which describes itself as the “Superbowl of underwater imaging events” — celebrates and highlights both art of underwater photography as well as the beauty of the ocean.

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Each year, the Our World Underwater panel of judges go through thousands of images and videos taken by novice to professional photographers and videographers from around the world. This year, $50,000 in prizes were awarded to the winners who represented more than 15 countries.

Based in Northern California, Nachoum is a globetrotting wildlife and marine life photographer, environmentalist, location scout and public speaker. He is also co-founder of Israel’s Marine National Park on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Eilat and Aqaba.

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Our World Underwater notes that in addition to helming his company, Big Animals Expeditions, Nachoum is first and foremost an explorer and a guide. “Amos has had the honor of leading many great expeditions for individual adventurers, and institutions like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Discovery Channel, Armani, Disney, Colombia Pictures, and of course, National Geographic, with whom he was team leader for separate photo expeditions to document the Red Sea, Great White Sharks, and Killer Whales.”

“​A photographer, his photos and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications around the globe, including National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, Terra Sauvage, Airone, Mondo Somerso, Der Spiegel, Unterwasser, and many more.”

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“His work has also been included in the books The Living Ocean, The World of Nature, and Oceans. He has been profiled in television appearances on National Geographic Explorer, Today, and Good Morning America, as well as featured in People, Esquire, and Money magazines. His photography has won Nikon, Communication Arts, and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.”

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News website Y-net reached Nachoum on location in Norway documenting an orca hunt, and quoted him as saying he was “very excited and grateful from the bottom of his heart about the win.”

In addition to photographing sharks and whales, Nachoum realized a dream earlier this year when he documented a pair of snow leopards in the Himalayas.

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He’s also shot images of sharks, whales, orcas, dolphins, seals and more.

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In 2012, this photo of a leopard seal and penguin was named Best of Show by the American Photographic Artists Awards.

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These adventures are not without incident. On an expedition to Africa to document giant Nile crocodiles, his GoPro video camera was stolen by one snarly subject. He didn’t get the camera back — but it made for a good story.

Nachoum is also an accomplished public speaker devoted to bringing attention to the most fragile regions of the underwater realm and advocating for its residents. In this TEDxSF talk, he takes on the maligned image of the Great White Shark and speaks about his next big endeavor, the Ocean Giant Legacy Project.

For more information about Amos Nachoum’s photography and expeditions, visit his website at BigAnimals.com