January 7, 2015

2014 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest Winners Announced

The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the 2014 winners. This year’s Ocean Art Competition attracted a very high caliber of photos, representing entrants from over 50 countries.

Over $70,000 of prizes will be awarded to 60 underwater photographers, highlighted by an 11-day Indonesia liveaboard trip on the SMY Ondina, a 7-night dive package at Paradise Taveuni Resort in Fiji, a 7-night Maldives liveaboard trip on the Manthiri, a 7-night Solomon Islands liveaboard trip on the Bilikiki, a 10-night dive package at Lissenung Dive Resort in Papua New Guinea and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo. Premium prizes are provided by Villa Markisa (Bali), the Discovery Fleet (Tubbataha), Emperor Divers (Maldives), VoliVoli (Fiji), Atmosphere (Philippines), Kosrae Nautilus Resort (Micronesia), Atlantis Philippines, Wananavu (Fiji), Palau Dive Adventures, Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (Australia), Alor Divers (Indonesia), Manta Ray Bay (Yap), El Galleon (Philippines), Maluku Divers (Indonesia), Juliana’s Hotel & Sea Saba Dive Center (Caribbean), Eco Divers Resort Lembeh, Blackbeard’s Cruises (Bahamas), Scuba Seraya (Bali) and Bluewater Travel.

Ocean Art 2014 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Martin Edge, Marty Snyderman and Scott Gietler.

There are at least 4 winners in each of the 12 categories, including Wide-Angle, Macro, Portrait, Behavior, Novice, Nudibranchs, Super Macro, Divers & Fashion, Cold Water and 3 compact camera categories.

The Best of Show was a stunning wide-angle photo shot from behind a breaking wave by Ray Collins at Kirra Beach, Australia. Other outstanding images include some out-of-this-world fish and marine life shots, rarely seen underwater behavior, iridescent shrimp, models in pools, smiling turtles, vibrantly colored squid and some dramatic black and white moments. Thousands of entries were viewed by the judges before the final set of amazing images were selected and deemed some of the best underwater photos in the world.

The quality of image submissions was incredible, making judging very difficult but ensuring the prestige of the Ocean Art Competition. Bluewater Photo and Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler said, “The caliber of photos in Ocean Art this year was amazing, and the judges had to make some very difficult decisions when evaluating photos in the contest. The winning photos were submitted from oceans and freshwater around the world by many talented underwater photographers. Congratulations to all the winners.”

Winning photos can be seen on the Underwater Photography Guide at http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/2014-ocean-art-contest-winners

Complete list of winners:

Best of Show
Ray Collins

1st Place: Ray Collins
2nd Place: Gang Song
3rd Place: Shane Gross
4th Place: Montse Grillo
5th Place: Davide Lopresti
HM: Alejandro Prieto
HM: Eiko Jones
HM: David Salvatori

1st Place: Ron Watkins
2nd Place: Uwe Schmolke
3rd Place: Marchione Giacomo
4th Place: Anthony Berberian
5th Place: Digant Desai
HM: Annika Persson
HM: Filip Staes

1st Place: Lill Haugen

2nd Place: David Salvatori
3rd Place: Nirupam Nigam
4th Place: Kaido Haagen
HM: Michael Weberberger
HM: Gang Song

1st Place: Nonna Pokras
2nd Place: Mario Odorisio
3rd Place: Steven Kovacs
4th Place: Christine Shepard
5th Place: Lill Haugen
HM: Uwe Schmolke
HM: David Salvatori
HM: Luc Rooman

Marine Life Behavior
1st Place: Borut Furlan
2nd Place: Ilian Ben Tov
3rd Place: Steven Kovacs
4th Place: Jerry Tang
HM: Roland Bach
HM: Steven Kovacs

Novice dSLR
1st Place: Yatwai So

2nd Place: Carolyn Wang
3rd Place: Collin Wu
4th Place: Renee Capozzola
HM: Yatwai So
HM: Renee Capozzola

Compact Macro
1st Place: Giacomo Giovannini
2nd Place: Kiyoung Jang
3rd Place: Fabio Galbiati
4th Place: Elisabeth Lauwerys
HM: Dusan Zencak
HM: Chandy de Wit

Compact Marine Life Behavior
1st Place: Jack Berthomier
2nd Place: Jack Berthomier
3rd Place: Alexander Bublitz
4th Place: Igor Pereverzev
HM: Michal Ross

Compact Wide-Angle
1st Place: Arek Mszyca
2nd Place: Marc Casanovas
3rd Place: Stephen Holinski
4th Place: Stephen Holinski
HM: Marc Casanovas

1st Place: Eduardo Acevedo Fernandez

2nd Place: Jackie Hildering
3rd Place: Diana Paboojian
4th Place: Luc Rooman
HM: Yatwai So
HM: Yury Ivanov

Super Macro
1st Place: Filippo Borghi
2nd Place: Raffaele Livornese
3rd Place: Qing Lin
4th Place: Robert Roy
HM: Jeffrey de Guzman

Divers/ Fashion
1st Place: Lucie Drlikova
2nd Place: Steffen Binke
3rd Place: Nina Baxa
4th Place: Jim Catlin
HM: Massimo Giorgetta
HM: Rui Guerra

The Underwater Photography Guide is the #1 visited resource worldwide for underwater photographers and scuba divers to learn and improve their underwater photography, with over 50,000 unique visitors monthly. For more information, please visit http://www.uwphotographyguide.com.

