November 2017 Photo Contest Winner and Review



WINNER: A mother’s love by Donna P Lim


When judging any underwater photography competition, the first thing we do is ask of each image: Is it in focus? The main subject has to be pin sharp. Is it exposed correctly?

We 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 we 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 us both go wow – I wish I had taken that!

November 2017

November saw an increase in photos entered which was great to see, and there were plenty for us to comment on and try to pick out the very best images to discuss.

Our Favourites


Orange by Diogo Sayanda – Really nice complementary colours with the orange and green standing out on the black background. Lovely details.

Emerald by Diogo Sayanda – Another lovely macro shot here, simplicity is the key. Lovely colours.

Goddess of the Deep by Simon Morley – I love the position of the fish in this shot. Good control of the lighting too.

Play with me by James Harris – Lovely behaviour shot with the sea lion blowing bubbles just as you took the shot.

Mouth Brooding Giant by James Harris – Another lovely behaviour shot, which makes the image far more engaging. Lovely eye contact too.

Tiny little critters by Matthias Graeub – Such a difficult shot, as these are tiny critters indeed. Love that you have a purple and white amphipod on shot.

Glowing in the dark by Matthias Greaub – Nice nudi shot with a really shallow depth of field. This image really stands out.

A mother’s Love by Donna P Lim – Fabulous shot of the eggs and adult anemone fish. Incredible detail in the eggs – which are the focus of the shot.

The Mexican Dream by William Hemberg – Lovely lighting in an incredible dive site. Makes me want to go!

Curious Blenny by Marc Eeckhaut – There is something about this shot I love. I think it is the expression on the blenny’s face and the composition of the shot, but for me it works well.

Stairway to Heaven by Christian Llewellyn – Smashing shot of the staircase of the Karwela wreck in Gozo. Lovely lighting and mood.

Windswept by Christian Llewellyn – Lovely colours and composition of this nudibranch image. Gorgeous bokeh!


Orange by Diogo Sayanda – Lovely composition and contrasting colours set against a black background.

Mouth Brooding Giant by James Harris – Lovely snoot style lighting capturing this shot of a giant jawfish with eggs.

Tiny little critters by Matthias Graeub – Lovely super-macro shot of these minute amphipods on a hydroid. The purple really pops.

Glowing in the Dark by Matthias Graeub – Love the depth of field, good title too.

A mother’s Love by Donna P Lim – Lovely macro shot with a tiny depth of field. Love all those eyes!

Jelly in Pink by Paul Hewart – The lilac jellyfish against a black background is a simple but beautiful shot. Well done.

Waiting by Laura Tesla – Nice composition taken in a place I really want to go!

Razorfish by Marc Eeckhaut – I really like the diagonals & lighting in this shot.

Stairway to Heaven by Christian Llewellyn – This is a really good shot taken on the most photographed stairway under the sea. Great lighting and angle. Personally, I think a diver with a light coming through the left doorway would have made it even better – even if it is a cliché!

After much deliberations between our two judges….

There were lots of good shots this month and it was hard to find that outstanding image that leapt out as a winner. It took discussion and deliberation, but the two behaviour shots of the fish looking after their eggs take the top two positions. Here are the full results:

Winner: A mother’s Love by Donna P Lim

Runner-Up: Mouth Brooding Giant by James Harris

Third Place: Stairway to Heaven by Christian Llewellyn

Congratulations to those who were placed – some really nice images here, and well done to all those who entered. Keep the images coming and we look forward to seeing more in December. And don’t forget, December will be your last chance to be in with a chance of winning the grand prize!’s December 2017 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

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