June 2018 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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

WINNER: The Dentist by Walter Bassi

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

We 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 we 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 us both go wow – I wish I had taken that!

June 2018

The June entry numbers dipped a little, perhaps due to all the good weather at the moment! We hope you were all out diving. Whilst the number of entries was lower, the quality was excellent. Here is what we thought…

Our Favourites

Caroline

The Dentist by Walter Bassi: This is a super behaviour shot of a cleaner shrimp getting to work on the moray. The lighting is just right and the angle of the moray really works for me. This really stands out. Super.

Fountain in the Blue by Jun Ouyang: I would have like to see this image on a bigger scale. To get the movement of the water and the diver in such a pleasing position (in waring pink too) is great.

Animal Magnetism by Sean Steininger: Great to get this whole Whaleshark in the shot, with lovely soft natural lighting. The surface of the water really adds to the shot.

Clingfish Leading Lines by Craig Beasley: I really like this shot. The diagonal position of the clingfish, with all the lines leading to him works really well. Great shot.

Seahorse by Paul Hewart: Lovely shot of a seahorse, albeit a little central. The yellow seahorse jumps out of the screen. However, it is hard to award images such as this, as the seahorse is not in a natural environment, and whilst I hope the photographer has not moved it, I cannot be sure. Giving shots like this credit also encourages others to try to recreate it, so whilst this is technically a great image, it will only get a mention here.

Nick

Blue Spotted Ray by Glynn Philipps: I love this shot and the way it is presented. There is eye contact at eye-level, and the colours against the black really stand out.

The Dentist by Walter Bassi: I like the way the shrimp and the moray’s teeth are the focal point of this shot and the colours, against the black, are truly vibrant.

Yellow gold of Bergeggi by Walter Bassi: This is an interesting shot. I am not usually a fan of a circular image, but this one works with the vignetting around the subject.

Fountain in the Blue by Jun Ouyang: This is a wonderfully unique idea. The complimentary colours of pink and blue really work well.

The Flying Gurnard by Paul Hewart: This is a real eye-catcher. A great angle and eye-contact on the subject and a great use of depth of field for the gurnard in the background.

The Harlequin Glass Slug by Irma Korb: This is a lovely shot with great composition. The focus and depth of field on the slug is just right and the green bokeh of the background is perfect.

A Beauty in the dark by Dean Spraakman: This is eye catching due to the colours against the black. The subject is probably a bit too central for me and a larger depth of field with the whole subject in focus may have worked better. It is all, of course, subjective.

After much deliberations between our two judges….

There were some good shots this month, with both macro and wide angle shots to choose from, and as always we picked out different shots from each other. Here are the results:

Winner: The Dentist by Walter Bassi

Runner-Up: Fountain in the Blue by Jun Ouyang

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

Scubaverse.com’s July 2018 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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