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Our World Underwater 2009

Best of Show by Justin
Best of Show

PHOTOGRAPHER
Justin Gilligan

CATEGORY
Wide Angle Unrestricted
1st Place

4th ANNUAL WETPIXEL & DIVEPHOTOGUIDE INTERNATIONAL UNDERWATER PHOTO & VIDEO COMPETITION

IN ASSOCIATION WITH OUR WORLD UNDERWATER

WINNERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!

DivePhotoGuide.com and Wetpixel.com are proud to announce the winners of their 4th annual underwater photography & video competition in association with Our World Underwater. The competition is part of a joint series often referred to as the “Super Bowl” of international underwater imagery competitions, with world-class prizes, esteemed celebrity judges, significant media support, and the opportunity to have your images showcased to the world as some of the planet’s best.

The competition is truly an international event. Entries were received from all corners of the globe. Winners alone represented 22 countries. We want to congratulate all the competitors for the high quality level of the images submitted. It was a tough competition to judge. A formal statement from the judges can be found here. Congratulations to the winners!

Photographers & videographers competed in eight still-image categories and two video categories, to win nearly $50,000 in prizes including premium dive travel, underwater photo/video and diving equipment and more! Dive packages to some of the top photo destinations in the world, including Socorro Islands, Wakatobi-Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Red Sea, Grand Cayman, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam. Other prizes including camera housings and strobes, focus lights, dive equipment and other valuable items were awarded to the winners and announced during the film festival at the 39th annual Our World Underwater show in Chicago.

New this year was a Novice category, and we were very impressed with the entries. The competition also included a category for images focused on conservation and the marine environment, and one specifically for entries taken by compact digital cameras.

Esteemed judges included leading professional underwater photographers, cinematographers and magazine editors: David Doubilet, Dietmar Fuchs, Alex Mustard, and Cor Bosman comprised the judging panel for still categories and Steve Douglas, Ric Frazier, and Eric Hanauer for video categories.

Winning images will be published by supporting media partners worldwide, and Divefilm.com will be podcasting the winning videos as episodes of the iTunes-featured DiveFilm Podcast Video and DiveFilm High Definition Podcast Video.

As with all Wetpixel & DivePhotoGuide competitions, 15% of proceeds will be donated to marine conservation efforts.

Congratulations again to all of the winners from around the world!

(All images and a complete prize distribution list are below)





Winners
Macro Traditional
Gold
Periphylla periphylla by Christian Skauge (Norway)
Christian Skauge
Norway

"Periphylla periphylla"
Location: Lurefjorden, Norway
Silver
Momma Octopus With Babies by Lazaro Ruda (United States)
Lazaro Ruda
United States

"Momma Octopus With Babies"
Location: Palm Beach, FL.
Bronze
Hunting by Peter Riekstins (United States)
Peter Riekstins
United States

"Hunting"
Location: North Siluasi, Indonesia
Honorable Mention
David and Goliath by David Gallardo ()
David Gallardo

"David and Goliath"
Location: West Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands
Honorable Mention
salt & pepper by Patrick Neumann (Germany)
Patrick Neumann
Germany

"salt & pepper"
Location: Eilat, Israel
Macro Unrestricted
Gold
Dumpling squid copulation by Cal Mero (Australia)
Cal Mero
Australia

"Dumpling squid copulation"
Location: Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia
Silver
dinner time by Steven Kovacs (United States)
Steven Kovacs
United States

"dinner time"
Location: roatan, honduras
Bronze
Blenny by Keri Wilk (Canada)
Keri Wilk
Canada

"Blenny"
Location: Eilat, Israel
Honorable Mention
Someone is looking at me by Noam Kortler (Israel)
Noam Kortler
Israel

"Someone is looking at me"
Location: Eilat Israel
Honorable Mention
Moment of Reflection by Linda Cline (United States)
Linda Cline
United States

"Moment of Reflection"
Location: Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Honorable Mention
Flying by Keri Wilk (Canada)
Keri Wilk
Canada

"Flying"
Location: Komodo, Indonesia
Super Macro Traditional
Gold
Blenny by Keri Wilk (Canada)
Keri Wilk
Canada

"Blenny"
Location: Eilat, Israel
Silver
Peek A Boo - Conch Eyes by Jeffrey de Guzman (Philippines)
Jeffrey de Guzman
Philippines

