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Announcing the winner of Scubaverse.com’s Photo of the Year 2020

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This year, Scubaverse.com’s Underwater Photography Editor Nick Robertson-Brown is joined by UK-based Tour Operator Scuba Travel’s resident Underwater Photo Pro Mario Vitalini to choose a winner of our Photo of the Year award. Nick and Mario had a tough job on their hands to pick an overall champion for 2020; the winners of the monthly contest provided 12 fantastic images to select from, including marine life big and small, images using advanced photo techniques, and examples of animal behaviour. But after much deliberation, and in reverse order….

Highly Commended: Curious Booby by MichaelG

Nick: If there was an award for most humorous this would surely win! It is a super and unusual shot that made me smile and was unlucky not to do even better. It is a super shot.

Mario: This was my favourite picture and would have loved to put it in first but unfortunately on my laptop and my monitor it looks very soft, otherwise I have to say it is a very charming character with loads of personality and very well composed. 

3rd Place: Rana Verde Minore by Giannaccini Alessandro

Mario: This is an interesting example of split level, the background is not sharp, is even fairly out of focus but it shows very well the environment. In my opinion if the photographer had the background perfectly in focus it would have detracted interest from the main subject. The eye contact is perfect and the image is perfectly composed. I did not give it first because I think it lacks something on the bottom right. A rock or plant would have balanced the image.

Nick: I picked this image as it is striking, different and has several elements that hold your attention. I particularly like the meniscus and how the surface tension lifts it over the subject.

2nd Place: A Mother’s Love by Cedric Peneau

Nick: This image jumps out of the screen and absorbs you in the moment. Reflections, sunbeams, diagonals and eye-contact. Excellent Shot. 

Mario: Humpback whale and calf. A huge subject but the photographer managed to get a perfect composition including some beautiful sunbeams and a very interesting reflection. Both faces are pin-sharp and the eye contact perfect. Cannot fault the shot.

Winner: Soaring into the Sun by Jay Clue

Mario: A gorgeous shot with beautiful lighting but in my opinion suffers a bit from the main ray, where my eyes get drawn, swimming away already.

Nick: I am in awe of this image and quite a bit jealous too! The sun’s rays, the motion the image invokes and the light on their backs. To have been there must have been amazing, but to capture it for us all to share… priceless.


Congratulations from all of the Scubaverse team to our winner and runners-up. Thank you to everyone that entered in 2020. We hope to see plenty more of your images in 2021!

Prizes include Mares diving equipment and travel vouchers from Scuba Travel!

Scubaverse.com would like to say a big thank you to our Photo of the Year’s sponsors, Mares and Scuba Travel.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Scubapro Luna 2 AI Dive Computer

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dive computer

In a video produced exclusively for Scubaverse, Jeff Goodman reviews the Luna 2 AI Dive Computer from Scubapro.

For more information about Scubapro products, visit www.scubapro.johnsonoutdoors.com.

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Dive the richest reefs in the world with the pioneers of Raja Ampat 

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Papua Diving Resorts are the pioneers of sustainable tourism and diving in Raja Ampat. Our award-winning resorts are PADI Five Star and were the first exclusive dive resorts in the heart of the Dampier Strait. Where lush jungle meets clear, warm waters and the richest reefs on earth, let yourself embrace an escape like no other. 

With over 30 years of operation in Raja Ampat and award-winning commitment to the people and environment of Papua, Papua Diving Resorts’ experience and impact are unrivalled. This makes us the natural choice for ocean enthusiasts.

Our founder, Max, has been diving and exploring Raja Ampat since 1990, discovering the dive sites the area is so famous for. Paying tribute to his family, Max named a few of the dive sites after his wife and children, including Melissa’s Garden and Mike’s Point, as well as coming up with quirky names like Chicken Reef and Sardine Reef because of his experiences while diving there for the first time.  

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Papua Diving Resorts is also just a stone’s throw away from the famous Cape Kri, world record holder of most reef fish species counted on a single dive. In 2012, ichthyologist Dr. Gerry Allen counted 374 different reef fish species on a single dive at Cape Kri. In an interview, he said: 

“One of my favorite places to dive in Raja Ampat is Cape Kri near Sorido Resort… I didn’t even have to look for fish. They found me! The survey was the highest species count I’ve ever tallied on one dive, 374 distinct species in 90 minutes!” 

