WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY EDITORS NICK & CAROLINE ROBERTSON-BROWN
WINNER: Snack by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc
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!
October saw fewer entries than usual, but the images were of a really high standard, so judging was still very tough!
Shark Eggs by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc – a simple yet pleasing image of a shark egg. Lovely blue background and well-lit to see the developing shark inside the case.
Snack by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc – this is a gorgeous shot of a turtle eating seagrass. I love the puff of sand around the turtle’s head. The shot was taken down at eye level and this really makes the image jump out. Lovely control of light and background colour.
Swarm by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc – another great shot, this time of a freediver with dolphins. You can really imagine being there (and I wish I was!).
Kiss me by Marc Eeckhaut – what a face! A close up portrait makes this comical shot stand out from the crowd – just a little too much flash for me on the right hand side.
Pygmy Seahorse by Donna P Lim – a lovely crisp shot of this tiny seahorse. Nice black background.The subject is just a little too central perhaps.
Cornish Blues by Daryl Parker – a really interesting shot – showing how you can see through the surface of the sea up to the people on the boat above (Snell’s Window). I really like the idea of the people on the boat looking down on the scene and the photographer shooting up – everyone wanting to see the gorgeous blue shark.
Life on Mars by Sean Steininger – a great shot showing what it is like to night dive with mantas. Torch light, bubbles and divers all in this chaotic, and yet pleasing scene. This is a great shot that really show the action.
Egg Thief by Pete McGee – this is a fantastic behaviour shot of a shark stealing another shark’s egg. The visibility does not look good, but Pete has got close to his subject and lit up the pink mouthparts designed to break into these egg cases. Well done.
Adoring Couple by Pete McGee – another really well composed behaviour shot, this time of mating cuttlefish.
Giant Black Sea Bass by Sean Steininger – Nice angle and lighting on this lovely fish in kelp. The main point of focus seems to be around the gills, leaving the eye and mouth looking a shade soft.
Shark Eggs by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc – Lovely complementary colours and angle of shark purse against blue negative space – nicely done.
Snack by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc – I have never seen anything like this before and I love it. Excellent lighting and shutter speed captures the sand being thrown off the turtle. A lovely take on an animal portrait.
Weedy Seadragon by Alon Zehngut – Really nice framing of a weedy seadragon. The shot shows the animal in its environment but complementary colours and clever use of depth of field really help the subject stand out.
Fireworks of the Sea by Jeremy Smith – this is a beautiful example of an abstract. The colours and the angle lead the eye to the centre of the image.
Bank holiday Blues by Daryl Parker – Snell’s Window and reflections in this lovely shot of the big-eyed blue.
Life on Mars by Sean Steininger – I have seen several shots of this kind of a manta on a night dive and this is one of the best.
Ear to Ear by Sean Steininger – this is a super shot of the world’s biggest fish. Lovely angle and pose.
Egg Thief by Pete McGee – this has clearly been taken in challenging visibility, but he has captured a good piece of animal behaviour and the lighting is really well done too.
Adoring Couple by Pete McGee – this again shows some wonderful animal behaviour. The contrasting colours of the two cuttlefish really ensure that the subjects stand out against the environment.
Stampede by Pete McGee – wonderful framing and colours capture the motion of these catfish as they move as one in search of food. The shards of sunlight behind them make a great backdrop.
After much deliberations between our two judges….
Once again, we were amazed by the diversity and quality of the images this month. There were some great marine life behaviour shots. As always, this was a really tough month to pick the winners and runners-up. But after much deliberation, here they are:
Winner: Snack by ifj. Lőrincz Ferenc
Runner-Up: Adoring Couple by Pete McGee
Congratulations to the those that were placed – some truly amazing images here, and to all those that entered. Keep the images coming and we look forward to seeing more in November.
Scubaverse.com’s November 2017 Underwater Photo Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater photos here.