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Photo / Video News & Reviews

Photographing Caribbean Reef Sharks in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas

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els_nsc7296On our second piece about photographing sharks in the Bahamas, we head to New Providence Island, to dive out of Nassau with Stuart Cove. This dive centre is probably the most famous in the Bahamas, and perhaps even the whole Caribbean. Stuart originally opened the centre in 1978 and it has grown into a really impressive operation. Whilst it is a large dive centre, with lots going on, it does not feel like it when you arrive. The staff are all friendly and professional and so you feel comfortable and at home right away. We were greeted by Stuart himself, before grabbing our gear and jumping onto a boat to go and dive with Caribbean Reef Sharks.

There are a number of different types of shark diving here. You can photograph them on the reef, cruising over colourful corals in shallow water. You can photograph them on and around wrecks, which have been sunk deliberately to create new habitats for the marine life and a playground for divers and underwater photographers alike. You can also dive with a shark wrangler on a shark feeding dive, who will feed small pieces of fish to the sharks via a long metal stick. We tried all three and each offers different photographic opportunities.

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The reef dive is great for those who want to try this for the first time, and want a more chilled out experience. A metal box with a few fish heads inside is placed on the seabed, away from any delicate coral. The sharks are attracted in by the smell and will cruise around the area. You can then find the most photogenic area, where you want to photograph a shark, and wait. We had around 10 sharks on this dive for a full 80 minutes. We photographed divers with each other alongside the sharks, the sharks out in the blue, as the reef dropped away from the shallows, and also by some beautiful sea fans to show them in their natural environment.

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els_dsc9204However, our favourite dive was the wreck dive. Once again, a bait box was taken down by the guide, but this time it was hidden deep inside a small wreck called Big Crab. Again the sharks were attracted in by the smell, and this resulted in a dozen or so reef sharks circling the artificial reef. It made for some wonderful photography. The wreck is in shallow water (less then 10m I think) and the water was warm, blue and clear. We could have stayed there all day! You could shoot from inside the wheelhouse of the wreck looking out through the windows and catching a shark as it cruised past, or you could shoot from outside the wreck to catch the full dramatic effect.

Our final dive was the shark feeding dive. This is an adrenalin rush of a dive, as the sharks are moving more quickly and come very close as they position themselves in the hope of getting a fishy snack from the feeder. The “wrangler” will wear chainmail for this dive for protection from accidental nips from overexcited sharks. A piece of fish is taken out of the bait box, one at a time, on the end of a metal stick, and raised up into the water column for a shark to grab. Whilst I preferred the wreck dive, this is a fantastic dive to get great shots with sharks and divers together in the water.

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All too soon, it was time for us to move on to the next island for some more shark diving. Next time we visit Grand Bahama to look for tiger sharks and to spend a hard-earned day off playing with stingrays.

Further Information

www.stuartcove.com

www.bahamas.co.uk

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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 Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

News

Ocean Art 2020 Winners Announced!

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Ocean Art Contest Announces the Best Underwater Photos of the Year

The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the best underwater photos this year with its 2020 winners. Despite global travel restrictions and the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 9th annual competition attracted an extremely high caliber of photos from oceans around the world. Underwater explorers captured photos locally, in select destinations currently open to travel, or revisited their archives to bring us some eye-catching photography. This unique assortment of photos could not have been possible without the help of our generous sponsors who have all had to navigate a changing travel and dive industry. Many of these same sponsors helped the Ocean Art competition raise money earlier in this year to raise money to donate to the WHO and CDC in their fight against Covid-19. These photos showcase the perseverance of underwater artistry amidst the adversity of the times.

All the winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide at https://www.uwphotographyguide.com/ocean-art-contest-winners-2020

The Best of Show is a once-in-a-lifetime moment of an octopus taking a selfie with the photographer and his curious family in the background. The photo was captured by photographer Gaetano Dario Gargiulo close to his home in the tide pools of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, New South Wales, Australia.  Other extraordinary winners include astonishing scenes of animal behavior, images that bring hope for the next generation of sea creatures, displays of ingenious photographic technique, and conservation scenes that reflect on not just the need to conserve our planet, but our species as well. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 80 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.

Ocean Art 2020 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland, and Marty Snyderman.

Over $45,000 in prizes have be awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world.

Ocean Art prizes are provided by some of the world’s top scuba diving resorts, liveaboard dive yachts, and underwater photo gear manufacturers. Grand prizes include a choice of 7 or 8 nights for two aboard the Coralia Liveaboard in Raja Ampat or Komodo, a 7 night liveaboard trip on the M.V. Bilikili in the Solomon Islands, a 7-night dive package with Villa Markisa, a 7 night dive package at Siladen Resort & Spa in Bunaken, a 12 night Passport to Paradise with Murex Dive Resorts and Lembeh Resort to three different Indonesian destinations, a 5-night dive vacation with AquaMarine Diving Bali & Ramayana Candidasa, a 7-night dive vacation at Atlantis Philippines Dive Resorts, and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Premium travel prizes are provided by Volivoli Beach Resort (Fiji), Crystal Blue Dive Resort (Philippines), and Solitude Liveaboards & Resorts (Philippines and Indonesia). Premium gear prizes are provided by Sea & Sea and Ikelite. 12 different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography.

The photographic ingenuity from competitors is getting better every year – making judging very difficult and demonstrating that the winning images are some of the best in the world. Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, “The Ocean Art team was thrilled to see that so many photographers were able to get out, dive, and immerse themselves in photography this year. The Best of Show was especially impressive. My only concern is that the octopus should get its share of the prize, as it did assist in taking the shot!” 

For more information, please visit http://www.uwphotographyguide.com 

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: SeaLife SportDiver housing for iPhone (Watch Video)

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In a video shot exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Jeff Goodman reviews the SeaLife SportDiver housing for Apple’s iPhone, used with the Sea Dragon 2500 Light.

For more information about Sealife Underwater Cameras visit the website by clicking here

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Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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