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Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

December 2021 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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

WINNER: Fairy Palm Hydroid with Cumanotus Nudibranch by Jack Der

Wow – the last competition of 2021. It has been an incredible year for stunning images. December was another month filled with incredible images, both macro and wide angle, from all around the world.

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!


Alas I cannot discuss each and every image but here are a few that caught my eye and why:

Stay on target… by Michael Meyer Fineberg: An amazing action shot of one of my favourite macro critters! They hunt at lighting speed so well done for getting the peak of the action.

Sunset flight by Miguel Ramirez: Stunning shallow shot with a lovely view through Snell’s Window.

Perfect Smile by Miguel Ramirez: This is simple yet stunning. The blue and the yellow of the parrotfish against a black background make this stand out, but it is the toothy smile that draws the viewer in for more.

Barrel Jellyfish by Graeme Parker: Lovely subject that has been well isolated so that the detail really stands out.

Fuzzy and petty by sagi maayan: The top half of this is stunning split shot of the sunset. A good subject for the bottom half too. This is my favourite of your double exposure this month.

Mother and son by Cedric Peneau: Beautiful image of a mother and son Humpback Whales. The eye contact with mum really makes the viewer able to engage with the stunning shot. I love the surface of the water too.

Cuttlefish by Jo Cudmore: I could look at cuttlefish for hours! Incredible creature and this shot really shows off just why they are so appealing. A difficult subject to light – well handled.

Free flight by Simon Heron: This image transports the viewer into the clear blue waters of Barbados. The light rays are stunning.

Carmel is calling by Griffon Walker: Sometimes the simple subjects are the best. Great use of depth of field to bokeh out the background too.

Sunbeams and Sebastes by Sage Ono: a very atmospheric shot with stunning sunbeams shining through the kelp forest onto a silhouetted school of fish below.

Face to face by Frank Nelissen: Lovely focus and detail on this close up portrait of a turtle.

Taste test by Griffon Walker: What an extraordinary shot! Conditions look a little challenging but to get this behaviour shot at all should be applauded!

Juvenile Mimic Octopus by PJ Aristorenas: These have to be my favourite black water subjects. They look like little aliens and are a perfect photographic subject which you have nailed in this image! The detail is incredible.

Hingabe by Christian Zink: I really like this one. The flowing dress really makes what is a very atmospheric image.

Pacific white-sided dolphin by Christian Horras: Wow – what a moment! And you have captured it perfectly.

Longimanus , Red Sea. by claude lespagne: What a sad image. A stunning shark now entangled in discarded gear. This image shows the ever more common plight of marine life being affected by plastic pollution. Images like this are both striking and important to send a message.

Fairy Palm Hydroid with Cumanotus Nudibranch by Jack Der: Simply stunning! What an image – you have found a great angle to create a nudibranch image unlike any other I have seen. A tiny critter in their environment. Great focusing and lighting skills. Bravo.

b r e e d i n g by AYUB MOODUTO: Stunning shot of these baby anemonefish just as they are hatching. I really like the single egg in focus and the rest in bokeh.

Octocoral by Bill Passmore: Lovely simple composition in black and white.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: Fairy Palm Hydroid with Cumanotus Nudibranch by Jack Der

Runner-up: Juvenile Mimic Octopus by PJ Aristorenas

Third Place: Longimanus , Red Sea. by claude lespagne

Highly Commended: Mother and son by Cedric Peneau; Perfect Smile by Miguel Ramirez; Taste test by Griffon Walker; Pacific white-sided dolphin by Christian Horras

Congratulations to those who were placed – there were a number of excellent images, and well done to all those that entered.


Scubaverse.com’s January 2022 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.

  • Runner-up: Juvenile Mimic Octopus by PJ Aristorenas

  • Third Place: Longimanus , Red Sea. by claude lespagne

  • Highly Commended: Taste test by Griffon Walker

  • Highly COmmended: Pacific white-sided dolphin by Christian Horras

  • Winner: Fairy Palm Hydroid with Cumanotus Nudibranch by Jack Der

  • Highly COmmended: Perfect Smile by Miguel Ramirez

  • Highly Commended: Mother and son by Cedric Peneau

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

Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

November 2021 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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

WINNER: New Generation by sagi maayan

Another month filled with incredible images, both macro and wide angle, from all around the world. So many great images to go through!

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!


Alas I cannot discuss each and every image but here are a few that caught my eye and why:

A future life by Raffaele: Simple yet stunning. This mermaids purse stands out against the deep blue background and is beautifully framed by the purple coral.

The nightrider by Raffaele: Another stunning image, this time from a black water dive. Pin sharp eye, great subject, super depth of field and really well framed. Bravo.

Reflection by Giacomo Antonio Rossi: Great Eye contact and the bonus of a reflection of this gorgeous creature too.

hunting Feast! by Giacomo Antonio Rossi: Wow! I have never seen a scene like this with so many marlin in shot – and in such clear water. The image makes me feel like I was there and I wish I was!

new generation by sagi maayan: The portrait with the eggs in the mouth is wonderful and then the unusual technique to get this image just adds to the overall effect. The orange against the black background really makes this image pop.

