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Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

March 2020 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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

WINNER: Peacock Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut

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!


It has been a strange month, and I know that many of you may not be able to dive at the moment. But that makes it a great time to sit and review and edit your underwater images that you never got round to. I look forward to seeing them in the April competition! As there were fewer entries than normal I have managed to comment on them all…

The dark side of the moon by Nicola Jaeger. This is a nice shot of a rarely seen animal. I love the angle and the dof is just about right (for me). It is tricky to get everything in the frame that you want, with a standard short lens, but if you had just pointed the camera a fraction to the right then the edge would not have been clipped.

Start of a long/ocean journey by Kayleigh Hyslop. These two images are the same shot but one has had the flotsam photo-shopped out. I am not a fan of rear end shots (although sometimes they can be stunning) but I see the storyline here of a baby turtle starting out on life’s journey. I love the reflection.

Full of eggs by Miguel Ramirez. This is a profile behaviour shots which has been well-taken. Dof is just right and it is well lit.

Blue electric by Miguel Ramirez. The colours and shape of the eel against a black background really works well and both eyes are visible too. It is a shame that the yellow top of the subject has been clipped when there is room to lose some of the lower frame.

Angry fish by Miguel Ramirez. Love this head-on Surgeon fish against black. Nicely executed and I do like the tail “movement”.

Baby saddleback anemone fish by Pauline Walsh Jacobson. Composition! This would work a little better if you cropped in on the subject, Pauline.

Pygmy Seahorse by Pauline Walsh Jacobson. These critters are great subjects but a nightmare to find and get to focus on them. It is a nice shot but would have worked even better if you had managed to isolate the subject against the black’ and this would have framed it too. Easier said than done, I know.

Zebra Crab by Pauline Walsh Jacobson. Nice shot, I have one that is very similar. I love the colours and particularly their contrast. The subject is engaging the photographer, or the other way round, and the overall image is very pleasing.

Bubble Boy by Rick Allen. I’ve not seen anything like this before and I really like it. Breaks a lot of “rules” but still works. Interesting.

Peacock Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut. Lovely capture with great lighting against a black background. They really are the most photogenic critters, if you can get them to stay still for long enough.

Sexy Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut. The use of a snoot is usually fraught with problems but I love the way you have used it to isolate the subject and frame it in the coral.

Moray Portrait by Marc Eeckhaut. Nicely done by Marc, but a shame the moray’s lower jaw has been clipped.

Angel shark by Paul Cannon. Unusual subject and difficult to frame the shot you want as they tend to hug the bottom. It works really well as an identity shot.

Moray by Paul Cannon. Morays are such difficult beasts to capture a good image of. Like in this image, they look out at you from their hole which creates a messy background. If you can get one with its head sticking out and blue behind it….

Moray and shrimp by Cedric Peneau. Nicely done, Morays usually back away when they are being cleaned and a diver approaches. Good to have blacked out any messy background.

The encounter by Cedric Peneau. This is a lovely ‘story-telling’ image with two of the ocean’s giants, a mother and calf, performing in front of a photographer. Nicely captured.

Microcosmos by Cedric Peneau. Superb macro shot, beautifully framed and lit. Shots/images like this transport me to another world.


After much deliberation by our judge….

What a month – great images made this a really tough month to judge…

The results

Winner: Peacock Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut

Runner-up: Angry fish by Miguel Ramirez

3rd Place: Moray and shrimp by Cedric Peneau

Congratulations to those who were placed – some really nice images here, and well done to all those that entered.

Scubaverse.com’s April 2020 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos 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 www.frogfishphotography.com

Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

October 2020 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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

WINNER: Lunchtime by Miguel Ramirez

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!


It is great to see our new website up and running and for the competition to be going strong. Here are a few of the images that caught my eye, and why.

Warty Yawn by Michael G: This is a good example of a close-up portrait, bordering on abstract. The colours are lovely against a black background and the detail really shows off the wonderful pattern of this iconic critter.

Birdzilla by Naomi Rose: Quite a privilege to be so close to such a beautiful wanderer of the skies. It is a super shot, just wished you’d got its feet in! Still a great shot.

Sleepy Peek by Naomi Rose: Super behaviour shot of one of the most sought-after subjects in the ocean.