"Peek A Boo - Conch Eyes"
Location: Anilao Batangas Philippines
Bronze
Killer by Burkhard Ohlendorf (Germany)
Burkhard Ohlendorf
Germany

"Killer"
Location: Lembeh Strait / Indonesia
Honorable Mention
Claws by Joao Paulo Krajewski (Brazil)
Joao Paulo Krajewski
Brazil

"Claws"
Location: Lizard Island, Australia
Honorable Mention
Bubbles by Keri Wilk (Canada)
Keri Wilk
Canada

"Bubbles"
Location: Eilat, Israel
Wide Angle Traditional
Gold
diving cape gannet by Alexander Safonov (Hong Kong)
Alexander Safonov
Hong Kong

"diving cape gannet"
Location: Port St. Johns, South Africa
Silver
Glassfish tornado by Magnus Lundgren (Sweden)
Magnus Lundgren
Sweden

"Glassfish tornado"
Location: Eilat, Israel
Bronze
Habitat by Alessio Viora (Italy)
Alessio Viora
Italy

"Habitat"
Location: Ginnie Springs Florida
Honorable Mention
 by Jose Alejandro Alvarez (Dominican Republic)
Jose Alejandro Alvarez
Dominican Republic

""
Location:
Honorable Mention
The Giant's Entourage by Chris Gug (United States)
Chris Gug
United States

"The Giant's Entourage"
Location: Northern Yucatan, Mexico
Honorable Mention
underwater elephant by Thomas Heckmann (Germany)
Thomas Heckmann
Germany

"underwater elephant"
Location: Egypt - red sea
Wide Angle Unrestricted
Gold
Blue Bottle by Justin Gilligan (Australia)
Justin Gilligan
Australia

"Blue Bottle"
Location: Port Stephens
Silver
Enlightened by Karen Doody (United States)
Karen Doody
United States

"Enlightened"
Location: Puerto Aventuras Mexico
Bronze
Manta Heaven by Greg Bang  (United States)
Greg Bang
United States

"Manta Heaven"
Location: Hawaii, Kona
Honorable Mention
Moon shine by Bartosz Strozynski (Poland)
Bartosz Strozynski
Poland

"Moon shine"
Location: Egypt Red Sea
Honorable Mention
Blemished Eelpout by Jonas Thormar (Denmark)
Jonas Thormar
Denmark

"Blemished Eelpout"
Location: Stevns, Denmark
Honorable Mention
Acquaintance to the giant by Marina Kochetova (Russian Federation)
Marina Kochetova
Russian Federation

"Acquaintance to the giant"
Location: The Japane sea
Compact Cameras
Gold
Backlit Leaf Scorpionfish by Edvin Eng (Malaysia)
Edvin Eng
Malaysia

"Backlit Leaf Scorpionfish"
Location: Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
Silver
Juvenile Batfish by David Leonard (United States)
David Leonard
United States

"Juvenile Batfish"
Location: Bandi Sea, Indonesia
Bronze
Lembeh Hairy by Helmut Theiss (Germany)
Helmut Theiss
Germany

"Lembeh Hairy"
Location: Lembeh/Indonesia
Honorable Mention
Saipan Grotto by Jongwon Woo (South Korea)
Jongwon Woo
South Korea

"Saipan Grotto"
Location: Saipan
Honorable Mention
Saint Wally by Gerard Rotse (Australia)
Gerard Rotse
Australia

"Saint Wally"
Location: Queensland Great Barrier Reef AUS
Honorable Mention
Under-ice Ctenophore by Jonas Thormar (Denmark)
Jonas Thormar
Denmark

"Under-ice Ctenophore"
Location: Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean
Environment and Conservation
Gold
Ded Denis fish thrown out from the fish farm by Noam Kortler (Israel)
Noam Kortler
Israel

"Ded Denis fish thrown out from the fish farm"
Location: Eilat Israel
Silver
Slaughtered by Andi Voeltz (Germany)
Andi Voeltz
Germany

"Slaughtered"
Location: Curacao
Bronze
Turtle in net by Carlos Villoch (Spain)
Carlos Villoch
Spain

"Turtle in net"
Location: British Virgin Islands
Honorable Mention
Turttle release by Carlos Virgili Ribé (Spain)
Carlos Virgili Ribé
Spain

"Turttle release"
Location: Spain
Honorable Mention
 by pasquale vassallo (Italy)
pasquale vassallo
Italy

