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Antarctic Seals image wins Underwater Photographer of the Year 2020



A balletic photograph of crabeater  seals  swirling  around  an  iceberg sees French photographer Greg Lecoeur named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2020.

Lecoeur’s photograph triumphed over 5500 underwater pictures entered by underwater photographers from 70 countries around the world. 

© Greg Lecoeur/UPY2020

To shoot “Frozen Mobile Home” Lecoeur travelled to Antarctica on a small yacht, enabling him to document the wildlife on icebergs as they drift at the whim of polar currents. 

“Massive and mysterious habitats,” explains Lecoeur, “little is known about how wildlife thrives around these mobile homes. Icebergs fertilize the oceans by carrying nutrients from land that spark blooms of marine life and also provide homes for larger animals, like these crabeater seals.” 

Lecoeur lives in Nice, France, but works full time as a photographer, travelling the world documenting life in the oceans.

Chair of the competition judges, Dr Alexander Mustard MBE, commented: “The motion of these seals and the ethereal landscape of the pitted iceberg takes our eyes on a journey through the frame and transports us to the icy ocean of Antarctica.”

In  the  same  contest,  Italian  photographer, Pasquale  Vassallo was  named Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2020 for his photo, revealing the final moments of a tuna’s life as it is hauled up towards a fishing boat.

© Pasquale Vassallo/UPY2020

Vassallo took the photo “Last Dawn, Last Gasp” in the Mediterranean Sea, near his hometown of Naples. “This winter I accompanied some local fishermen,” explains Vassallo. “Diving at dawn, I followed the nets as they were hauled up from the depths, revealing a conveyor belt of dead and dying wildlife, such as this little tunny tuna gasping for life.”

Competition judge Peter Rowlands commented: “If a picture paints a thousand words, then a great one asks a thousand questions.”

Judge Mustard continues: “the ocean faces many threats,  including  climate  change,  overfishing  and  plastic pollution,  and  the  conservation section of the Underwater Photographer of the Year gives a platform for the photographers, who are our eyes in and on the ocean seeing these issues first-hand. Much of what happens in the oceans goes unseen, but such powerful images help make more of us aware.”

The  Underwater  Photographer  of  the  Year  competition  also  aims  to  promote  new photographic talent. Anita Kainrath, from Austria, was named as Up & Coming Underwater Photographer  of  the  Year  2020 for  an  uplifting  picture  of  baby  lemon  sharks  thriving  in  a mangrove in the Bahamas. Her image “Shark Nursery” is not only beautiful, but it shows how important mangroves are, not just for protecting tropical coastlines, but also in the lives of endangered species.

© Anita Kainrath/UPY2020

Kainrath, from Vienna, explains the challenges in producing the image: “I was standing in knee-high water, trying to hold my camera still, waiting for the sharks, while mosquitoes and sand-flies were feasting on me! After about an hour the lemon shark pups finally came into photographic range and I was able to make this image.” 

Judge Rowlands commented:  “Her  perseverance  has  definitely  paid  off  with a beautifully balanced and observed image.”

The Underwater Photographer of the Year contest is based in the UK, and makes two awards specifically to British photographers. Nick More, from Devon, England was named as British Underwater  Photographer  of  the  Year  2020 for  his  pop-art  style  photograph “Rabbitfish Zoom Blur” taken in Indonesia. “I created this effect in camera,” explains More, “by zooming my lens at the same time as I hit the shutter. My flash has frozen the central fish while the ambient light is blurred by the zooming.” 

© Nick More/UPY2020

The  title  of Most  Promising  British  Underwater  Photographer 2020 goes to Nur Tucker from Wimbledon, London for an artistic panning photo of a seahorse. Her creative image “Commotion in the Ocean” uses an in-camera  double  exposure  to  create  a feeling of waves surrounding this seahorse. Tucker explains: “I love experimenting and I have tried  many  different  techniques,  with  varying  degrees  of  success!  After  many  attempts, everything came together with this shot.” 

© Nur Tucker/UPY2020

Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition, based in the UK, that celebrates photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes, rivers and even swimming pools.  British  photographer  Phil  Smith  was  the  first  Underwater  Photographer  of  the  Year, named in 1965. Today’s competition attracts  entries  from  all  around  the  world, has  13 categories,  testing  photographers  with  themes  such  as  Macro,  Wide  Angle,  Behaviour  and Wreck photography, as well as four categories for photos taken specifically in British waters. This year’s judges were experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.

To see all the incredible images that were placed in this years awards, or to learn more about the competition please visit the UPY website by clicking here.

To download the free 180 page downloadable Yearbook please click here.


WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on (which you can read here), we reported that the Philippines have been recognised as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 27th World Travel Awards. In the article it states how many islands make up the Philippines… how many are there?

Is there:

  • A) 7,209
  • B) 7,532
  • C) 7,641

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Beuchat Air Light Bag December 2020

  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Beuchat and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to When prizes are supplied by third parties, is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 13/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Quick Scuba Tips #1: How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving (Watch Video)



How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving. Can’t I just take my new mask diving straight out of the box? Well, actually, no. It needs a little work to make it dive ready.

In this, the first in our new scuba diving quick hints and tips series, I’m going to show you how to prepare a new mask for scuba diving with three quick techniques, all aimed at stopping your scuba mask from fogging.

Yes, this link is an affiliate link. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Dive safe, dive often!


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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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