April 2019 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR NICK ROBERTSON-BROWN

WINNER: Red Carpet by Glen Valenzons

When judging any underwater photography competition, the first thing I do is ask of each image: Is it in focus? The main subject has to be pin sharp. Is it exposed correctly?

I then look at lighting (photography is all about light) and composition. Backscatter, hot spots of light, messy backgrounds: all might see your image lose out.

Then there are other considerations that might get you knocked out of the first round: Was the image taken underwater? After all it is an underwater photography competition! Were any animals distressed or harassed to get the image? Was any environmental damage done to get the shot?

Once I have whittled out the images that do not pass these criteria, it is time to get down to picking a winner. A shot that makes me go wow – I wish I had taken that!


April 2019

A bumper crop of images this month and some really excellent shots to select from. Mostly macro this month, but an excellent variety of subjects.

Octopus in a bottle by Mike S. – Love the eye-contact in this shot. It is very striking and there is lots of detail due to the great choice of depth of field.

Stargazing by William Soo – Great subject that is difficult to capture, but this has been done well.

Blennius ocellaris by Walter Bassi – Fabulous shot of a charismatic fish in an unusual home. The fish is looking very proud! Great eye-contact too.

Mating Mandarin Fish by Howard Chen – Gorgeous shot! Great lighting and perfectly isolated using the black background technique.

Eye and Shrimp by Walter Bassi – This is an eye-catching image!

Yaaaawn by Marthinus Coetzee – Great action shot in poor visibility conditions. I love the framing and composition. The other two sharks in the background add to the shot’s appeal.

Mola Mola and Diver by Gianluca Mosino – One of the nicest shots of a Mola Mola I have ever seen. The diver gives the viewer a real sense of scale of this magnificent fish.

Red Carpet by Glen Valenzons – Very striking image! Fabulous subject, really well executed. A good example of how well a diagonal can work. Bravo!

HairyFrog by Claudine Lagman – Lovely behaviour shot with a good use of depth of field. I would have like to have seen a little more of the subject in frame, but appreciate this is not always possible.

Swimming Free by Michael Owen – Super complimentary colours (orange on green). Lovely details of the turtle shell, shot on the diagonal – really nice capture.

Magic Forest by Paul Gonzalez – Interesting shot capturing light beams against the silhouetted forest.

Firework by Sofia Tenggrono – This species always makes a great subject. This has been well captured showing its environment at the bottom and a black background at the top.

Beauty in Red by Marc Eeckhaut – Lovely! Super use of bokeh, perfect focus on the subject. Lovely colours too. I might have removed the sea fan on the left, but a smashing shot.

Frogfish Calling by Marc Eeckhaut – Another good shot from Marc. Super frogfish action shot; lighting is really good. A subdued, dark background subtly shows its environment.

After much deliberation by our judge….

There were so many great shots to select from this month it made judging very tough indeed. Well done to all those that entered and sorry I could not comment on every image.

The results

Winner: Red Carpet by Glen Valenzons

Runner-up: Frogfish Calling by Marc Eeckhaut

3rd place: Mating Mandarin Fish by Howard Chen

Congratulations to the those who were placed – some really nice, mostly macro, images here, and well done to all those that entered. I cannot wait to see what May has to offer.


Scubaverse.com’s May 2019 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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