Mighty Logger by Naomi Rose: Love the angle of this fella with good eye contact too. The sun rays against the blue background enhances the overall image.

Earthquake by Arnaud Guillebert: This image has the potential to be superb, with the suns rays and the blue negative space. It is just crying out for a subject against the blue. The diver, with legs akimbo, really doesn’t help.

Murène pointillée by Arnaud Guillebert: The lighting and black background make this image really stand out. I’m not sure the focus is quite sharp enough.

Humpback Whale by Benjamin Bersans: Lovely shot of an ocean giant. Sometimes the rear view of an animal works, like this does. Just a pity the fluke has been clipped.

Whats Up by Miguel Ramirez: Super portrait of a curious Hawksbill sat on a very dull sea bed. Eye contact works but its left eye needs a hint more light on it.

Blue Tones by Miguel Ramirez: I like the various blue shades of the animal against the red coral.

Lunchtime by Miguel Ramirez: Nicely captured image of a dolphin pod in blue, open water. The fish in the mouth of the nearest Bottlenose tells its own story and makes this a stand out behaviour shot. Lovely reflections too!

Mr Grumpy by Cedric Peneau: This is a classic close focus wide angle image with a stellar critter as its focus.

Microcosmos by Cedric Peneau: These amphipods make great subjects and the framing of it in the coral is excellent.

Tiny Gobi by Oksana Maksymova: This is very cleverly done. The use of focus (both in and out) creates a beautiful surreal effect of orange and white.

Manta and Reef by Cedric Peneau: This shot reminds us all that even when you have a non wide angle lens, you can still capture a good image of large animals. The red coral and blue water works really well together.

Ribbon Eel by Marc Eeckhaut: Notoriously difficult to capture a descent image, Marc has managed to do so in this shot. Sharp focusing and a bokeh background emphasize the subject.

Emperor Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut: These macro shots so a lot to reveal the wonders of the “mini world” that many of us love to explore.

Squid by Marc Eeckhaut: Nice angle and focus on the eye. Black backgrounds are easier to get on a night dive but it works well on this image.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: Lunchtime by Miguel Ramirez

Runner-up: Mr Grumpy by Cedric Peneau

3rd Place: Tiny Gobi by Oksana Maksymova

Highly Commended: Birdzilla by Naomi Rose

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 2020 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.

Continue Reading

Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

September 2020 Photo Contest Winner and Review

Published

on

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

WINNER: Vunerable Giants by Naomi Rose

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!


A slightly different feel to the judging this month, due to the new website work, I have picked my favourite six to go through…

Little Moray by Alexej Sachov

This image really caught my eye! it feels like the eel is zooming towards the lens. Lovely bokeh and great to catch both eyes, in focus, looking at the camera. Bravo!

Best Dad by Cedric Peneau 

Super bahaviour shot showing mouth brooding. The eggs spilling out onto the black background really stands out. The detail is stunning.

Crystal-clear by Marc Eeckhaut 

Simple yet stunning. I love the curves of the pink coral leading the eye through to the dark window. The subjects is in sharp focus and framed really well by its environment.

Dolphin Split-Shot by Miguel Ramirez

This is an incredible image. I can just imagine myself being there. To get a split shot like this, with the dolphins fin above the water and the tail and head below the surface is great work. You balanced the light above and below perfectly. Do I wish the dolphin was swimming towards the photographer – I guess a little, but we can’t always get what we want! Stunnning shot – well done!

Vunerable Giants by Naomi Rose 

Another stunning split-shot, this time featuring a Whaleshark and it’s yellow pilot fish. This is an eye-catching image that really captures what it was like to be there in that moment. The sparkling water, bright light, and the gentle giant swimming just below the surface. Love this image.

Seahorse by Oksana Maksymova

A simple yet stunning shot. A tough shot to get right too, as the subject is tiny and moves with the water. To get both eyes looking at the camera and to also have the mouth open is great. I also love the gently colours and tones of this image. Pin shark focus on the seahorse’s head makes this a stand out shot. One of the best I have seen.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: Vunerable Giants by Naomi Rose

Runner-up: Seahorse by Oksana Maksymova

3rd Place: Dolphin Split-Shot by Miguel Ramirez

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

Scubaverse.com’s October 2020 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.

Continue Reading

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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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