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Our dedicated team will make sure you see the best of Raja Ampat as we take you on incredible trips to the Fam Islands, Mushroom Islands and Manta points, just an hour away from our resorts. Experience Raja Ampat’s super reefs in a whole new light by joining the fluorescent dive and blackwater dives around Kri Island. Or simply enjoy a relaxing sunset and night dive where you can be sure to see the elusive mandarin fish and famous walking shark. 

With Papua Diving Resorts, guests get the chance to experience the Last Paradise at the very first dive resort in the area. Here, qualified and experienced staff are committed to giving guests the best Raja Ampat has to offer through Papua Diving Resorts’ quality service, food, and excursions. 

OUR RESORTS 

Papua Diving Resorts provides two world-class options to stay on Kri Island: the more traditional Kri Eco Resort, and upscaled boutique Sorido Bay Resort.  

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Sorido Bay Resort is our luxury boutique option 

Perfect for those who want a touch of luxury, Sorido Bay Resort is a collection of 9 charming bungalows with spacious rooms and ensuites, each with Wi-Fi, AC and fan and a veranda that overlooks a vibrant house reef. The private resort faces the Papuan sunrise, basking the island in a warm glow for a beautiful day in Indonesia’s Crown Jewel.

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Indulge in community-style meals at the sea-view restaurant that overlooks the turquoise waters of the house reef and Sorido Blue Hole beyond. If you’re lucky, you might spot a pod of dolphins or even whales with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.  

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Kri Eco Resort is where paradise meets sustainability 

Looking out over the dark blue waters of the Dampier Strait and distant mountain ranges, Kri Eco Resort is a cluster of authentic Papuan-style water bungalows built from locally sourced materials with 3 room types to choose from, two of which have communal bathrooms.

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The 13 cottages come with Wi-Fi, electric fans for still nights, and direct access to Kri’s vibrant house reef. The over-water sun deck area faces the Papuan setting sun, creating the picture-perfect spot for bright orange sunsets. With a more in-touch-with-nature feel, Kri Eco Resort bungalows allow guests to fully enjoy the cool sea breeze and natural beauty paradise has to offer. 

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Regardless of where you stay, you can be sure to experience the rich biodiversity of Raja Ampat. Enjoy looking down from our jetty into the crystal-clear waters of the house reef, where you can spot stingrays, blacktip reef sharks, moray eels and sea snakes, and if you’re lucky even some dolphins and dugongs swimming by.  

The resort grounds are also rich with land creatures such as monitor lizards, cuscus, even kingfisher birds and sea eagles. Embrace your adventurous side and take a kayak out to the sandbar that appears during low tide, or a hike through the jungles that sit between the two resorts.  

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Wherever you choose to book with us, guests at Papua Diving Resorts can enjoy the community coming together on a shared passion, sharing stories with divers and adventurers alike during mealtimes and excursions.  

CONSERVATION 

By staying at Papua Diving Resorts, you become part of the effort to protect this beautiful yet fragile environment. From offering schooling and sustainable employment for indigenous people, to boosting shark populations, Papua Diving Resort’s aim is to leave this world better than we found it. 

Providing education and training to the local indigenous Papuan villagers is a part of our mission at Papua Diving Resorts, through which they can take the skills and knowledge and apply it to their livelihoods.

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When Max arrived in Raja Ampat, he found a community that depended on shark and ray finning to provide for their families. To encourage a more sustainable approach to earning a living, Max employed and upskilled the locals through teaching them boatbuilding, woodworking and guiding guests to experience all that Paradise has to offer.  

Creating partnerships with locals in the nearby villages, Max sought to provide one-of-a-kind guest experiences to see and photograph the Red and Wilson Bird of Paradise, seen only in Raja Ampat. Aligned with our mission at Papua Diving Resorts to protect nature and empower the local people, a portion of our proceeds go back to these local partnerships. 

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As leaders in conservation and pioneers of sustainable tourism and diving in Raja Ampat, Papua Diving Resorts offers guests an unforgettable opportunity to experience the best of Indonesia’s Crown Jewel. Located at the heart of the Dampier Strait, we invite you to explore the rich biodiversity of the area, both above and underwater. 

BOOK NOW 

Email: info@papua-diving.com  

Website: papua-diving.com  

Instagram: @papuadivingresorts  

Facebook: Papua Diving Resorts 

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