The weather gods abandoned us a day early at the Byron Bay Underwater Shootout, leaving conditions that made underwater photography quite hard, to the point that Sundive’s afternoon boats had to be cancelled. We didn’t hear any complaints from divers though, as everyone agreed that we’d had some great diving during the week.
After a few hectic hours of competitors finalising their photos and videos, Sundive hosted a BBQ on Saturday night at the shop, giving staff and competitors a chance to unwind and mingle now that the competition had ended. We were served up some amazing food and a large number of beers. Of course most of the talk revolved around the week’s diving and the photos and videos produced from it, but if there’s one thing I can say about underwater photographers and filmmakers it’s that they’re a friendly, uncompetitive bunch when put together.
Sunday saw what was for most of us, a first chance to sleep in all week, followed by the Byron bay Shootout 2010 Finale. We all moved in on the Buddha Bar, a beautiful old building redone to make quite a fancy bar, where we had a final chance to talk with other divers before the formalities started.
John Natoli, co organiser of the event, hosted the afternoon, along with a talk from documentary filmmakers David Hannan and Dave Warth. As the awards were announced, we were shown some of the amazing photos and videos taken throughout the week by contestants. Big winners of the day were Kieren Curry for Best Video, Jim Dodd for Best Compact Photo, Matt Shepherd for Best Portfolio, and Christine Hamilton for Best SLR Photo. However these were only a few of the winners, and a big congratulations goes out to all that picked up a prize (I will detail these in the next post).
A big thank you must go to all the divers who travelled from around Australia and even around the world to join us in Byron Bay, and to all the staff at Sundive who organised this amazing event and make it possible.
As we wrap up on the Byron Bay Shootout 2010, we are all eagerly awaiting 2011’s shootout. If you weren’t able to make it this year, keep an eye out for details on next year’s competition, it’s a week you won’t want to miss.