I Can Has Cheezburger?

Here Are The 10 Winning Photos of Scuba Diving Magazine’s Underwater Photo Contest 2017

  • 1

    Location: Noss Island, Shetland, Scotland

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    "Into the waters off the island of Noss in Shetland, Scotland I was surrounded by thousand of gannet birds feeding frenzy mackerel fishes. Plunging from between ten and fifteen meters above the water they reach up to one-hundred-kilometers per hour when they hit the surface. To catch their meal, they dive until 15 meters deep. I can hear them as they hit the water and then appearing in front of the camera. Regardless of the abundance of prey, competition between gannets is always going occur as when a gannet dives this indicates to the other gannets to dive creating several gannets diving for the same fish. Witnessing this behavior is something incredible and will remain engraved in my memory."

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  • 2

    Location: Altomonte, Cosenza, Italy

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    "A small river just over a mile from my home in Altomonte, Italy, is my refuge when I need the silence and tranquility of being surrounded by nature. Walking in the riverbed looking for some interesting subjects to photograph, I saw this little crab a few inches below the surface. I was able to shoot it at a very close distance — less than an inch — with a fisheye lens. We often have interesting subjects just a few steps away from us, accessible without having to go very far."

  • 3

    Location: Islote El Pelado, Ayangue, Ecuador

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    "It was a day for macro pictures in Ecuador (pacific coast), I had decided to shoot small animals and I had prepared my whole equipment for macro pictures. Like often, in these occasions, I met a wonderful huge old green turtle covered by shells and resting on the bottom. It was absolutely not afraid by my presence and it let me approach closely without moving. My first reaction was … oh but why did I put a macro lens … And then, I noticed a small cleaner fish turning around the head of the old mama turtle. Sometimes the fish was really close to the eye's turtle. So I decided to immortalize this moment with a picture.I wanted to have the eye and the cleaner fish on the same picture to add impact to the eye picture." –Raoul Caprez

  • 4

    Location: Vavau, Tonga

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    "Last year I went to Tavarua, Fiji to do some surf photography with pro surfer Donavon Frankenreiter. When I discovered that Tonga was only a couple hours away, I called my travel agent to see about rerouting my trip last minute. It was highly recommended to have a reputable guide in place, but I figured I was so close that I had to take the chance. As luck would have it I caught the tail end of a group that had some guests depart early freeing up a spot for me. I had no idea what I was in for, but I had the shots in my head that I wanted to get and this was one of them. I was photographing the mom when this calf came from behind and breached right beside me. It was an experience I will never forget." –Rodney Bursiel

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  • 5

    Location: Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

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    "At the end of a muck dive in Lembeh Strait, I found this incredibly photogenic coconut octopus sitting on the black-sand bottom right next to my dive boat at a depth of just 13 feet. What looks like nighttime was a sunny afternoon dive — my setup and settings allowed me to get the photo exactly the way I wanted. To get close enough to the subject, I used a wide-angle wet lens with a single snooted strobe for lighting from the top. You'd think the octopus was posing for me; in fact, I was lucky enough to capture a beautiful moment while it was getting ready for an escape. Five seconds before the shot, the octopus was hiding in between its shells. Five seconds later, it was already rushing away from me." –Kevin Richter

  • 6

    Location: Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada

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    "I'm always excited about our annual winter trip to dive with the local Steller sea lions off Hornby Island. These big pups know their diver toys well. Oh boy, do they get excited when they see us approaching their rock! We went out early that day, and the sun rose up into a cloudless blue sky. I was greeted in the water by several sea lions eager to investigate me. This was one of my first shots that day — and one of my favorites."

  • 7

    Location: Torrent de Pareis, Mallorca, Spain

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    "We came across some jellyfish while snorkeling off Torrent de Pareis beach in Mallorca, Spain. The jellyfish were around 4 to 6 inches in size, so I put my camera in macro mode and used the internal flash. I tried diving under the jellyfish to get a shot with the subject and the sun; the first attempts didn't really work, but I noticed the beautiful sun rays. I was determined to get the jellyfish directly in front of the sun for the classic shot. I must have tried about 40 times before finally getting the composition I was after."

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  • 8

    Location: Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

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    "This photo was taken in Lembeh Strait, the underwater macro capital of Indonesia. The normal habitat of ribbon eels is the coastal reef and crest, normally in clear water between 10 and 200 feet deep. Usually they remain hidden in their small holes or caves, timidly inching their heads outside. They can show two color combinations: blue and yellow or black and yellow. This species has been photographed on many occasions, but rarely out in the open. That is what made this moment so special to me."

  • 9

    Location: Mayotte, Indian Ocean

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    "I took this photo during a solo dive in the middle of the night. For a long time, I had wanted to photograph a squid at night. I was swimming in a lagoon on Mayotte, a small French island near Madagascar, for only two minutes before I came face to face with this squid. I immediately saw that it had a small fish between its tentacles. It was a perfect subject for me because it did not move. I was also able to take some pictures while playing with its surface reflection. A squid with a mouthful ... bon appétit."

  • 10

    Location: Oahu, Hawaii, USA

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    "It's typical to see groups of rays around the wrecks and reefs of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Lately the ocean has seemed a bit more empty. I saw this one alone, off in the blue. Initially my intent was to go the opposite way with the background, but I opted to increase exposure and contrast for the final image with the white background. I wanted to really convey how isolated many species have become due to overfishing and bycatch."


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