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Winners - Underwater Photography Contests

May 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: Tubes in Black and White by Bill Passmore

Another month filled with incredible images, both macro and wide angle, from all around the world. This was the hardest month in 2021 to judge so far!

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:

Orcas encounter by Giacomo Antonio Rossi: Wow! What an experience! I wish I had been there in the water with you as this is one of my dreams… the image is lovely with both a side on orca and one looking right at the camera. The image has a dream-like quality.

Pike in the Sky by Matej Miskovic: What a lovely image. Beautiful pattern on the pike and the view of the trees through Snell’s Window makes the image look like a water-colour painting.

Looking Glass by Charlotte Elliott: The reflection really makes this images and you have done it perfectly. Super shark shot – well done.

Black NudiBranch by Nakita Willemse: You can almost feel how velvet-like this nudibranch would feel (not that I am suggesting you should stroke it). A nice pose and vibrant background.

Grace by Suliman A: A striking black and white shot of a turtle. It is always difficult shooting into the sun and getting a good result.

Under the Pier by Raffaele: I love diving and snorkeling piers, there is always so much life to be seen, usually in shallow water. This image really shows that off, and with a sun-burst through the structure too.

Look in to your camera by Raffaele: I love the expression on this fish’s face! This must have been difficult to capture, but you have nailed the focus on the eyes of your subject just as it turned to look at the camera – well done.

Morwong Portrait by MichaelG: What I like about this fish portrait is the catch-lighting in the eye. The black background makes the subject really jump out of the shot and the super-close positioning of the subject works too.

Caribbean Reef Octopus by MichaelG: What a striking image of an octopus. I am not sure I have seen one like it. Great use of black and white as it makes the details of the pattern stand out. Have you tried spinning it through 180 degrees?

I`ve got my eyes on you! by Daniel Halmi: Lovely eye-contact. It is always hard to get the eyes of these pipefish in focus and you have done just that. Great use of Depth of Field to blur the background.

Anemone Shrimp by Peg Mosch: The detail in this image if wonderful. Very sharp.

Alien by Sylvain Corbel: This image really jumps out at the viewer. The eyes of the subject are incredible to look at. The lighting is very well done indeed. I love this.

The new generation of anemone fish by Oksana Maksymova: Ha – they look like Minions! What a brilliant macro shot this is. Silvery subjects can be hard to light well, but you have done so perfectly.

Trinchesia sp. by Oksana Maksymova: This is a beautiful image of a nudibranch. The depth of field is perfect to get the subject in focus and the background blurred. The detail on the substrate is stunning. The subtle colours are simply lovely. Bravo.

Shimmer by Max Gillespie: Normally I would want the subject to be swimming towards the camera, but the sun rays, sea grass and blue water with the movement of the shark swimming through really works.

Cyerce bourbonica by Moby Duarte: Super detail on this nudibranch image. What makes it stand out though is the curving line of the grass blade it is on and the fact it is just dangling over the edge. The lighting and black background are extremely well done.

Hanging around by D. Loll: Love the pose this turtle is making, right in front of the camera. I also like that you can see the surface ripples in the top of the image.

Tubes in Black and White by Bill Passmore: We have had a few black and white entries this month, but this is my favourite of them. Subtle and beautiful, this just shows that getting the lighting right and working on a simple subject can provide stunning results.

Seahorse by Jan Leya: A simple but lovely seahorse portrait. The yellow against a dark blue background is very pleasing.

Dugong by Severin Pöhlmann. What I like about this shot is the movement of the sand disturbed by the Dugong as it swims up towards the surface. Everyone who looks at this image will realize how great it would be to be there in that moment.

3’s a crowd by Matthew Pearson: It is always special to capture a specific behaviour in an image. The display pose by the central cuttlefish makes this shot.

Fluorescent Spider Crab by Alasdair O’Dell: Wow! I had no idea that spider crabs reacted like this under UV lights. Stunning image and unusual as well. It really helps that the crab is looking right into the camera lens too. Well done.

Mother’s love by SanghoonLee: Super image of an octopus looking after eggs. The framing of the image is perfect.


After much deliberation by our judge….

The results

Winner: Tubes in Black and White by Bill Passmore

Runner-up: Orcas encounter by Giacomo Antonio Rossi

Third Place: The new generation of anemone fish by Oksana Maksymova

Highly Commended: Alien by Sylvain Corbel and Pike in the Sky by Matej Miskovic

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

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

  • Winner: Tubes in Black and White by Bill Passmore

  • Highly Commended: Pike in the Sky by Matej Miskovic

  • Third Place: The new generation of anemone fish by Oksana Maksymova

  • Highly Commended: Alien by Sylvain Corbel

  • Runner-Up: Orcas encounter by Giacomo Antonio Rossi

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.

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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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