October 2019 Photo Contest Winner and Review



WINNER: Snakehead by Marc Eeckhaut

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!

October 2019

A quiet month for images this month, but quality entries meant I did not have an easy time with the judging.

Whip Coral Shrimp by Jack Pokoj: Lovely close-up of a relatively unusual subject. Great lighting show off the colours and the black background pops the subject.

Laying Eggs by Jack Pokoj: Another lovely black background shot by Jack. This simple shot with just 3 colours works really well.

Spectrum by Jack Pokoj: These critters are really difficult to focus on. The eyes regularly look out of focus. Again the black background works well.

Angling by Marc Eeckhaut: This is a nice image of an iconic subject using its lure. I think I would have used a higher f-stop to get the lure in focus though.

Camouflage by Marc Eeckhaut: The eyes on a crocodile fish are always appealing and this image really shows off the eyes amongst the natural camouflage.

Snakehead by Marc Eeckhaut: It is always difficult to get a decent shot of these ever moving creatures. This image captures the snake in an unusual but excellent image. I love the bokeh.

Lettuce Sea Slug by Pauline Walsh Jacobson: I love the contrast of colour in this image of an unusual sea slug. It stands out well against the darkened bokeh background.

After much deliberation by our judge….

There were some great shots to select from this month it made judging very tough indeed. Well done to all those that entered and sorry I could not comment on every image.

The results

Winner: Snakehead by Marc Eeckhaut

Runner-up: Laying Eggs by Jack Pokoj

Congratulations to those who were placed – some really nice images here, and well done to all those that entered. I cannot wait to see what November has to offer.

Scubaverse.com’s November 2019 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 www.frogfishphotography.com.

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