WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY EDITORS NICK & CAROLINE ROBERTSON-BROWN
WINNER: The Inner Light by David Ludovic
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!
March saw some amazing macro images being entered into the competition. Usually we get a real mix of shots, but everyone must have been critter hunting these past few weeks! Here’s what we thought…
The Inner Light by David Ludovic: A wonderful black water shot of a jellyfish and it’s entourage.
Night Beauty by Michal Černý: Another black water shot of note, this time of a squid displaying.
Black and Blue by Sean Steininger: Great use of depth of field in this shot. I would have preferred if the nearest rhinophore had been in focus, but that is the cost of such a small depth of field to get the background so wonderfully in bokeh.
Under / Over by Walter Bassi: A lovely split shot with reflections of the water lily and the blue sky above. This has a magical quality about it and I really like this shot.
Worm Hypnosis by Walter Bassi: Lovely shot of the patterns of this beautiful worm.
Reflected by Walter Bassi: Another lovely shot from Walter, with this pink jellyfish reflecting in the surface. Lovely.
Whip Coral Shrimp by Marc Eekhaut: A super detailed shot of this goby. Well done.
Luminescent by Davide Lombroso: I am not usually a fan of these shots, But I like this one, as you can clearly see the beautiful nudibranch within the blurred surroundings that this lens produces.
The Inner Light by David Ludovic: Beautifully lit subject and as the name suggests, it appears to be glowing. Looks stunning against the black background and I love the way small fish colonise these things.
Alien by Michal Černý: Translucent subjects against a black background make amazing subjects when the lighting is right … and in ‘Alien’ it is.
Weedy by Sean Steininger: This is an unusual shot, as it has the sea dragon away from its normal habitat and you can see its eggs around its tail.
Black and Blue by Sean Steininger: This uses bokeh to great effect and the yellow blue and black creates a simple, almost monochrome effect. Nice use of Depth of Field.
Reflected by Walter Bassi: This is a wonderful pink on black composition with a reflection thrown in for good measure. The image is certainly eye-catching and my only slight criticism is the clipping of the tentacles, and there does appear to be space on the right to allow for them. Love the diagonal.
Coming up for Breath by Jack McKee: this is a super capture with the low sun creating shards of light from the surface.
Whip Coral Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut: This diagonal shot has really good focus. The shrimp is pin sharp and immaculately detailed, the coral is just soft enough that the subjects remain the item that draws the eye, and the background is bokeh in colour that supports the subject. Great Shot.
After much deliberations between our two judges….
There were lots of interesting shots this month; we picked out many different shots from each other. Most of the shots this month seemed to be macro too. We deliberated for quite a while! Here are the results:
Winner: The Inner Light by David Ludovic
Runner-Up: Whip Coral Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut
Third Place: Reflected by Walter Bassi
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 April has to offer.
Scubaverse.com’s April 2018 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.