New DAN Europe 2020 Member Card Unveiled at the Venice UW Photo Contest


Renee Capozzola and her stunning “wide-angle, over-under stingray with sunset” photo has won the DAN Europe 2020 Card prize at the Abissi Underwater Photo Contest of Venice, Italy.

The ceremony was held at the end of October, before an audience of about 100 divers, in the beautiful setting of the National History Museum, a 13th-century palazzo on the Venice Grand Canal, hosting a number of collections including fossils, botanical, entomological, and zoological specimens.

The winning photo and photographer’s name will appear on over 110.000 Cards sent out to DAN Europe Members all over Europe, the Middle East, and the Maldives through 2020.

“I have been a DAN member since I got certified in 2004,” said Renee Capozzola. “I think it’s important for divers to have the protection and peace of mind DAN gives when traveling. Luckily I have never had to use DAN in an emergency, but I feel confident I can count on DAN if needed!”

Renee Capozzola tells the story behind her incredible shot:

“When traveling to French Polynesia, I like to focus on half and half shots when possible. Here, where sharks and larger marine animals are protected, one can find a diversity of life and pristine corals in shallow depths. During a recent trip there, it was my plan to try and take a picture of a stingray at sunset. This took several attempts over multiple days, as not only did I need a good sunset, but I also required the stingray to be in a photographic position as the sun was setting. Luckily, I managed to get this shot, which I think portrays the stingray against a pleasing background and hopefully will raise awareness to help protect other marine ecosystems”.

Technical specs

Canon 5D Mark III, Nauticam housing, Sea & Sea YS-D2 strobes, f18, 1/250, ISO 400

About the photographer

Renee Capozzola is an international award-winning underwater photographer who specialises in wide angle and over-under images. Her work is an intriguing combination of artistic talent honed through oil painting during her youth and a professional background in biology. As a Southern California native, the ocean has always been a large part of her life. Since she started scuba diving in 2004, she has been to some of the most remote parts of the world and developed a true appreciation for marine organisms with her diversified travels. Renee believes that striking images help increase awareness of our fragile marine ecosystems and encourage others to help protect our oceans.

To see more of Renee’s work, visit

About Abissi Venice

The Venice competition was created in 2008 by the Abissi-Underwater Photo Venice association, with the aim to let the world know more about the sea and its breathtaking beauties through photography, organisation of events, exhibitions and courses.

Over the years Abissi has established itself as one of the most interesting underwater photo competitions on the national and international scene. A great event in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Venice. The DAN Europe Card prize has been introduced in 2015.

Printed copies of all winning photos in the various competition categories – 33 shots selected by a jury of experts over about 500 photos submitted – have been exhibited on October 5-27 inside the Museum, in the picturesque “Gallery of Cetaceans”. Over the last seven years, photos from the competition have been enriching the archive of this splendid museum, also serving for educational and research purposes.

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