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Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

March 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: Mimic by Christian Horras

Wow! Another bumper month 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:

Glossodoris sp. “Rhinopore” by Moby Duarte: Smashing image of a beautiful nudibranch with the rhinophores in pin-sharp focus. The angle is perfect, with the camera at “eye-level”. The low depth of field and the black background all add to this lovely image.

Caddis fly larva (Phryganea sp.): A subject I have not seen before, and a new species is always a bonus when judging a photo competition. Lovely detail in sharp focus including both subject and its environment.

Let’s play! by Ben VERDEILLE: What a lovely moment captures here. A sealion getting ready to play with the photographer using an unfortunate seastar as a toy.

Blue Shark by Mariamillgate: Such beautiful sharks. lovely image capturing motion and eye-contact.

Face to face by Giacomo Antonio Rossi: Lovely image of a Blue Shark interacting with a freediving photographer.

On the Edge by Patricia Pat A Sinclair: A gorgeous nudi just reaching the very edge of its domain. Lots of negative space allowing room for us to imagine the path it might take.

School of Batfish by Zaflee Bin Md Suibarek: Lovely batfish image with the sunburst on the surface really enhancing the shot. Subtle lighting and with one batfish looking at the camera, this is lovely.

Hauling the net by Atle Ove Martinussen: An excellent split shot with good focus both above and blow the water line. Just a little too much left hand strobe, which could be fixed in post-edit. An engaging shot nonetheless.

Nudi in the dark by Atle Ove Martinussen: Lovely colours that pop out of the screen. Just needed a bit more room on the right hand side.

Nice surprise under the boat by Raffaele: Nice composition with the anemonefish, diver and the dive boat up above. I would have cropped out the unlit part of the anemone at the bottom of the frame I think.

Stage fright by Suliman A: A nice protrait of a hermit crab. The black background really helps make is stand out.

Montenegro Jaz beach night dive by Nikola Doder: Lovely pin-shark focus on the eyes. Great use of depth of field. Good image.

Geometric perfection by Alexandre Despras: Lovely shot. Simple yet stunning. Letting the natural form be the star.

Hypselodoris tryoni at lunch by Louis Costes: Wow – so many good nudi shots this month and this one stands out due to the lovely blue background and the subject in focus popping out.

Anker’s Whip Coral Shrimp by Marc Eeckhaut: Lovely diagonal, lovely bokeh background with the two shrimps in perfect position.

Turtle Silhouette by MichaelG: Simple yet super, black vignetting, the blue inner circle and the silhouette of the turtle against the blue. Lovely.

Baby Grouper by Carolina Marcias: Lovely expression on this grouper portrait. Both eyes in view and engaging with the photographer.

The Devil by Sylvain Corbel: A very dramatic fish portrait. Lovely eye-contact. Super isolation of the subject.

Longimanus by Christian Horras: Oceanic Whitetip Shark with sun rays coming down from above. Stunning.

Mimic by Christian Horras: This image really stands out from the crowd. The eyes of the octopus against the bokeh background is simple yet stunning. The way the animals just seems to melt into its environment is amazing. Well done for taking the shot so low to the ground – it makes all the difference.

A white among the reds by Bruno Labins: I really like this image. The blue background with the school of red (and one white) fish really works well. The fact that they are swimming towards the photographer is great.

Coming towards me with his accolytes by Bruno Labins: Another stunning image. Balanced light, swimming towards the viewer, three fins on display – smashing shot.

Walking upside down by Lorenzo Zacchetti: A very interesting behaviour captured by this image. Lovely reflection too.

Manta Rays’ dance in the blue of the Indian Ocean by Oksana Maksymova: What a moment – to have three mantas lining up to swim right past you. Lovey image.

Sunrise at the end of a Belgian winter dive by Kristof Goovaerts: Super diver portrait. The sunlight on the surface above, the divers eyes well lit (which in a black skirted mask can be difficult)


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: Mimic by Christian Horras

Runner-up: Coming towards me with his accolytes by Bruno Labins

Third Place: Glossodoris sp. “Rhinopore” by Moby Duarte

Highly Commended: The Devil by Sylvain Corbel

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

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

  • Runner-up: Coming towards me with his accolytes by Bruno Labins

  • Winner: Mimic by Christian Horras

  • Third Place: Glossodoris sp. "Rhinopore" by Moby Duarte

  • Highly Commended: The Devil by Sylvain Corbel

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

July 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: JellyFish Explosion by Huw Penson

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:

The Cleaning Station by Nus Lobbu: Lovely image of all these colourful reef fish on a a small bommie. As always a single fish has chosen to go its own way! You can feel the motion of the marine life as they go about their business.

The Coconut Octopus by Nus Lobbu: One of my favourite macro subjects to photograph and this is a lovely example. Good use of depth of field and I love the position of the octopus in the shell, looking out at the photographer.

Water Lily by Matej Miskovic: This image caught my eye due to the composition and colours. The lily flower in the corner, the diagonals of the leaf stems and the small gap through into the blue make this an evocative image to look at.

