Scuba Diving Magazine's 2018 Underwater Photo Contest Honorable Mentions | Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving's 2018 Photo Contest Honorable Mentions

Each year we whittle down the thousands of submissions received in our annual contest to about 300 semifinalists presented to our judges. Selecting just three winning images in each of four categories is not an easy task, however, and the judges engage in a fair amount of spirited debate. You’ll understand why when you view our picks for the photos deemed worthy of an Honorable Mention.

alien squid

CAMERA GEAR: Canon PowerShot G12, Recsea housing, single YSD2 strobe SETTINGS: f/8, 1/2000, ISO 100

PT Hirschfield

PT Hirschfield

Mornington Peninsula, Australia

Behind the Shot: Calamari squid at Rye Pier on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula typically hover in small groups, keeping a cautious distance from ­divers. But this fearless animal befriended me, allowing me to photograph it for half an hour. To my delight, it swam from beneath the pier, positioning itself perfectly above me against a bright sun ball. I dialed down my aperture and shutter so as not to overexpose the image. Then I dialed down my strobe to gently light the animal, to capture detail while avoiding a silhouette.

frogs

CAMERA GEAR: Nikon D810, Hugyfot ­housing, Subtonic strobe SETTINGS: f/11, 1/100, ISO 400

Luc Rooman

Luc Rooman

De Melle-Turnhout, Belgium

Behind the Shot: This shot is double exposed in the camera. First, I took the sunrise, then I searched for the perfect subject underwater, and put the two pictures together in the camera. This picture was taken in early spring, when toads and frogs mate; the water is cold — 46°F — and shallow in this freshwater lake in Belgium near Turnhout.

claudio ceresi

CAMERA GEAR: Nikon D800E, Nikon 105 Micro VR lens, SubSee +5 diopter, Isotta housing, Inon Z-240 strobe, Fabio Iardino snoot SETTINGS: f/29, 1/200, ISO 100

Claudio Ceresi

Claudio Ceresi

Bali, Indonesia

Behind the Shot: I took this photo in Bali, at a Tulamben dive site called Melasti, about 72 feet down, during a night dive. The porcelain crab over a blue ­tunicate had eggs just about to hatch. After this shot, all the little ones exploded toward my lens — I had a thousand eyes watching me, all the babies that were near the lights of my torch.

karmen jones cox

CAMERA GEAR: Sony A5100, Sony 16mm and fisheye converter, Ikelite housing with 6-inch dome SETTINGS: f/6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320

Karmen Jones-Cox

Karmen Jones-Cox

Vava’u, Tonga

Behind the Shot: This was a very special ­humpback calf. While mom rested, the curious calf would rise for a breath and engage with me and four other swimmers; it was especially animated with its pectoral fins, reminding me of how humans use our arms and hands. In this shot, the whale’s reach is within a few feet of my dome port; I am shooting from the hip in “awesome experience” priority mode.

Christian Vizl

CAMERA GEAR: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 15mm fisheye lens, two Inon Z-240 flash strobes, Aquatica housing SETTINGS: f/14, 1/160, ISO 200

Christian Vizl

Christian Vizl

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Behind the Shot: Cenote Aktun Ha is part of a great ring of ­thousands of cenotes found in the Yucatan Peninsula that form when limestone bedrock collapses to expose subterranean groundwater. They have been a fountain of inspiration since I started diving them in 1994, finding endless beauty in each one. The challenge for this image was to balance artificial and natural light — the intensity and angle of the strobe illumination had to be just right. I wanted to bring out the texture of the leaves without overexposing the skittish silvery fish.

Tianhong Wang

CAMERA GEAR: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, two Inon Z-240 strobes, Sea&Sea housing SETTINGS: f/13, 1/125 sec, ISO 50

Tianhong Wang

Tianhong Wang

Lembeh, Indonesia

Behind the Shot: When I took the shot, this lovely crab, decorated with white “flowers” on seaweed, made me imagine a beautiful bride in a wedding dress. I decide to shoot head-on to clearly show its facial features and expression, and enhance the visual effects. I created a black backdrop through lighting methods, to get a clean background to highlight the subject and at the same time emphasize the orange and green colors, striving for harmony in contrast.

