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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

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Emperor Divers’ recognises the first Covid Diver Hero to win a liveaboard trip

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Earlier in February, Emperor Divers launched the Covid Diver Heroes initiative, where they aim to recognise eight people who have stepped up in the pandemic with free liveaboard trips in the Maldives and the Red Sea.

Here, they share the story of their first hero, nominated by Dave Walker:

I’d like to nominate, Deborah Braham, a friend I made on a diving trip to Tobago.

Deborah is an NHS anaesthetist and early on when PPE was in short supply, she just went on WhatsApp and organised visors and more directly for her hospital. Deborah just made it happen.

Deborah married another diver not long after we met. With her in the UK and us in Switzerland, we haven’t managed to meet up since she had children. Whatever, in Yorkshire speak, she’s a “lovely lass” who definitely deserves a good holiday.

The BBC covered the story of The Visor Army she created:

A doctor who urged volunteers to make visors for NHS staff due to a shortage at her hospital says she is “overwhelmed” by the response.

Without (visors), doctors and nurses are at high risk of being contaminated by aerosolised particles containing the virus during procedures such as intubation or when they are caring for patients on ventilators.

Home made visors

“Initially it was just people I knew who came on board, then it was people I didn’t know,” Dr Braham said. “Within a short time this whole thing had grown so big with so many people wanting to help.”

More than 75,000 face shields have been produced just weeks after Deborah Braham appealed for help on WhatsApp.

Emperor Divers say that there are in awe of the quality of the stories received so far, which number over 50! Dr. Braham was judged to be the deserving winner of a Red Sea liveaboard trip and they have been in contact with her to arrange that. There are still 3 Red Sea and 4 Maldives liveaboards to award to other heroes already nominated or yet to be nominated. Anyone who would like to nominate a Covid Diver Hero should visit here for the information: https://www.emperordivers.com/blog/2021/02/thank-your-covid-hero.html (terms & conditions apply)

Nominations, questions and enquiries to heroes@emperordivers.com

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Announcing the Winners of Scubaverse.com’s February 2021 Underwater Photo & Video Contests

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Another great month packed with amazing images and videos! Record numbers from around the world in both competitions. It has certainly been another great month for entries in both contests – your underwater photos and videos are just getting better and better! Thanks to all who entered.

To find out who the winner of Scubaverse.com’s February 2021 Underwater Photo Contest is, click here.

To find out who the winner of Scubaverse.com’s February 2021 Underwater Video Contest is, click here.

If you’re not a winner this month, then please do try again. March’s photo and video contests are now open.

To enter Scubaverse.com’s March 2021 Underwater Photo Contest, click here.

To enter Scubaverse.com’s March 2021 Underwater Video Contest, click here.

Good luck!!!

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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