November 30, 2014

Diving with vintage equipment

A few weeks ago my dive buddy and me went to a nearby pool to try some vintage dive equipment. In the last few years I bought many items- sometimes the people find old diving stuffs and use to sell them. So I have double hose regulator, fins, wetsuits, masks, etc. Before the first dive we cleaned and serviced the regulator and now we had the chance to make some shots as my buddy tested it.

She is a pretty young lady and luckily I had a sharkskin wetsuit which perfectly fit her. I gave a quite old-style dive mask which is a bit uncomfortable and doesn't have a nose pocket. A pair of vintage rubber fins and a tank harness- we had everything to look like a vintage diver.

She worried a bit as never dived with BCD, but for her surprise it was easier to dive than she thought. I knew she was really good diver but you never know what to expect until you try it. The double hose regulator, a Nemrod model worked fine, she didn't like the mask but confessed the sharkskin suit is better than the one she use in tropical waters.

So we had a nice dive in the pool and I made many photos and videos. Next time we'll try some other stuffs, and maybe invite a few friends. The chance of a lifetime: try equipments which were made before we were born...

April 13, 2013

New underwater photo contest

Subsurface 2013 Annual Photo Contest

The divingiscool.com scuba diving magazine and its Hungarian partner site, divecenter.hu organize picture of the month contests since 2007 and shootout competitions since 2009. During the last few years the photographers sent us hundreds of images to the picture of the month contests and this traditional online contest is still going on with different subjects every month. There is a video snapshot contest since 2010 as well. We felt maybe we are able to organize a different kind of competition, an annual one with modified rules and valuable prizes. After a few months of work the two websites proudly announce a new international photo contest with 4200 USD in prizes for all underwater photographers.

There are 3 categories in the Subsurface 2013: Open Macro, Open Wide Angle and Compact. You can submit your photos until the 30 April 2013 deadline and the registration is free. The international jury decide the winners of the categories but there’ll be a public vote as well. Certainly all the submitted entries will be presented anonymously to the jury members and the voters. There are really valuable prizes for the winners: a liveaboard trip to Egypt, a week long stay and diving in Honduras and Croatia, dive packages to Malaysia, Bali, Thailand, Dahab and the Canary Islands. As we’re divers too we wanted to give dives as prizes and thanks to our sponsors we can.

There is no restriction in subject or location, and many of the basic image manipulations are allowed. The entrants can submit two photographs, they can add title and description, or if they change their minds, it’s possible to delete the old entry and submit a new photo until the deadline. Certainly first of all they have to finish the registration process which is easy and free. We recommend to check the rules and the FAQ, register and join the contest. Let’s see who will win in the first Subsurface Annual contest!

If you want to learn more about the Subsurface 2013 Annual Photo Contest, visit its official website:

February 27, 2013

Wreck treks: Giannis D

The Giannis D was a 99,5m long cargo vessel which was launched in 1969. Its original name was Shoyo Maru and it was built in Japan. It was re-named to Markos in 1975 and to Giannis D in 1980. Its final journey started in April 1983 from the port of Split in Croatia, the destination was Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the cargo was softwood. The trip was uneventful until the Gulf of Suez where the experienced captain went to his cabin for a little relaxation. A bit later the GIannis D hit the Shab Abu Nuhas at full speed and the crew abandoned the ship.

 The Shab Abu Nuhas is the final resting place of many ships. This coral plateau became a popular spot amongst wreck enthusiasts, while it's still dangerous for cargo vessels who pass by the Straits of Gobal. Nowadays the Giannis D is one of the often visited wrecks in the Northern Red Sea because it's easy to dive and the huge wreck is quite spectacular.

The article continued here.

December 16, 2012

Dolphin Attacks

There were two accidents during dolphin encounter programs recently, but the reasons unknown.

 According to the Orlando Sentinel, eight-year-old Jillian Thomas was feeding the dolphins at Dolphin Cove last week when the "marine mammal lunged toward her during the feeding and snapped his toothy snout around the 8-year-old's hand." The attack left four puncture wounds in the young girl's arm and was captured on video by the girl's parents.

The article with the video continued here.

October 15, 2012

The most remarkable shark movies

Nowadays many divers pay a lot of money for trips with guaranteed shark encounters. Proud photographers share their stunning close-ups of oceanic whitetips, great white sharks or hammerheads. The shark dive tourism is a highly lucrative global market, because all of us want to dive with sharks, and we are really sad to hear about the cruel shark finning practices. Many divers join online petitions and urge banning the shark fin trade. We do not want expensive shark fin soups but living sharks...

But the majority of the people around us haven't ever dived and whenever they hear our shark stories they ask: "Weren't you afraid?" We know the shark is the dangerous, there are several attacks every year but as a diver I don't really fear of them. Why the people do who haven't seen any in the sea?

The answer is simple: their "knowledge" based on Hollywood movies. The legend of killer sharks was known for ages, but most of the people faced the beast in 1975. There were movies about sea monsters in the past but the Jaws wasn't an ordinary thriller. The masterpiece of Steven Spielberg seemed really realistic. The cast did a great job, especially Bruce, the mechanical shark who terrorized a small island community. The screenwriter, Peter Benchley later began to feel responsible for the negative attitudes against sharks because the Jaws became a blockbuster and since then many people treat great white sharks as aggressive, evil man-eaters. The Jaws was followed by three sequels: their plots were similar to the original story but the movies weren't that successful. The classic Jaws is still much praised- 37 years and dozens of shark documentaries weren't enough to make great white sharks much more popular.

The article continued here with videos.

September 23, 2012

New website

With my friend we launched a new diving website: divingiscool.com
There'll be articles, photo and video contests, dive site directory and so on... Come and visit!