Contributed by Tim Hochgrebe
We are all aware of the impact of digital photography, the internet and especially social media on our daily lives. These 'advances' in technology have really had a huge impact on diving as well. Underwater Photography has became cheaper and easier to do and a lot easier to share.
It was with that in mind that the 5th installment of the annual
Underwater Festival was taken to a new dimension. We gave participants
10 days to shoot, but they could participate anywhere in 25 countries
that we defined as the Australasia Region.
From the 2nd to the 11th of September 2011, hundreds of divers from
all around the world participated in this 'underwater snapshot of
Australasia' in all kinds of ways. They dived their way from Sydney to
Cairns in 10 days, circumnavigated Bali, showed off their favourite
'own backyard' dive sites, travelled long distances to participate in
one of the organised Fringe Events or created their own. The top 100
images and top 10 videos were exhibited in the Underwater Festival Hall
Over $150,000 in prizes were won in 14 Photo Categories and 5 Video
Categories which makes this to our knowledge the richest event in
underwater imaging on the planet.
Not unlike an underwater 'Earth Hour' we want to help to highlight
the underwater beauty but also the underwater issues of this fantastic
bioregion and help to show the world what we've got to lose.
Some of the worlds most recognised underwater photographers and film
makers namely Steven Wong & Takako Uno, Neville Coleman, Mathieu
Meur, Tony Wu, Gary Bell, Aaron Wong, Jason Heller and David Warth
devoted their time to judge the submitted entries.
It was fantastic to see such enthusiasm for this event from
different corners of Australasia and we hope the results reflect the
ambitious '2011 Underwater Snapshot of Australasia'
The winners were announced at the Underwater Festival Awards
ceremony during the ODEX & Underwater Festival Party on 8 October.
The prestigious Underwater Festival Trophies were awarded to the first
prize winners in all categories as well as the best of show Photography
and Video - of course in addition to the fabulous prizes.
For those that did not make it to the show or awards night, please visit the full results, blogs and galleries on the extensive Underwater Festival website at underwaterfestival.org
Wheels are in motion for the Underwater Festival 2012. Following from the feedback we received, the format will stay much the same, except you will have the whole month of September 2012 to shoot. So start planning your trips and keep your eyes on the Underwater Festival website.
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