2012 Winning Photos
Thank you to everyone who entered our 2012 Photo Competition. This year we were impressed with the diversity of images we received. Loads of open ocean and wreck diving images were sent in along with some fantastic cave diving shots, some we've never seen before! Thanks for the incredible entries everyone.
Winning photos were selected based on their ability to inspire us, the quality of the photography and adaptability to our website format. All winning photos followed our guidelines of showcasing divers and more importantly, Dive Rite divers.
This is Steve Clabuesch's first time to enter our photo contest earning an impressive win as the only first prize shot for 2012. Steve began diving in 1972 in Southern California and has been lucky enough to dive all over the Pacific and Antarctica in his work with researchers. He has been teaching diving at UC Santa Cruz for 22 years with the last 12 years as the Diving Safety Officer.
Why we like this photo? Because the diver below the hulking slab of ice looks frail compared to the expanse of mother nature, yet also powerful because he is able to glide into this rarely seen world and live among giants, if only for a short time. Beautiful shot - we were mesmerized!
This is Jean Bruneau's first time entering our photo contest. A photography pro, Jean began photography in 1971 as a studio assistant and eventually took his camera underwater in 1989. Today he is the head of technical support division for Aquatica, the Canadian-based housing manufacturer; and in his free time as a photo instructor.
Why we chose his shot? The demolition of the wreck peaks our curiousity as we long to be the lone diver floating above the giant vessel exploring its vast structure and twisted damage. This image was taken while working at the Digital Shootout workshop in Little Cayman this past summer. It was shot with available light using a Nikon D300s inside an Aquatica housing with a Tokina 10-17mm behind a 4-inch Minidome.
This is Allen Beard's first time entering our photo contest. A former cave diving bum, (now just a "weekend warrior"), Allen practices law and lives in North Florida in the heart of cave country. He began diving in 1986, yet in 2009 after a stage dive to the Courtyard in Madison Blue springs, he announced to his dive buddy that he was moving from his home state of Washington to be close to the caves in Florida. The following February, he did just that.
This was one of the most majestic cave diving shots we received this year. The diving glides with beautiful trim through a passage that is almost a mile back in Devil's Cave System - an advanced cave dive and a beautiful area for those familiar with the system.
Instructors and dive retailers Jeanne & Bill Downey have been traveling the world since the 1970’s shooting illustration photos for publications and web sites. There is no wreck too big, cave too long, or critter too small to escape their cameras.
Why we love this shot? Because it's a crazy, wonderful shot of this wreck wrapped in sea whips, creating a hairy, alien-like creature beneath the sea. Marvelously captivating!
Winnie Au Yeung starting diving in 2009 and spent a great deal of her spare time diving and working towards becoming a PADI Instructor in 2011. Back in 2009 after Winnie's open water diver course, her partner bought her an underwater housing for her camera, and it is one of the main reasons that she continued her diving adventures. She still uses the same camera and housing today. It is a Canon IXUS860is point and shoot compact, in a standard Canon housing.
We love this shot because the diver is floating in perfect trim, showing us the spirit of technical diving as he effortlessly glides through water within the eerie green glow caused by plankton above. This also happened to be one of the favorites among our Facebook fans top photo pics!
Lena Holm is a Swedish amateur photographer, certified in 1997. Since 2002 she primarily dive in green cold waters, especially on the Swedish west coast, the coast of Norway and in the waters around Vancouver Island. She started to bring a camera underwater in 2004 and is currently using a Canon 7D in an Ikelite housing with two Ikelite DS 125 strobes.
This angle of the shot creates a dizzying effect as we appreciate the weightlessness that floating mid-ocean provides. The black and white image is stark, making the beam from the diver's light stand out as it illuminates a tiny spot on the wreck.
Liz Rogers is a second generation cave diving photographer. She loves underwater photography, and especially the challenges of expedition and exploration photography in her homeland Australian caves. As Liz says, "After all, if there's no pictures, who can say it really happened?"
It's not very often divers have the chance to chat mid-dive, finding an air pocket for conversation. We love how the water is spilling through the image, showing movement and taking us right under with them.
Luke Baade is an amateur photographer who lives in Adelaide, South Australia. Whether he’s diving the local caves, wrecks or under a jetty, Luke can always be found underwater with camera in hand.
Why we like his shot? Because it reminds us of the joy every diver experiences seeing a curtain of sunlight piercing the water at the end of the dive. It reminds us of coming home, of happy dive memories and the thrill that diving brings to us all.
Amateur photographer, Neil Vincent, began diving in 1973. He began underwater photography six years later and it rarely seen without a camera when he dives. He enjoys documenting unusual dives, including caves, shipwrecks or creatures, taking those who are unwilling or unable to venture below to thrilling places with his work. Neil writes and gives presentations on diving as well as entering his photography in competitions.
This shot is dark, edgy and gritty. The diver appears to be on a mission and there is a sense of purpose, expertise and perhaps even danger emitted with this image. We loved its unique composition and energy. This image was one of the last images Neil took with a film camera: a Nikon F4 in Subal housing and a Sigma 14mm rectilinear lens. The film was Kodak Ektachrome 200.
Pongsatorn Sukhumis an award-winning underwater photographer and shipwreck researcher. He has been diving since the late Seventies and spends most of his free time researching shipwrecks and sunken aircraft in his native Thailand. He works closely with members of the Royal Thai Navy and the Underwater Archaeology Division to protect and prevent looting of submerged cultural sites.
The photo's name says it all...pirouette. The quiet grace of the diver is poignant and made us stop and look twice. We love the simple beauty of this shot.