Catch me if you can ! by Pascal Aubry: I like the head on view of the anemonefish looking straight at the camera and the fact that the anemone is covering half of the subject’s face works well.

silent deep by Christian Zink: Of the three model images entered this is my favourite because it has real atmosphere too. You can feel the drama.

freshwater sponge by Hans Joachim Kruger: I love that you can see the forest above through Snell’s Window. The sunlight rays add to the atmosphere of this shot.

Spanish Shawl by Jack Der: An almost abstract image of a gorgeous nudibranch. The colours look great against the black background.

Salp by FATES Yacine: Really nice image of Salp. I think the composition is just right, curling out from the bottom left corner.

Scorpion Eyes by Juan Leon: While the subject is quite a simple portrait shot, what really makes this image stand out is the environment which is captured perfectly.

Working in the coral nursery by Patric Lengacher: a good story-telling image of a conservationist at work.

Sunny Balcony by Leo Lorenzo: A lovely double exposure image of a blenny looking up at the dappled sunlight.

Under the kitchen by Girerd: I wish at least one of the sharks had been heading more towards the camera, but I just love the surface of the water in this shot.

Nudis by David Garcia Padin: Super patterns in the shot both from the nudibranch and the bryazoan it is feeding on.

Yin and Yang by Teva: Lovely composition and position of the sharks. I am just not sure black and white suits this image as the black tips of the sharks get lost in the black background.

Face of the Ocean by Ross McLaren: I love that this Firework Anemone has a face. I dive Loch Long quite regularly and have never seen one like this. Made me smile.

Summer lamb by ming hui chen: Stunning detail in this image of what is a tiny subject.

Bryozoan goby (Sueviota bryozophila) by Oksana Maksymova: This is just stunning. Bravo with the post-processing that makes this stand out from the crowd.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: New Generation by sagi maayan

Runner-up: Sunny Balcony by Leo Lorenzo

Third Place: Silent Deep by Christian Zink

Highly Commended: Bryozoan goby (Sueviota bryozophila) by Oksana Maksymova and The nightrider by Raffaele

Congratulations to those who were placed – there were a number of excellent images, and well done to all those that entered.


Scubaverse.com’s December 2021 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.

Continue Reading

Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

October 2021 Photo Contest Winner and Review

Published

on

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

WINNER: Pink Clown by MichaelG

Another month filled with incredible images, both macro and wide angle, from all around the world. So many great images to go through!

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!


Alas I cannot discuss each and every image but here are a few that caught my eye and why:

Invisible by Raffaele: This is a stunning portrait shot of a pipefish mimicking the seagrass it lives in. Pin sharp and great lighting on a tricky subject to photograph.

Waterfall by Cedric Peneau: I love the way the underwater vegetation reaches out of the water allowing the viewer a real sense of the environment. Lovely sunbeams underwater and perfect focus, which can be tough on a split shot.

Baby Assasin by Raffaele: Wow – this baby lionfish with its beautiful fins on a black background pops out from the page. The eye is pin sharp too. Would have been nice to have 2 eyes looking at the camera, but that may be asking too much and this is a stunning shot regardless.

Gluttony by Suli: Well done on catching this feeding behaviour. It can happen really quickly so to get it in focus and well lit is to be commended.

B&W Manta under the sun by claude lespagne: This shot works really well in black and white. It shows off the powerful grace of the manta and you can still feel the sun rays dancing above.

Lundy Seal by MichaelG: I love a seal shot where they come in to have a taste of your camera! Well done for getting some light into the mouth!

Pink Clown by MichaelG: Simple yet stunning. The colours on this image are incredible. I love that you have the clownfish looking right at the camera. You can almost feel the texture of the anemone.

Sealion Hunt by Giacomo Antonio Rossi: Just stunning! The blue is perfect and the fact you have captured the sealion with a fish in his mouth makes this even better. I love this.

Leaf Sheep (Costasiella sp.) and Rabbit Costasiella (Costasiella usagi) by Oksana Maksymova: Amazing image with the two species together on a single leaf. They really pop out of the screen and the focus on such tiny subjects is pin sharp.

Coral by Umit Gorcum: Lovely coral texture and colour. An abstract shot showing the intricate detail we sometimes overlook. Good use of depth of field.

Sunny snorkeling in Bora Bora by Stephan Debelle: I love to see image of snorkelers in the water with marine life, especially sharks, to show the beauty that so many do not get to see. This is a lovely shot.

Smiley Blue by Nuno Rodrigues: A lovely portrait of a Blue Shark in clear blue water. Such elegant creatures.

Crab from Germany by Jan Leya: This shot has a moody feel about it. If the visibility was bad then you a good job has been done on the lighting. Great that you got down low to get the shot at eye level with the water as the background.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: Pink Clown by MichaelG

Runner-up: Leaf Sheep (Costasiella sp.) and Rabbit Costasiella (Costasiella usagi) by Oksana Maksymova

Third Place: B&W Manta under the sun by claude lespagne

Highly Commended: Baby Assasin by Raffaele & Sealion Hunt by Giacomo Antonio Rossi

Congratulations to those who were placed – there were a number of excellent images, and well done to all those that entered.


Scubaverse.com’s November 2021 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.

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