""
Location:
Honorable Mention
Hooked hammerhead by Andre Seale (United States)
Andre Seale
United States

"Hooked hammerhead"
Location: Atlantic Ocean, near St. Peter and St. Paul Islets
Novice
Gold
Armorshield by Helmut Theiss (Germany)
Helmut Theiss
Germany

"Armorshield"
Location: Lembeh/Indonesia
Silver
Last picture taken before deadline by Yan Ottesen (Switzerland)
Yan Ottesen
Switzerland

"Last picture taken before deadline"
Location: Le Duzillet, Switzerland
Bronze
Dendronotus on kelp by Allison Vitsky Sallmon (United States)
Allison Vitsky Sallmon
United States

"Dendronotus on kelp"
Location: Catalina Island, California Channel Islands
Honorable Mention
Turtle Reign by Kim Yusuf (Germany)
Kim Yusuf
Germany

"Turtle Reign"
Location: Bunaken, North Sulawesi
Honorable Mention
Albopunctata by vinny turner (United Kingdom)
vinny turner
United Kingdom

"Albopunctata"
Location: Gili Air Lombok Indonesia
Video: General
Gold
General Video
Terry Maas
"The last sardine"
Silver
General Video
Anita Chaumette
"Beyond the Blue"
Bronze
General Video
Mike Boom
"The Way of Water"
Video: Conservation
Gold
Conservation Video
Simon Spear
"Earth?"
Silver
Conservation Video
Zsolt Sasdi
"Earth Resistant"
Bronze
Conservation Video
Drew Wohl
"Small Warning"
Categories
PHOTOS
Macro Traditional

Any underwater image of a 7x5 inch or smaller picture area. The "Traditional" divisions allow for the adjustment of brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness only. Cropping, cloning, and other digital manipulation is not allowed in this category. This restriction on digital manipulation will enable people who are not as savvy at Photoshop to compete on more-or-less even ground as those with more experience. It also highlights composition and lighting skills by not allowing cropping and cloning. Before selecting winning entries, we reserve the right to audit your original RAW or JPG files. Our judges are digital photography experts, so please do not submit cropped or manipulated entries in this category.

Macro Unrestricted

Any underwater image of a 7x5 inch or smaller picture area.The "Unrestricted" divisions have no such rules regarding digital manipulation. Anything goes, but as we are not running a digital manipulation contest, you should exercise care in the decisions that you make.

Super Macro Traditional

Any underwater image of a 24mm x 36mm (0.95in x 1.4in) or smaller picture area. The "Traditional" divisions allow for the adjustment of brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness only. Cropping, cloning, and other digital manipulation is not allowed in this category. This restriction on digital manipulation will enable people who are not as savvy at Photoshop to compete on more-or-less even ground as those with more experience. It also highlights composition and lighting skills by not allowing cropping and cloning. Before selecting winning entries, we reserve the right to audit your original RAW or JPG files. Our judges are digital photography experts, so please do not submit cropped or manipulated entries in this category.

Wide Angle Traditional

Underwater images larger than a 7x5 inch picture area. The "Traditional" divisions allow for the adjustment of brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness only. Cropping, cloning, and other digital manipulation is not allowed in this category. This restriction on digital manipulation will enable people who are not as savvy at Photoshop to compete on more-or-less even ground as those with more experience. It also highlights composition and lighting skills by not allowing cropping and cloning. Before selecting winning entries, we reserve the right to audit your original RAW or JPG files. Our judges are digital photography experts, so please do not submit cropped or manipulated entries in this category.

Wide Angle Unrestricted

Underwater images larger than a 7x5 inch picture area. The "Unrestricted" divisions have no rules regarding digital manipulation. Anything goes, but as we are not running a digital manipulation contest, you should exercise care in the decisions that you make.

Compact Cameras

Underwater images of all kinds, taken by point 'n shoot, non-SLR digital cameras. In this category, no entries from scanned slides or digital SLRs will be accepted. Although there exist many great underwater images taken by point 'n shoot cameras, it is often difficult for them to compete with SLRs when it comes to image quality. In this category, digital manipulation is allowed, but as we are not running a digital manipulation contest, you should exercise care in the decisions that you make. Please note that any camera with interchangeable lenses is not considered a compact, and should not be submitted into this category

Novice

Since participating in competitions is a way to progress one's photography, we have established a new Novice category. This category is specifically for amateur and novice photographers who do not want to compete with more established photographers. Ultimately the final decision to compete in this category is yours, however, we have established some basic guidelines and restrictions. 1. Have been shooting underwater less than 5 years 2. Never placed (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in a major competition 3. Never won more than $100 (value) in a photo competition 4. Never licensed an image for more than $100.

