Imagine swimming with schools of fish in the great expansive ocean, diving in the world heritage Ningaloo Reef surrounded by whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales. Or travelling the world experiencing nature at its finest with all it has to offer. How about travelling Australia and experiencing the vast landscapes of the outback to the lush rainforests of Tropical Queensland and beyond?

Sounds pretty good right?

Well, award-winning nature photographer Jake Wilton is lucky enough to call this his job. His dedication proving to have paid off, Jake’s work has been published in many magazines and newspapers such as Ocean Geographic Magazine, Dive Magazine, the daily Telegraph and Daily Mail as well as a number of travel and tourism online publications. 

And now we are proud to announce that one of Jake’s breathtaking photographs will be the new signature image for the 2023 Ocean Film Festival World Tour, appearing throughout tour posters, websites and promotional materials- globally.

So let’s dive into the story behind the image and find out a little more about the talent behind the lens.

Images: courtesy of Jake Wilton

Originally from South West Rocks in New South Wales, Jake developed a love and passion for discovering and capturing the beauty of the natural world. This began especially whilst growing up on the Mid North Coast camping, diving and exploring with his family. 

Upon completing his open water diving certification in 2007, Jake went on to a career in tourism as a divemaster and instructor before relocating to Coral Bay in WA in 2016. This is where Jake’s images really took off and he scored himself a full time photography role at World Heritage Ningaloo Reef as an onboard underwater photographer in 2019.

Image: courtesy of Jake Wilton

From aerial views of vast oceanscapes, to up close and personal shots of the rarest Australian Wildlife, Jake’s work truly is stunning and portrays his passion for sustainability and conservation of the natural world- a vision we also share at the Ocean Film Festival.

The Image

While free-diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Jake and his team discovered a small jetty with a school of fish below, this incredible moment saw them diving for the better part of half an hour with the fish as they schooled and swirled around them. The image was captured during this moment- said to be one of their favourite experiences while exploring the tropical oceans of the coral triangle.

If that’s not a moment of pure connection and one-ness with the ocean and its inhabitants- we don’t know what is! It’s for that exact reason we felt this image truly encapsulated what the Ocean Film Festival is all about and why it was chosen to be next year’s signature image.

(New signature image for Ocean Film Festival 2023, taken by Jake Wilton)

Jake’s talent to enable connection to the natural world through imagery is remarkable and it’s through images like these that Jake hopes to inspire future generations to protect our incredible natural world and its wildlife. 

So get amongst it and join us in celebration of all things ocean next year- keep your eyes open for tickets going on sale soon via our Ocean Film Festival website or Facebook page –

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