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Photo Contest Mediterranean alive
Concorso Fotografico Mediterraneo Vivo

Organized by

Museo di Biologia Marina
"Pietro Parenzan"

Istituto per gli Studi sul Mare

Lab. di Fotografia Subacquea e Monitoraggio dei Sistemi Costieri


In collaboration with

Mediterranean Alive: an underwater photography competition dedicated to the most beautiful sea in the world

Underwater photography competitions are a phenomenon that in recent years has experienced a new development thanks to the spread of digital technologies that have lowered the cost of shooting images below the surface of the sea and made them more immediate. Italy has a long tradition in the diving activities, both at the industrial level and for human resources, as one can easily verify by
studying the history of its underwater activities. Names such as Egidio Cressi, Ludovico Mares, Luigi Ferraro would be worthy of the Hall of Fame of diving in any country and, as for underwater pictures, it would be enough to remember the achievements of the Italian National Underwater Photography which in the last twenty years has more than once risen on the top podium of the world championships in underwater photography.

The field of underwater photography competitions is definitely one of the most active in Italy and each region, whether it is facing the sea or not, can count on one or more competitions of this kind, some of which have been active for years. In this vast panorama there was missing, until today, an event linked exclusively to the Mediterranean and which had as its primary purpose the promotion of underwater shots capable of combining the beauty and aesthetic perfection with a high scientific value and therefore capable of narrating the biology of the Mediterranean, the life of the underwater world, with the ability to synthesize and document with immediacy which pertains to photography.

To this end, thanks to the initiative of three passionate professionals, Mediterranean Alive was born and appropriately in a region like Puglia that is washed by seas such as the Adriatic and the Ionian and houses three marine protected areas, emblematic tesserae of the extraordinary mosaic of
biodiversity which is the "mare nostrum".

Photography, then, and science together thanks to the involvement and active participation of scholars from the University of Salento, who saw in this project an opportunity to learn about the marine environment through the photographs of the many people who know how to get the best results from technique and passion . But there is another important aspect that distinguishes this photographic competition: after decades of privilege for the formal aspects, it is time to enhance the ability to see beyond the forms and find the meanings that can be perceived only if one is really aware of what is being captured and immortalized in a beautiful image. Biological phenomena such
as symbiosis, predation, mimicry, the meaning of colours and shapes, not to mention the seasonal change of underwater landscapes, have often remained in the background of many beautiful images. But from now on, thanks to Mediterranean Alive, those phenomena will be destined to become just as valuable pieces of information for anyone who knows how to seize and promote them.

Thus they will become a tool to protect the sea and raise the general awareness of the extraordinary value of the underwater world.

For this reason is not expected a maximum number of pictures to be sent to the competition.



Organized by


In collaboration with
Laboratorio di Fotografia Subacquea e Monitoraggio dei Sistemi Costieri
via Stampacchia 47/49 73100 Lecce (LE) ITALY