Here they are, the winning photos and videos from this year’s event. A big congratulations to everyone who picked up a prize.
Best Competition Photo
1st Place Best Competition Photo Matt Shepherd
2nd Place Best Competition Photo John Lawson
Best dSLR Macro Photo
1st Place Best dSLR Macro Matti Ovaska
2nd Place Best dSLR Macro Matt Shepherd
Best dSLR Wide Angle Photo
1st Place Best dSLR Wide angle Matt Ovaska
2nd Place Best dSLR Wide angle Lynton Burger
Best Compact Photo
1st Place Best Compact John Higgins
2nd Place Best Compact Photo Judy Burton
Best dSLR Portfolio
1st Place Christine Hamilton
2nd Place Matt Shepherd
Best Compact Portfolio
1st Place Brian Pool
2nd Place Gary Grant
Best Video 1st Place – Wayne Dyer
Best Video 2nd Place – Ben Murray
Sunday saw us at the Buddha Bar in Byron Bay for the finale of the 2011 Sundive Byron Bay Underwater Photo Shootout. Competitors met at the bar around lunch time to try the many local beers brewed here in Byron Bay, and of course attand the finale ceremony.
The finale kicked off with a presentation by John Natoli, organiser of the event, on diving Julian Rocks. Then the team from Sarah Shark gave a quick talk on their project, and showed the first eppisode of their show. Then of course the moment we were all waiting for – the prizes. There were some great results this year, (see next post for who won what), and a big congratulations must go out to all thoese who picked up a prize, and a big thank you must be said to all those who attended the event, the sponsors, and especially to Giac, John and the team at Sundive for organising and hosting such a wonderful week. We can’t wait to get back for the 2012 shootout, which is already promising to be bigger and better than ever.
Saturday marked the last day of shooting here at the Sundive Byron Bay Shootout, with competitors getting in their last few dives of the week. All reports have been good, with decent diving conditions. However, the cold wind on the boat ride back to shore (a 10 minute boat ride I should point out) wasn’t overly popular.
After the day’s diving Sundive hosted a BBQ to mark the end of the week, and give everyone a chance to unwind with a few drinks and good food. Of course most of the talk centred around the weeks shooting and the shots that were taken.
Tomorrow we have the Shootout Finale at the Buddha Bar in Byron Bay, where we will get the chance to see the results of the week, and say our goodbyes until next year’s competition.
The last photo of today’s set comes from Gerard Braithwaite, of one of the distractions that competitors had this year.
Reports from divers returning from dives today at the Byron Bay Shootout today have been promising, with the weather gods playing nice, tonnes of wildlife (more mantas!), and the ocean calming down. It has, however, gotten quite quiet around Sundive this afternoon, presumably as most photographers are locking themselves away to start processing their photos before the deadline tomorrow afternoon.
Ross Gudgeon’s talk last night of the essentials of underwater photography was very informative from all reports, with something for everyone in there, both from beginners to seasoned pros. Tonight’s talk titled “Underwater Photography Post Processing for Advanced” is set to be a not-to-miss event.
With only one day of shooting left now in the competition, everyone’s getting a little frantic to make sure they get the last few photos they need. However, after the end of dives tomorrow afternoon, we have a social BBQ at night, and the finale on Sunday, giving everyone a much needed chase to unwind after a big week of diving.
We’re past the half way point now at the Sundive Byron Bay Shootout, and the excitment as we near the end of the competition is heating up. A few new faces have shown up in the last few days as well, with the number of competitors now exceeding that of last year’s shootout.
There’s plenty of friendly banter around the place between photographers, with it becoming almost a game to see who can find the most exciting critters (mantas, decorater crabs, etc), and whether each shooter has the correct lens for their subject equiped! We’re expecting pretty good results by the end of the week.
Last nights talk be Mark Gray was a hit, some tonnes of very helpful hints on approaching and photographing larger marine animals.
Tonight award winning photographer Ross Gudgeon is giving a presentation titled “Underwater Photography for Beginners – The Basic Essentials“, which given the high level of photographs he produces, is sure to be a talk not to be missed.
Once again, today’s photos come courtesy of John Natoli.
The cold winds have started picking up today here in Byron Bay, however, the swell has dropped some, and the vis was up to around 15m in some areas. The mantas are still hanging around, and as usual out at Julian Rocks, there’s more turtles and fish than you could poke a stick at. The grey nurse sharks are remaining elusive thus for however.
Everyone’s in a cheery mood, and most are enjoying as much diving as possible (with the exception of one unnamed photographer who forgot to take their lens cap off!). This afternoon we have a talk by local photographer Mark Grey on approaching wildlife, which given Mark’s amazing up close wide angle photographs, should be very interesting.
Today’s photos come courtesy of John Natoli.
Topside, today was the nicest day we’ve had in Byron for the 2011 Sundive Byron Bay Underwater Shootout – warm and sunny, and only a little breeze. Underwater there was less surge that the last few days, although vis was still down. That didn’t stop a lot of photographers putting on wide angle lenses though.
Given that the water’s a chilly 22 degrees (remember I dive in Cairns – 22 is cold!), it surprising that there’s been so many mantas around this week. For those with wide angle lenses equipped, they often got lucky, one manta seems to be quite curious. For those of us with macro lenses, you could almost hear us cursing underwater with our poor choice.
We’re about half way through the week here now, but the second half of the week promises to be exciting, with a number of photography talks coming up in the next few nights.
We started off with a warm sunny morning for the Byron Shootout today, with the wind down, and vis up around 12m. Most competitors made the most of this and shot wide angle at some point or another, with plenty of schools of fish around. However the rain now looks like it’s settled in, and I’d dare say this afternoon’s dive with be another macro dive.
We’re down here lending a hand to any photographers that need it, and have once again bought several systems for people to trial, from both Nauticam and Aquatica. Lots of divers are making the most of this opportunity, giving the latest 7D and D7000 housings a go. Once again, some of the most popular items are the Light & Motion Sola Lights, which are now available in dive, photo and video lights, ranging from 500 to 1200 lumens. With the darker conditions we’ve been getting, they’re great for a focus lights on a still camera or a very bring video light.
Last night Sundive hosted a welcome BBQ for competitors in the underwater shootout, giving everyone a chance to come together in a social setting, eat, drink, and as all underwater photographers like to do, talk about cameras! We had a good turnout, with some divers partying on late into the night (and looking a little worse today).
We were greeted this morning by dark rainy skies, and reports from the first dive that it’s macro conditions. Everyone’s excited to be heading out however, as there’s always ample opportunities to shoot the smaller critters out at Julian Rocks. However most people seem to be changing over to wide angle for this afternoon’s dives, as a manta ray was spotted swimming around. It will be interesting to see if anyone manages to get a shot of it.
Cameras of all shapes and sizes line the benches at the dive shop in between dives, showing just how many underwater photographers have turned up for this year’s comp. With more people due during the next few days, it sure to be an exciting week.
Welcome from beautiful Byron Bay! We’ve arrived for the Sundive Byron Bay Underwater Shootout, an annual event spanning 10 days, giving underwater photographers and videographers from around the country the chance to come together to socialise, talk photography, and of course, compete for some amazing prizes.
This year’s shootout is looking to be a good one, with some 40+ competitors entering in the competition, tonnes of social get-togethers, an ‘Approaching Wildlife’ talk with previous winner and Sundive team member Mark Grey, and a number of underwater photography classes with award winning photograph Ross Gudgeon.
We’ll be bringing you updates from the event right here, so make sure you check back to see whats happening at this year’s shootout!