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THE ICE MONSTER and other big winners

Appeared in DIVER December 2017
WE BROUGHT YOU FOUR of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 diving-related finalist images in last month's issue, and now the winners in the various categories have been revealed.

BE THE CHAMP! - Kelp Forest

Appeared in DIVER November 2017
It's an experience unlike any other in scuba-diving, and needs to be reflected in your photography in all its vertical glory - ALEX MUSTARD takes as his subject this month the giant-kelp forest.
'The biggest surprise when you first raise your camera in the kelp forest is the light level'

Sewage Surfer sets sustainability tone

Appeared in DIVER November 2017
THE FIRST Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 finalist images were revealed in September ahead of the announcement of the overall winners on 17 October and the opening on the 20th of the exhibition at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London.


Appeared in DIVER October 2017
NIGEL WADE was DIVER's Technical Editor and equipment tester until his tragic death from a heart attack earlier this year. He was a popular figure in the scuba world, and at this time of year would look forward to meeting readers as he presented the Digital Clinic at the NEC Dive Show, alongside Saeed Rashid. Nigel will be particularly remembered as an outstanding photographer, so in his memory we present a selection of some of his most special images, with appreciations from fellow-photographers Saeed and Alex Mustard

The Technical Genius of Peter Scoones

Appeared in DIVER October 2017
Peter Scoones, who died three years ago, was a celebrated wildlife cameraman, but many feel that the extent of his influence on image-making through his technical innovations has been under-appreciated. STEVE WARREN is among them.

Be the Champ - Fisheye

Appeared in DIVER October 2017
As ALEX MUSTARD points out, you don't see the sort of images that appear on this spread too often in magazines such as DIVER, as they don't suit the format that easily. Yet the circular fisheye lens is a significant tool...
'For my money, the fisheye is the most important and powerful lens we can use under water'

Be the champ! Anthias

Appeared in DIVER September 2017
In last month''s column on producing photos of contest-winning standard, ALEX MUSTARD looked at schools of fish. Tiny anthias can form less well-disciplined groups, but there are ways of tutoring them
'We can shout 'boo!' through our regulator, which makes all the anthias retreat, momentarily, to the reef'


Appeared in DIVER August 2017
IT'S THE SIXTH YEAR of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition but only the second in which there has been a specific underwater category. According to the organisers, whose ambitious aim is 'to surface the most compelling imagery in landscape, wildlife, nature, travel and adventure from around the planet', the smartly named Under Exposed category is proving popular with competitors.
The latest competition drew 17,000 images from professional and amateur photographers from more than 50 countries, and Ammonite Press recently released Outdoor Photographer of the Year: Portfolio II, collecting more than 160 of the best photos submitted. It costs £25, and as a taster you can see seven images from Under Exposed on this and the following pages…

BE THE CHAMP! - Shooting schools

Appeared in DIVER August 2017
It's drummed into us to get close to our subjects, but all that goes out of the window when it comes to photographing schools of fish, says ALEX MUSTARD. In fact he has found success by letting other divers get too close!
‘Shooting schools requires that we unlearn one of the golden rules of underwater photography’

Northern Six

Appeared in DIVER July 2017
THE NORTHERN UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GROUP held its second annual Print Competition at the Great Northern Dive Show in Manchester in early April, with entries in four categories judged by visitors and overall winners selected and rewarded by competition sponsors Fleet Dive and Safari Diving Lanzarote.

BE THE CHAMP! - Fear Of Missing Out

Appeared in DIVER July 2017
This month marks a significant landmark, as ALEX MUSTARD presents the 60th in this series on taking potentially prize-winning underwater photos. His subject? Leaving your strobes behind - do you dare to do it?
'It is not an easy thing to do, because most of us are paralysed by FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out'

Hottest of the Hotshots

Appeared in DIVER June 2017
They are the sort of underwater photographs that will make many of us feel like giving up, and they keep coming because they're all part of an international contest that's been rolling out for nearly 20 years.