Environment and Conservation

Topside and underwater images of all kinds, taken by any camera, with a focus on the marine or lake environment and conservation. Subject matter must address a marine or lake-related environmental issue. The goal in this category is to convey a real-world message.

VIDEOS
General

Any film five minutes or less in duration, and at least 50% of the footage must be shot underwater.

Conservation

Marine Conservation themed films, five minutes or less in duration, and at least 50% of the footage must be shot underwater. Conservation videos will be expected to have a conservation message or emphasis, which can be explicit or subtle.

Name Prize
Justin Gilligan
9 day Liveaboard Trip to the Socorro Islands with Solmar V
Alexander Safonov
9 day Liveaboard Trip to the Socorro Islands with Solmar V
Cal Mero
Up to 10 Days at Wakatobi Dive Resort, or on board Pelagian, in Indonesia
Terry Maas
Up to 10 Days at Wakatobi Dive Resort, or on board Pelagian, in Indonesia
Keri Wilk
7 Night Voyage on either MV Bilikiki or Spirit of the Solomons, in the Solomon Islands
Ikelite flashlight
SLX Focus Light from Nocturnal Lights
Edvin Eng
6 Nights / 5 Days of Diving  With Rainbow Divers and Sunrise Beach Resort in Vietnam
Christian Skauge
6 Nights / 5 Days of Diving  With Rainbow Divers and Sunrise Beach Resort in Vietnam
Karen Doody
One Week Liveaboard Trip to the Red Sea with Emperor Divers
Noam Kortler
7 Nights / 6 Days at Walindi Dive Resort.in Papua New Guinea
Signed Book from Wyland
Helmut Theiss
7 Nights / 6 Days at Walindi Dive Resort.in Papua New Guinea
$1,000 Gift Certificate towards a SEA&SEA MDX or RDX Housing
Simon Spear
One Week Liveaboard Trip to the Red Sea with Emperor Divers
Steven Kovacs
5 night package, including accommodations and 4 days of diving the North Wall of Grand Cayman with Dive Tech @ Cobalt Coast Dive Resort
Anita Chaumette
5 night package, including accommodations and 4 days of diving the North Wall of Grand Cayman with Dive Tech @ Cobalt Coast Dive Resort
Magnus Lundgren
SEA&SEA  YS-250 Strobe
Lazaro Ruda
SEA&SEA  YS-250 Strobe
Jeffrey de Guzman
Mares Dive Equipment Package (TBA)
David Leonard
Mares Dive Equipment Package (TBA)
Zsolt Sasdi
Mares Dive Equipment Package (TBA)
Greg Bang
SEA&SEA  YS110 Strobe
Andi Voeltz
SEA&SEA  YS110 Strobe
Viora Alessio
SLX Focus Light from  Nocturnal Lights
Peter Riekstins
SLX Focus Light from Nocturnal Lights
Mike Boom
Mares Dive Equipment Package (TBA)
Drew Wohl
Mares Dive Equipment Package (TBA)
Yan Ottesen
Mares Dive Equipment Package (TBA)
Burkhard Ohlendorf
$300 SEA&SEA Gift Certificate (good towards any product)
Carlos Villoch
$300 SEA&SEA Gift Certificate (good towards any product)
Allison Vitsky
$1,000 Gift Certificate towards a SEA&SEA MDX or RDX Housing
Thomas Heckmann, Marina Kochetova, Jongwon Woo, Andre Seale, Bartosz Strozynski, David Gallardo, Gerard Rotse, Jonas Thormar, Jose Alejandro Alvarez, Carlos Virigli Ribe, Vinny Turner Ikelite flashlight
Christopher Guglielmo, Joao Paulo Krajewski, Kim Yusuf, Linda Cline, Patrick Neumann Signed Book from Wyland
Competition Judges
PHOTO JUDGES
Cor Bosman

Cor Bosman is a freelance underwater photographer specializing in marine life and behavior. After a successful career in Computer Science he picked up diving 15 years ago with his wife Julie Edwards. Traveling several months of the year they form a strong photography duo that regularly publishes articles and photos in magazines.  Cor has received several awards, including a first prize in Our World Underwater and a Best of Show in the Underwater Images Competition. In recent years he has been a staff member at Wetpixel.com. More about Cor and Julie on http://underwa.ter.net