Lorenzo Mittiga

CAMERA GEAR: Nikon D800, 10.5mm Nikkor f/2.8 lens, AquaTech Sport D800 housing with 8-inch dome and pistol grip SETTINGS: f/11, 1/500, ISO 110

Lorenzo Mittiga

Lorenzo Mittiga

Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Behind the Shot: In April, when this image was taken, there are no waves in Bonaire. So I came up with the idea of “surfing” ­underwater, knowing I would rotate the image. It took more than 100 tries — the surfer had to dive in and float up to the board, which was upside down, then hold that stance to allow me to get the shot. That morning was exhausting, ­considering that I was ­freediving and the surfer had to keep his eyes open all the time, but those three hours paid off with a great image.

Enrico Somogyi

CAMERA GEAR: Panasonic LX100, Raynox circular fisheye lens, Meikon ­housing with DIY adapter for a dome port, two Retra Flash lights, one Inon Z-240 strobe SETTINGS: f/5.6, 1/125, ISO 200

Enrico Somogyi

Enrico Somogyi

Bali, Indonesia

Behind the Shot: This photo was taken in the wreck of the famous USAT Liberty in Bali. As I dived through the cargo room, I was attracted to the colorful, coral-studded passageways. My next dive on the wreck, I brought a circular fisheye lens. My girlfriend was willing to model, and a cooperative fish came over at just the right time. After a few shots, I had the picture I wanted.

photo contest underwater

Yellow pygmy goby

Minh Tran

Minh Tran

Anilao, Philippines

Provided Caption: Yellow pygmy goby in a bottle at Anilao

great white shark photo

Great white shark

Shane Myers

Shane Myers

Guadalupe, Mexico

Provided Caption: Submerged in Guadalupe's pristine waters, the shear power and awe inspired by the resident great whites is something zen-like that changes ones soul.

photo contest

E.T.: Extra Turtle

Jim Squires

Jim Squires

Provided Caption: As a turtle once swam over me a night dive, I had this vision of it being backlit by a full moon. This day-night composite captures my vision, harkening back to childhood days "as the turtle swam under the moon.”

scuba diving photo contest

Bigeye jacks

Joerg Blessing

Joerg Blessing

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Provided Caption: School of bigeye jacks on Raja Ampat's Blue Magic dive site.

underwater art

Lucie Drlikova's underwater art

Lucie Drlikova

Lucie Drlikova

Provided Caption: "FLORA - the flower fairy"

Lion's mane jellyfish

Lion's mane jellyfish

Stephanie Tuma

Stephanie Tuma

Provided Caption: Lion's mane jellyfish surrounded by little fish ascending to the surface

red devil scorpionfish

Red devil scorpionfish

Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge

Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge

Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Provided Caption: Red devil scorpionfish in Lembeh strait in October 2017. This photo was taken with a Canon G16 in a Fantasea FG16 housing using an YS-DS2 strobe with snoot and a 5+ macrolens.

underwater photography

Greek Paralympian Antonis Tsapatakis

Nicholas Samaras

Nicholas Samaras

Provided Caption: Underwater photo shoot with Greek Paralympian Antonis Tsapatakis

wreck diving truk lagoon

The Nippo Maru

Becky Kagan Schott

Becky Kagan Schott

Truk Lagoon

Provided Caption: A CCR diver checks out the small tank on the port side of the Nippo Maru in Truk Lagoon. I used different lighting techniques to make the tank stand out.

pygmy seahorse pregnant

Pygmy seahorse

Raffaele Livornese

Raffaele Livornese

**Provided Caption: ** A male pregnant pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti), ready to give the birth to his babies.

allure of the seas royal caribbea

The Allure of the Seas

Rune Rasmussen

Rune Rasmussen

Provided Caption: This picture is of my friend Andre swimming, in the aqua theater pool of the Allure of the Seas, where we do shows almost every night. This time the pool is used just by me playing around with my new camera and housing for the first time shot with Lumix gh5.

hairy frogfish

Hairy frogfish

Enrico Somogyi

Enrico Somogyi

Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Provided Caption: Hairy frogfish from Lembeh. Taken with a Panasonic LX100 Compact Camera. Double Exposure in Camera.

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