Each year, Scuba Diving magazine staffers get together to pore over thousands of photo contest submissions with the goal of finding those sacred few that everyone can agree are the clear winners. As you can imagine, this is one of the most contentious meetings of the year! A contest as subjective as underwater photography is bound to spur disagreement. Inevitably, we all end up with a photo or two that we feel was unjustly snubbed—or one that we simply enjoyed even though it didn’t clinch the win this time.
Here are a few of our staff favorites, an ode to those images we felt deserved to be recognized.
The rich colors and texture of this camouflaged crocodilefish are mesmerizing. For an animal that doesn’t wish to be seen, it’s quite the attention-getter!
Staffer: Alexandra Gillespie, Content Creation Specialist
Photographer: Efren De Los Santos
This symmetric composition stood out in an ocean of organic lines. I love how the green halo of the sea pen hugs the adorable porcelain crabs.
This amethyst crowned jelly is dancing through life, flowing with the tides and rocking that frilly petticoat with a whole lot of personality that I just love!
Staffer: Monica Medina, Senior Art Director
Photographer: Mark Green
The bright hues, great lighting, sharpness and composition really make this Spanish shawl a winner in my eyes. I also love the way the nudi is perched on the edge of a hydroid branch.
Staffer: Robby Myers, ScubaLab Director
Photographer: Tom Halleran
From the angelic sun rays at the surface to the soft shadows rippling across the sand, I was struck by the beautiful quality of the light in this image.
If there’s a photograph that better captures a fish’s capacity to “feel,” I don’t know it. This intimate scene is possible thanks to a good eye, a quiet hand and a rare ability to pay attention.
Staffer: Toni Shelley, Graphic Designer
Photographer: Gaetano Gargiulo
The way the octopus tentacles wrap around the fisheye lens is playful and exciting. The colors from the octopus are beautifully complemented by the clear blue sky.