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Ocean Art Announces the Winners of a Special “Safe Under the Sea” Underwater Photo Contest

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The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the winners of a special Ocean Art “Safe Under the Sea” underwater photography contest.

Portrait 1st Place – Jacopo Brunetti

Despite the adversity we all face today, the “Safe Under the Sea” contest has been a way to bring people from around the world together to dust off old hard drives, share the beauty of our oceans, and help aid the WHO and CDC Foundation in their fight to improve the health of the planet and its people. These photos showcase some incredible perspectives in a time when perspective is key. Although it was a smaller, mid-year competition, the selection of winning photographs has been no less powerful.

Winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide at www.uwphotographyguide.com/ocean-art-safe-under-the-seawinners

The judging for Ocean Art “Safe Under the Sea” was carried out a little differently this time. The staff of the Underwater Photography Guide were given the honor of selecting the best images from a very competitive field. It was no easy task. The Best of Show winning image conveys a special message of hope for the future of our planet’s unique biodiversity.

Best of Show – Edwar Herreno

The photo, “Releasing Hope”, captured by accomplished photographer Edwar Herreno, shows marine biologist, Eduardo Espinosa, releasing a tagged hammerhead pup in order to study a unique shark nursery. It is efforts like this that will allow underwater photographers to continue to produce amazing images for years to come.

Cold Water 1st Place – Joanna Smart

Other extraordinary winning images include raw, dramatic underwater moments with magnificent creatures, rare marine life behavior, stunning portraits of miniature worlds, curious pinnipeds, eerie shipwrecks, strange critters, and many photos that showcase the prevailing beauty of our underwater world. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 79 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.

Macro 1st Place – Lars Michaelis

Ocean Art would like to extend a special, heartfelt thanks to the sponsors of the “Safe Under the Sea” competition. Given the current economic climate, sponsoring the competition speaks to these organizations’ dedication to underwater photographers around the world.

Top prizes included more than a few gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel, a $500 gift certificate as well as an Ikelite DS161 strobe from Ikelite, the new Paralenz Vaquita dive camera from Paralenz, a 5 day dive package with AquaMarine Diving Bali and the Watergarden Hotel, a Sea Dragon 3000F Auto Photo/Video light from Sealife, and a trip for one at Atlantis Dive Resorts! Twelve different categories ensured a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography.

Wide-Angle 1st Place – Paul Cox

The quality of in this competition was just exceptional, and it is just a sneak peak of the biggest underwater photography contest of the year – Ocean Art 2020 (to be announced in September, 2020). As a result of everyone’s efforts, the Underwater Photography Guide was able to donate 25% of the proceeds, translating to thousands of dollars, to the WHO and CDC in their fight against Covid-19. Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, “The images from this special competition, especially the winning conservation image, represent hope. Hope for our oceans, hope for our travel & dive industries ravaged by Coronavirus, and hope that our nations can come together.

For more information about Underwater Photography Guide please visit the website by clicking 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

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Marine Life & Conservation

Get ready for a year of incredible underwater encounters in 2021

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Giants from the world of underwater photography have joined forces with Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation to create a unique and stunning 2021 calendar to raise funds for its campaigns to make Britain’s retailers shark free.

The line-up of award-winning contributors includes Alex Mustard, Amanda Cotton, Christian Vizl, David Doubilet, Doug Perrine, Ellen Cuylaerts, George Probst, Greg Lecouer, Jason Isley, Laura Storm, Shawn Heinrichs and Tanya Houppermans.

Each photographer has handpicked and donated a breathtaking image along with commentary that features month-by-month in the top class publication.

Campaign director at Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “This edition is packed with spectacular images to celebrate the marine environment in all its glory. Significantly every purchase of this calendar will directly fund our campaigns to end the trade and consumption of shark products in the UK.”

Alone, Bite-Back has made significant progress in limiting the sale of shark fin soup, shark meat and items containing shark, such as supplements, nationwide.

Graham added: “For the equivalent of £1 a month, we hope scuba divers and ocean lovers will enjoy admiring this rare and magnificent collection of images all year long.  And, of course, it makes a fabulous Christmas present too.”

The high quality A4 calendar is printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks by a climate neutral printer. It can be purchased at www.bite-back.com/shop for £12 (including free UK delivery) and shipped worldwide. Don’t miss out!

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Tobias Friedrich: Creative Lighting in Wrecks at the November NUPG meeting (Watch Video)

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The November NUPG meeting saw Tobias Friedrich take to the virtual stage. Tobias has won several prestigious underwater photography competitions with his stunning wreck images and he joined the Northern Underwater Photography Group to talk about general wreck photography, using panoramas and creative lighting in what was an engaging and enlightening presentation. You can see more of Tobias’ wonderful images on his Below-Surface website by clicking here.

As always, the NUPG members also had a chance to show off some of their images in the monthly competition. This month’s theme was “Natural Displays” and it saw a range of ideas and images from the group.

The winning shot of a displaying cuttlefish was taken by Nick Robertson-Brown

The runner-up was a shot of mating Mandarinfish by Caroline Robertson-Brown

There were three shots in the 3rd place position. An image of mating Peacock Flounder by Ken Byrne.

Maggie Russel’s shot of a turtle in the sunshine

and Nick Robertson-Brown’s image from the Moalboal Sardine Run in The Philippines

The next meeting will be held on Monday 14th December will feature part 2 of a talk from Simon Rogerson: Difficulties with Sharks.

For more information about the NUPG please visit the website by clicking here.

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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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