David Doubilet David Doubilet  is considered to be among the best by editors, peers and colleagues the world over.  He has photographed over 60 stories for the National Geographic Magazine where he is currently a Contributing Photographer-in-Residence. David has documented our changing underwater world since his first assignment with the Geographic in 1971. In addition to the Geographic, David’s work continues to appear in countless publications worldwide and he is a contributing editor and feature columnists for the Behind the Shot in Sport Diver Magazine (US) and Seascapes and Dive Magazine (UK). He has authored seven books on the sea, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including: The Sara Prize, The Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award and the Lennart Nilsson Award in Photography. David is a member of both the Royal Photographic Society and International Diving Hall of fame.

Dietmar Fuchs

Dietmar Fuchs is the editor-in-chief of Germany's largest scuba diving magazine, Unterwasser.

Born in Germany in 1958. Dietmar was a Jet-Pilot in the German Air Force from 1978 –1982. 1982 –1984  he became a Divemaster/1st Officer on a Swiss Treasure-Hunter in the Caribbean. 1984 –1985  Dive Instructor and Charterboat-Captain in Caribbean. 1985 – 1993  Studied Marine Biology in Munich Maximilian University and in 1994 earned a Master in Marine Biology with a Rolex Award for »Strombus« Research. From 1988 – 1993  Dietmar was Editor in Chief of Swiss Scuba-Magazine »Aquananut«. Since 1994 Dietmar has held the position of Editor in Chief of German Scuba Magazine »Unterwasser«. In 2008 Dietmar also launched UW-Photo-Magazine »Fifty Fathoms«.


Dr. Alexander Mustard

Dr Alexander Mustard is both a marine biologist and also as part of a 'new wave' of up-and-coming young underwater photographers who have challenged our perceptions of what we see underwater, Alex has won many awards for his photography including being a multiple winner in both the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and World Festival of Underwater Photography in Antibes, France. His new book "The Art Of Diving," a collaboration with author Nick Hanna, is not just a photo collection but is an exploration of why we love to dive, and has been described by David Doubilet as "the best book about diving since Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World." He is founder of the Young Underwater Photographer's Group, the Digital Officer for the British Society of Underwater Photographers and a Co-Administrator of Wetpixel.com. Alex is also the brains behind Magic filters - filters designed specifically for available light underwater photography with digital cameras.

More about Alex at http://amustard.com

VIDEO JUDGES
Eric Hanauer

Eric Hanuer published his first underwater image and article, in Skin Diver magazine,  in 1977.  Over the past 30 years, his photos and articles have been published in magazines, books, posters, and CDs worldwide.  He has written guidebooks to the Red Sea and Micronesia, as well as an oral history of diving in America (ehanauer.com).  Recently Hanauer began shooting underwater video, and his work has been selected for showing in festivals, on the internet, on iTunes, and in TV commercials.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany and raised in Chicago, Eric was educated in the Chicago Public Schools, then earned a BS in Physical Education at George Williams College, and an MS in Physical Education at UCLA. His wife, Karen Straus, is also an active diver and underwater photographer. They live in San Diego. More about Eric can be found on his website  www.ehanauer.com

Ric Frazier Born and raised in Texas, Ric’s photographic journey began with participating in and shooting the skateboarding scene. Many scrapes and scars later, swimming with the sharks seemed like an equally stimulating experience. This led this aqua man to pursue his interests at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA. Over Ten years later, having become one of the most skilled, experienced and versatile underwater photographer in the world, Ric has redefined the art of underwater photography shooting everything ranging from people, props and sets, to ocean life. With a focus on advertising and editorial, Ric offers a relaxed and efficient working environment however complex or simple the shot or campaign. Recently he has shot for advertising clients such as Bayer, Mcdonald’s, MTV, and Shell Oil, as well as recent editorial clients Elle, ESPN, GQ, People, and Shape.

Ric's website: Frazierproductions.com






Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year,' Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea," contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, the History Channel's MegaDisaster show, and his first, recently aired National Geographic special segment on Marlin.  Steve is a feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and the Final Cut Pro editing websites, www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org and continues to conduct filming and editing seminars for both private and group audiences.  A regular speaker and presenter for many dive clubs,  Steve is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris.