September 2018 Photo Contest Winner and Review



WINNER: Water in a Well by Sean Steininger 

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!

September 2018

With Nick out of the country photographing crocodiles in Cuba and without a wi-fi signal, the judging of the September competition falls to Caroline. Here are her thoughts:

My Favourites

Toothcleaning by Margit Sablowski: Wow – what a great shot! This cleaner shrimp is in such sharp focus and the shot is perfectly timed as the shrimp ventures into the moray’s mouth. Lovely!

Sealion in La Paz by Margit Sablowski: I am a sucker for a sealion, and this is a lovely portrait of one with the whole animal in shot. Gorgeous expression on the sealion’s face, beautiful image.

Meeting a vegetarian by Alisha Postma. I like this fish portrait. It is not easy to get the lighting right on shiny silver fish and you have done this very well, along with the black background, this really stands out.

Sandy Sea by Sean Steininger: A different perspective and an unusual shot of this shark. I love the movement the curve of the shark portrays.

Water in a Well by Sean Steininger: Great shot! You got the whole whaleshark in the shot and have caught the shark with its mouth wide open. Lovely.

Arrow Squid by Gian D’Andrea: This is an incredible shot from a black water dive. The colours and lighting are great, especially considering the challenging conditions.

Hippo by Marc Eeckhaut: Lovely shot of a pygmy seahorse. Great focus on the eye and face of this tiny and adorable creature. The pink stands out perfectly on a black background.

Best Friends by Marc Eeckhaut: Another lovely macro shot from Marc with excellent lighting. I just hope the shrimp has not been moved to this location.

I painted this myself by Daryll Rivett: I love the colours standing out against the black volcanic sand of The Lembeh Strait. It is hard to light tiny creatures well in these conditions. Well done.

Lonely Jellyfish by Glynn Philipps: I love this jellyfish set against the sandy background. It looks like it is leading us somewhere – perhaps to its alien spacecraft!

Forever Dolphin Love by Martin Moscovich: What an amazing encounter and this image captures that magical moment well.

After much deliberation by our judge….

Some smashing shots this month. So hard to select a winner from these, with some stunning wide angle and macro shots, but it has to be done:

Winner: Water in a Well by Sean Steininger

Runner-Up: Sealion in La Paz by Margit Sablowski

Third: Hippo by Marc Eeckhaut

Congratulations to the those who were placed – some really nice images here, and well done to all those that entered. We cannot wait to see what October has to offer.’s October 2018 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

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