WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR NICK ROBERTSON-BROWN
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!
What a great month! Some stunning shots in this February competition! Here are the ones I have selected to discuss this month:
Jellyfish with Symbiotic friends by Daryll Rivett: This is a beautifully lit image in black and white. The two fish peaking from behind the subject are perfect.
I have my eyes on you by Daryll Rivett: Unusual style in this image with a tiny depth of field. The eye is the subject and all the bokeh supports the image well.
Pop-up Eyes by Marc Eekhaut: this is another close-up shot of an eye. Another excellent example of using a small depth of field to isolate the subject.
High Five by Marc Eekhaut: this has a wonderful symmetry about it and I love behaviour shots. I would have liked a bit more light on the nudi on the right.
Bad Hair day? by Jack Pokoj: Love the colours in this composition. My only criticism is that, personally, I think it would work better with a larger depth of field.
Welcome to the School by Kao Kuo Wei: this image shows one of the sights that we have all seen on a warm water dive. They all look really interested in the photographer. Beautiful composition.
Longnose Hawkfish by Alan Pittman: this clearly demonstrates how it evolved its colouration. The camouflage is superb but the photographer has still managed to make the subject stand out by using a small depth of field.
Skunk Clownfish by Kenneth Gillies: I love this shot of three skunk clownfish in the green anemone. Contrasting colours work really well and all three subjects are making eye-contact.
Xenia Swimming Crab by Oksana Maksymova: what an eye-catching shot despite its monochrome style colouring. Great eye-contact and use of bokeh.
After much deliberation by our judge….
There were some good shots this month and it is always tough to choose. There were lots of good macro shots and it was hard to pick the top three… but the results are:
Runner-Up: Welcome to the School by Kao Kuo Wei
Highly Commended: Skunk Clownfish by Kenneth Gillies
Congratulations to the those who were placed – some really nice images here, and well done to all those that entered. I cannot wait to see March has to offer.
Scubaverse.com’s March 2019 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.