Mating pair by steven.walsh.underwater: Wow – what an encounter with such an iconic species. The egg laden male in the foreground and another swimming above is great to see. Add this to the fact you have been able to include both the seagrass habitat and the surface makes this very eye-catching indeed.

Geometric morays (Gymnothorax griseus) by Oksana Maksymova: What a great shot. Eye-contact with all four morays at the same time. There are even a couple of tiny shrimp thrown into the mix too. Bravo!

Odontaspis ferox by claude lespagne: What a great shot. Full of character and it just forces the viewer to smile back at this goofy shark.

This is MY house by Bill Passmore: Striking image of a moray. The lack background really makes the golden pattern on the subject stand out.

Giannis D by MichaelG: The post-processing of this image makes it really stand out. It look great in black and white with loads of contrast.

Golden Damsel by MichaelG: Well done! It is always hard to get small, quick fish head on and you have nailed this one. The yellow looks stunning on the black background and the eye-contact, detail on the fins and it’s facial expression are super.

Baby Black Tip Reef Sharks at Sunrise by Huw Penson: What an experience and well done for capturing an image of these 3 baby sharks. I would have loved this more if the sharks had been coming towards you and the portion above water had been in focus.

Reefshark B/W by Jan Leya: Striking portrait of a reef shark in black and white.

JellyFish Explosion by Huw Penson: Superb image. So much details in the jellyfish and the sunburst behind really makes this image jump out of the screen. I might have tried editing out the small bubbles as they could be considered a distraction from what is a striking image.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: JellyFish Explosion by Huw Penson

Runner-up: Geometric morays (Gymnothorax griseus) by Oksana Maksymova

Third Place: Golden Damsel by MichaelG

Highly Commended: Odontaspis ferox by claude lespagne; Mating pair by steven.walsh.underwater & The Coconut Octopus by Nus Lobbu 

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


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

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Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

June 2021 Photo Contest Winner and Review

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on

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

WINNER: “It’s my turn to have the camera now!” by Charly Clerisse

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:

Juvenile Bearded Fireworm by John Fowler: Lovely colours and use of depth of field makes this image jump out.

Sardine run by Francisco Jose Medina Maldonado: So much going on in this shot with the schooling fish and divers on the wreck. Really gives the viewer a great idea on what it was like to be there.

“It’s my turn to have the camera now!” by Charly Clerisse: Wow! What a moment and well done for getting the shot when you had so much going on. The fact that you got the eye in focus and engaged with the viewer is a real bonus.

Humpback whale family by Herbert Futterknecht: While Humpback Whale images are now much more common and we see a lot in this competition, it is still rare to get three in a single shot. This image was perfectly timed too, with a lovely shape to this whale family. Very nice indeed.

Great White come to the surface by Herbert Futterknecht: Very dramatic with the Great White Shark just about to break the surface of the water. Excellent that you captured the reflection of the shark.

jellys by matan bechar: So many jellyfish in a single image. This caught my eye for the sheer number, but also the delicate lighting and complimentary colours.

Red spotted porcelain crab by divejackdive: Nice to see the crab feeding. Images of marine life behaviour always stand out from the crowd.

It’s mine! by Giacomo Antonio Rossi: These are a favourite subject of mine. I love diving with them and photographing them and this shot is special because of the fight the two are having over the lobster.

Snowstorm by Suliman A.: A lovely nudi shot. The colours are subtle and the shallow depth of field is perfect for this subject in this environment.

Shrimp by Adam Sokolski: This is a beautiful macro image. Simple and un-fussy to look at and the subject is pin sharp. Super colours too.

Jabba the Hut by Frank Michels: A wonderful fish portrait with such an expression on his face. Made me smile.

Sunprayer by Frank Michels: Simple yet stunning image of a turtle and sun rays. Good eye contact with your subject. No distractions in the backgroud. Clear  and sharp. Lovely.

Eyes by Oksana Maksymova: Pin sharp eyes peering out of the shell. Love this image.

The sunset by Daniel Halmi: Lovely still water for this split shot with a beautiful sunset above and part of a wreck below.

Big Mistake by MichaelG: An amazing behaviour shot with a super reflection too. The pufferfish eye is in focus and looking right at the camera.

Nurseshark B/W by Jan Leya: Simple and striking image.

Grouper by claude lespagne: Super expression and interaction in this image. The simple background really helps the subject stand out.

A very chilled Shyshark on a reef by Nakita Willemse: I love this shyshark peeking out from the colourful reef.

Hunchback amphipods giving a shyshark a little nose tickle by Nakita Willemse: Wow! I have never seen this before and that makes it stand out from the crowd. Well done – the angle of the shot if perfect to show off the amphipods on and around the shark.

Meeting the Giants by Cedric Peneau: A stunning image and what really makes it stand out is the underwater photographer in the shot. It makes you understand what it was like to be there and what a special encounter it was. Lovely.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: “It’s my turn to have the camera now!” by Charly Clerisse

Runner-up: Hunchback amphipods giving a shyshark a little nose tickle by Nakita Willemse

Third Place: Meeting the Giants by Cedric Peneau

Highly Commended: Snowstorm by Suliman A & Sunprayer by Frank Michels

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


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

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