October 2018 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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

WINNER: Tunicate Shrimp by Jack Pokoj

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!

October 2018

Some wonderful images this month really showing off the beauty of the underwater world. Here are the ones I have picked out to discuss this month:

My Favourites

Male Weedy Seadragon with Eggs by Iain Davis: This is a lovely behaviour shot, taken with a neutral background. Normally a shot of a rear end doesn’t work, but in this case the point of the image is to show the eggs being carried by the male parent. Nice use of complementary colours too.

Tranquility by Pavel Hosnedl: a great example of how to use black & white properly. This image has great contrast between the light grey and the black. The subjects form a seemingly random pattern in the view but the overall effect is excellent.

Hippocampus guttulatus by Tayfun Guven: This is a super shot with an excellent use of a small depth of field. The image is focused on the eye and blurs out within a few millimeters. I really like the yellow on green.

No words needed by Ann Nijs: my first reaction to this image was “what on earth?” and the title is a little misleading as a description would help the uninitiated viewer. Nevertheless, is it a wonderful nudibranch shot against a black background and it certainly holds your attention.

Nature is so beautiful by Ann Nijs: there is a theme and style from Ann and this shot is an example of using great lighting on a translucent subject against a black background. A nudi-nut’s dream!

Tunicate Shrimp by Jack Pokoj: this is a shot of stark contrast with black, white and red dominating the image. It is  super macro shot and I just love the black eyes. Well done!

Egypt Dugong by Margit Sablowski: This image of a dugong in Egypt us a side-on, species type shot that has been brought to life by the colours and the sunlight on the subject’s head. The lovely yellow pilot fish could be a distraction, however, they really add to the overall composition.

Octopus by Margit Sablowski: this is another striking image from Margit. Typically difficult to get a good composition of an octopus against a light blue sea. Great colours!

Sealions La Paz Mexico: this is a very different style to Margit’s previous shots. It is an unusual behaviour shot of two of the ocean’s most adorable creatures playing in the rocks.

Painted by Marc Eeckhaut: This is beautifully done against a black background with just a strand of the coral it mimics in the shot. The eye is pin-sharp and the overall effect is excellent.

After much deliberation by our judge….

There were so many great shots, it was impossible to comment on them all, let alone select the top three! It was a tough call, but the results are:

Winner: Tunicate Shrimp by Jack Pokoj

Runner-Up: Nature is so beautiful by Ann Nijs:

Third: Tranquility by Pavel Hosnedl

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 November has to offer.


Scubaverse.com’s November 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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