January 2019 Photo Contest Winner and Review



WINNER: Candy Crab by Jack Pokoj

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!

January 2019

What a great start to the new 2019 competition. Some stunning shots in this January competition! Here are the ones I have selected to discuss this month:

My Favourites

Tiny House by Rob Paule: This is an endearing shot. These creatures are fabulous but can be difficult to get a pleasing shot. Well done.

Tiger by Marc Eeckhaut: I love the way Marc has framed this Tiger Shrimp. All the colour with the subject isolated against the black really makes the image stand out.

Candy Crab by Jack Pokoj: This is the best image of one of these critters I have seen. Jack has managed to capture it in its environment and isolated it against a black background.

Eye to Eye by Sean Steininger: This is my favourite of his two Whaleshark shots. Beautifully composed with an oncoming diagonal. It has a great, uncluttered, blue background too.

Blue Beaded Anemone and Clownfish by Paula Herman: I like this image for its abstract appeal. The edges are clipped and the focus on the anemone fish at the edge of the image is not sharp on my screen, however, the colours and patterns work well.

Bryozoan Snapping Shrimp by Oksana Maksymova: Lovely image taken in one of my favourite macro destinations. Great use of bokeh to isolate the subject and make it pop.

Spooky Scorpionfish by Alexander C. Allgayer: This is just brilliant. Asymmetric lighting and a partly black background really does present this critter as “spooky”. Love it.

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:

Winner: Candy Crab by Jack Pokoj

Runner-Up: Eye to Eye by Sean Steininger

Third: Tiger by Marc Eeckhaut

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 what the rest of 2019 has to offer.

Scubaverse.com’s February 2019 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.


Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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