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PADI and Scuba Diving Magazine’s annual photo contest captures incredible diversity of our Blue Planet

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Together, PADI® and Scuba Diving® magazine have announced the winners of their 18th annual Through Your Lens photo contest, which drew in nearly 2,600 entries from around the world.

“The submissions for our 2022 Through Your Lens photo contest have exceeded our expectations,” says Andy Leisner, Chief Consumer Officer of PADI Worldwide, the publisher of Scuba Diving magazine. “The imagery in this annual collection of underwater photography is outstanding, unique, and captures what a very small portion of the global population has had the opportunity to experience: the other stunning 70% of our watery planet.”

Grand Prize Winner: Credit – Boz Johnson

This year’s grand prize winner is Boz Johnson, whose striking night-time image of a flying fish gliding just below the surface highlights the magic of the underwater world and the beauty worth protecting. Through Your Lens is the first photo Johnson ever entered, and he took home $1,000 from Scuba Diving magazine and a liveaboard trip aboard the BVI Aggressor from Aggressor Adventures.

Behavior First Place Winner: Credit – Salvatore Ianniello

The prize-winning images in the four contest categories – macro, wide-angle, behavior, and compact camera – include: ice-diving a whale carcass, a perch eating another perch, a moray eel opening its mouth for a teeth cleaning from a bluestreak wrasse, a diver exploring the shallows of a Mexican cenote on a sunny day, a whale shark at night, an octopus mother tending her eggs, and a black and white shrimp.

Compact Camera First Place Winner: Credit — Miguel Ramirez

The first-place winner for each of the specified categories also received the week-long Aggressor Adventures liveaboard trip, the second-place winners a SCUBAPRO regulator, and the third-place winners a SeaLife light or underwater smartphone housing accessory. Select winners will also be given the opportunity to have their photos featured on PADI certification cards.

Wide-Angle First Place Winner: Credit — Alex Dawson

“We are on a mission to encourage more people to experience, explore and protect our shared blue planet, with the 2022 Through Your Lens images playing a powerful role in sparking positive ocean change,” continues Leisner.

To check out this year’s collection of winning photos, visit scubadiving.com/worlds-best-underwater-photos.  To inquire about reproducing winning images, please contact edit@padi.com.

Header Image: Macro First Place Winner: Credit – Yury Ivanov

Gear News

Get a FREE undersuit when you buy a trilaminate drysuit from Scubapro

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IT’S TRILAMINATE TIME!

SCUBAPRO is launching its 2024 drysuit promotion:

With the purchase of a trilaminate drysuit EVERTECH DRY BREATHABLE or DEFINITION DRY, SCUBAPRO gives you the matching K2 EXTREME undersuit (GBP 345) for free.

If that’s not a reason to start drysuit diving, because in our climate it’s drysuit season all year round! So don’t miss out – the promotion is valid until May 31, 2024 at participating SCUBAPRO retailers and in participating regions.

All information at https://scubapro.johnsonoutdoors.com/eu/en-gb/free-k2.

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Diving with Frogfish in Costa Rica: A Hidden Gem Underwater

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In the vast and vibrant underwater world of Costa Rica, there’s a peculiar creature that often goes unnoticed but holds a special place in the hearts of divers: the frogfish. This enigmatic and somewhat odd-looking species is a master of camouflage and a marvel of marine life. Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is not just a dive; it’s an adventurous treasure hunt that rewards the patient and observant with unforgettable encounters. Let’s dive into the world of frogfish and discover what makes these creatures so fascinating and where you can find them in Costa Rica.

The Mystique of Frogfish

Frogfish belong to the family Antennariidae, a group of marine fish known for their incredible ability to blend into their surroundings. They can be found in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, red, green, black, and white, and they often have unique spots and textures that mimic the coral and sponges around them. This camouflage isn’t just for show; it’s a critical survival tactic that helps them ambush prey and avoid predators.

One of the most remarkable features of the frogfish is its modified dorsal fin, which has evolved into a luring appendage called an esca. The frogfish uses this esca to mimic prey, such as small fish or crustaceans, enticing unsuspecting victims close enough to be engulfed by its surprisingly large mouth in a fraction of a second. This method of hunting is a fascinating spectacle that few divers forget once witnessed.

Where to Find Frogfish in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is dotted with dive sites that offer the chance to encounter these intriguing creatures. Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos), Catalina Islands (Islas Catalinas), and the area around the Gulf of Papagayo are renowned for their rich marine life, including frogfish. These sites vary in depth and conditions, catering to both novice and experienced divers.

The key to spotting frogfish is to dive with a knowledgeable guide who can point out these master camouflagers hiding in plain sight. They’re often found perched on rocky outcroppings, nestled within coral, or even hiding among debris, perfectly mimicking their surroundings.

frogfish

Diving Tips for Spotting Frogfish

Go Slow: The secret to spotting frogfish is to move slowly and scan carefully. Their camouflage is so effective that they can be right in front of you without being noticed.

Look for Details: Pay attention to the small details. A slightly different texture or an out-of-place color can be the clue you need.

Dive with Local Experts: Local dive guides have an eagle eye for spotting wildlife, including frogfish. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of an encounter.

Practice Buoyancy Control: Good buoyancy control is essential not just for safety and coral preservation but also for getting a closer look without disturbing these delicate creatures.

Be Patient: Patience is key. Frogfish aren’t known for their speed, and sometimes staying in one spot and observing can yield the best sightings.

Conservation and Respect

While the excitement of spotting a frogfish can be thrilling, it’s crucial to approach all marine life with respect and care. Maintain a safe distance, resist the urge to touch or provoke, and take only photos, leaving behind nothing but bubbles. Remember, the health of the reef and its inhabitants ensures future divers can enjoy these incredible encounters as much as you do.

Join the Adventure

Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is just one of the many underwater adventures that await in this biodiverse paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or taking your first plunge, the waters here offer an unparalleled experience filled with wonders at every turn. Beyond the thrill of the hunt for frogfish, you’ll be treated to a world teeming with incredible marine life, majestic rays, playful dolphins, and so much more.

So, gear up, dive in, and let the mysteries of Costa Rica’s underwater realm unfold before your eyes. With every dive, you’re not just exploring the ocean; you’re embarking on an adventure that highlights the beauty, complexity, and fragility of our marine ecosystems. And who knows? Your next dive might just be the one where you come face-to-face with the elusive and captivating frogfish. Join us at Rocket Frog Divers for the dive of a lifetime, where the marvels of the ocean are waiting to be discovered.

About the Author: Jonathan Rowe

Are you looking to make a splash online? As a seasoned diver and digital marketer, I specialize in crafting bespoke websites and innovative marketing strategies for dive shops worldwide. With my expertise, your business will not only be seen but also remembered.

From deep-sea to digital depths, I navigate the complex waters of web development and online marketing, ensuring your dive shop stands out in the vast ocean of the internet. Contact Scuba Dive Marketing for more information.

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