Be the Champ! - Double exposure

Appeared in DIVER June 2017
The double-exposure was a sensation when it burst into underwater photo contests back in the 1980s, but had gone out of style by the digital era. But why miss out on such a valuable technique? asks ALEX MUSTARD.
'Peter Scoones revealed a photo that was so novel, so incredible, that he won at a canter'

BE THE CHAMP! - Cleaners

Appeared in DIVER May 2017
It's clean-up time - continuing his long-running series on finding ways to take prize-winning photos, this month ALEX MUSTARD considers an approach based on observation and patience.
'Getting close and personal with a cleaner usually means distancing ourselves from the noise of group diving'

An octopus dances and a French diver lands the BIG prize

Appeared in DIVER April 2017
Now in its third year, the UK-based Underwater Photographer of the Year competition has additional categories and attracted more entries from more countries than ever. We have all the top shots

Black Backgrounds & Happy Buddies

Appeared in DIVER April 2017
How can you take memorable photos and be a good dive-buddy? The fashionable art of snoot-shooting has led HENLEY SPIERS along a path he believes solves this conundrum - by sharing a camer...

Images in the limelight

Appeared in DIVER March 2017
Finding out how competitive photographers go about their work, and how judges go about rating their efforts can be very helpful for other underwater photographers:
BRIAN PITKIN reports...

BE THE CHAMP! - black and white conversion

Appeared in DIVER March 2017
Last month ALEX MUSTARD looked at how and when to use a monochrome approach while shooting under water, but when might it be a good idea to turn your colour photos to black and white on y...

Knocking down walls for a better view

Appeared in DIVER February 2017
The British Society of Underwater Photographers, better known as BSoUP, was one of the first underwater photographic societies in the world. Now in its 50th year, co-founder COLIN DOEG gu...

Getting COMPETITIVE after 30 years!

Appeared in DIVER February 2017
This month we look back at 50 years of the British Society of Underwater Photographers, but where does the society go from here? BRIAN PITKIN reports on the latest BSoUP Beginners Portfol...

BE THE CHAMP! - black and white wrecks

Appeared in DIVER February 2017
In January ALEX MUSTARD considered the 'new black' for underwater photographers - it's black, by the way - and he stays with that theme this month as he considers the use of black and whi...

BE THE CHAMP! - The New Black

Appeared in DIVER January 2017
Never mind 'The New Black', underwater photographers are happy to stick with 'Black is Black', because you can’t beat it as a way of hiding the stuff we don't want to see in our picture...

BE THE CHAMP! - critter fiddling

Appeared in DIVER December 2016
Success at any cost? Some underwater photographers will stop at nothing to obtain that winning shot, and as a result 'critter-fiddling' is now a live issue in the community. It isn't nece...

BE THE CHAMP! - the tompot blenny

Appeared in DIVER November 2016
There is a good reason why the tompot blenny is picked to grace the covers of books about British diving - it is one of the most colourful and engaging of fish. ALEX MUSTARD explains how ...

BE THE CHAMP! - a close look at bokeh

Appeared in DIVER October 2016
'There is good bokeh, bad bokeh and much debate about which lenses have which!'
New photographers may sometimes be surprised to learn that achieving out-of-focus images can be much pri...

BE THE CHAMP! - bending the rules

Appeared in DIVER September 2016
Still in 'rules are made to be broken' mode this month, ALEX MUSTARD stops to look at the bigger picture under water, and the lighting and colouring challenges that big scenes present


Appeared in DIVER August 2016
STUART WESTMORELAND wrote PADI's Fluorescence Night Diver distinctive speciality course, and he reckons there's far more to fluo-diving than wow-factor night-dives and unusual photos - th...

BE THE CHAMP! - a 'photograhic eye'

Appeared in DIVER August 2016
Rules is rules - but don't be ruled by them. That's ALEX MUSTARD's message this month, because ultimately even if your photograph breaks with compositional convention, the acid test is wh...

BE THE CHAMP! - Mastering colour

Appeared in DIVER July 2016
Mastering colour is ALEX MUSTARD's subject this month - there’s no need to become obsessive about it, he says, because your subconscious may well do the job for you. But never forget th...

BE THE CHAMP! - Backgrounds

Appeared in DIVER June 2016
You don't need your audience to be wearing funny glasses for your images to appear three-dimensional, says ALEX MUSTARD - just bear in mind what's happening at the back of the picture as ...