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Breaking News: Stunning underwater images star in Outdoor Photography of the Year 2018 awards



After another epic competition that attracted over 20,000 entries – more than any previous year – and saw photographers from around the globe submitting their most inspiring work, OPOTY have today announced the overall winner and category winners of the 2018 competition.

Now in its eighth year, OPOTY is one of the world’s foremost photography competitions in this genre. Its aim is to reveal and celebrate the outstanding work of the most highly talented image makers out there and offer up a powerful insight into the landscapes, wildlife and nature of the planet, and the adventures to be found on it.

Once again OPOTY have partnered with the UK distributor of legendary outdoor gear manufacturer Fjällräven, who have generously offered a £500 Fjällräven Award for each Category Winner to kit themselves out with the equipment of their choice to match their style of photography and the environments they shoot in.

The category winning photographers come from around the globe, and this year the competition received over 20,000 images entered by professional and amateur photographers from over 60 countries, including South Africa, Australia, USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, the UK and the Falkland Islands! The category winning images take us from beneath the waves in French Polynesia, to the rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park; from the wetlands of Louisiana to the wrestling pits of Varanasi, India; and from the underwater caves of the Yucatán Peninsula to the snowy South Pennines of Yorkshire.

Head judge Steve Watkins, editor of Outdoor Photography magazine, had this to say: “The judges were blown away by the quality of work that we looked at this year, and it shows that the world of outdoor photography is thriving like never before, thanks to the hard work, fresh thinking and deep passion brought by the photographers. There were so many outstanding images and it was incredibly tough to boil it all down to the final selection; those photographs that just had an extra edge and impact to them, whether in terms of creative or technical expertise, or both. The competition is going from strength to strength, with the quality bar being raised each year.”

Here are some of the superb underwater that were awarded in the OPOTY 2018 awards.

Live the Adventure – Winner

Greg Lecoeur (France)

Rangiroa, French Polynesia

“Passionate about the marine world, I usually travel to the different oceans of the planet to photograph marine creatures. But in Polynesia it was another type of creature that I immortalised. One of my dreams was to go and face the waves breaking on the reefs and see how surfers were able to tame the power of nature. It was in Rangiroa in the small pass of Avaturu that I dipped my fins with the local surfers. That day the waves were powerful and I hesitated to get into the water but the good lazy atmosphere on the site motivated me and we shared exciting moments in the middle of thunderous waves.”

Nikon D7200 with Tokina 10-17mm lens, ISO 200, 1/250sec at f/9, Nauticam underwater housing

Under Exposed – Winner

Greg Lecoeur (France)

Shetland Islands, Scotland

Presumed to have been introduced to the Shetland Isles during Viking times, or maybe earlier, the otter has adapted to marine life and proliferated. More used to living in the rivers and lakes of Scotland, they are now found along the coastline and dive into the sea to feed on marine animals, especially crustaceans – some of the more experienced otters attack octopuses. The otter is a very fearful and shy animal, so to make this image it was necessary to spend time studying its behavior and habits at sea. Once I was immersed, it was necessary to be patient. I was lucky to eventually have the opportunity to capture this image.

Nikon D7200 with Tokina 10-17mm lens, ISO 200, 1/250sec at f/9, Nauticam underwater housing, two Ikelite DS160 underwater strobes

To see more of Greg’s work visit his website by clicking here.

Under Exposed – Runner-up

Pier Mane (Italy and South Africa)

Protea Banks, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

“Protea Banks is an underwater reef on the east coast of South Africa that is under consideration for protected area status. Amazing creatures such as this cephea (or crown) jellyfish live there. It was the biggest jellyfish I’ve ever seen, over one metre in diameter. Its purple head and yellow fuselage were simply amazing. With no background objects present to provide perspective, and wishing to exalt this crown jellyfish with its stunning colours, majestic size and dancing elegance, I opted to purposefully crop the jellyfish to fill the frame.”

Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus 9-18mm lens at 9mm, ISO 400, 1/250sec at f/16, two Sea&Sea YS-D1 strobes

To see more from Pier Mane visit his Facebook site by clicking here.

Under Exposed – Commended

Judith Conning (Australia)

Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga

“This image was captured on a dream trip to swim and snorkel with the magnificent humpback whales and their calves in the warm tropical waters of Tonga, their winter breeding ground. On the first trip of the day a very energetic calf joined us that just wanted to play with these tiny creatures that were bobbing around on the surface, while his mother slept 20m below. I allowed myself to sink a little below the surface so I could fill the frame as the calf slowly rose towards the light, surrounded by a fizz of bubbles.”

Olympus TG-5 compact camera with 7mm lens, ISO 200, 1/500sec at f/2.8, Ikelite housing with dome port

For more information about the Outdoor Photography of the Year 2018 competition and to see the overall winner, visit their website by clicking here.

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 supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit


WIN one of the NEW Momentum M20 Dive Watches!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Nautilus Diving to give away one of Momentum’s new M20 Dive Watches as a prize!

Leading watch brand Momentum has introduced the new M20 series of watches. The new collection includes the M20 DSS Diver with a classic black dial, or striking Bahama yellow dial, and the M20 GMT Diver in a black & blue “Batman” version.

The M20 Dive watch features a solid 316L stainless steel case that is beautifully rounded and polished, taking its design cues from our original 1990’s Aquamatic model. The case is just under 42mm in diameter, but the smooth curves make it feel much smaller. Style, performance and unmatched comfort on the wrist.

The M20’s elegant yet durable design allows it to be worn in almost any situation. It has a 200M depth rating along with an off-set screw-down crown for added comfort.

The M20’s are also very legible, with its double-dome sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating there is virtually no glare. At night, the SuperLuminova luminous dial and hands come to life, a vital feature for serious divers where light may not reach certain depths.

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 find here), we reported that the Women Divers Hall of Fame have announced the selection of how many new members who will constitute the Class of 2021?

Is it:

  • A) five
  • B) six
  • C) seven

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

Nautilus Diving Momentum M20 Dive Watch October 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 Nautilus Diving 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. Your information will be shared with the competition's sponsor unless you tick the opt out box. This competition closes on 09/12/20. 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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Dive Training Blogs

5 Easy Steps For Choosing A Scuba Diving Center You’ll LOVE! (Watch Video)



How do you pick which dive operation wins your money for your scuba diving vacation? If you only get to dive on vacation, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and getting experiences you enjoy. That’s why we are giving you our easy 5-step process for filtering out dive centers and narrowing down your selection to find the scuba team you want to be diving with!

In this example–driven video, we are showing you our procedure for how we pick our scuba dive operator. In this case, I use the island of Barbados, as I’ve actually never been scuba diving there.

THANK YOU so much to EVERYONE who is a part of this great community. We promise we have so much more planned for this channel. We’re going to keep spreading information and positivity to the Scuba Divers around the world! IMPROVE. INSPIRE. EXPLORE.

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Spend 7 nights at the Cinco Plazas Apartments, Lanzarote with flights and 5 days diving from just £625pp with Diverse Travel this winter.  Travel 12th November - Spaces are limited - contact us now to book. Other dates available.

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