Berkley White:It was reward day here in Bonaire! Amazing prizes were handed out to shooters that labored all week to create amazing images. As staff, we were equally rewarded with great feedback and watched many first time shooters transform from confused to confident in their new learned skills. It was one of those proud parent moments.
Judging the video and photo submissions this morning was difficult, but very enjoyable. What a great group of images. We relied on our judging guidelines of "Would I put this on my wall?" and ranked the videos by story line and technical merit. Judged contests are really a statement of the personal tastes of the judges and it's normal to hear "Why did they pick that image over this image?" As you look over the winning images, you'll see a theme of clean compositions and great backgrounds in macro images. We gave Ron Watkins top honors with the Jim Watt Award because his image was surreal, open in composition and allowed my eye to float around the frame. Unlike more direct critter portrait compositions, the unusual composition is more like an abstract painting and encourages me to study it again and again.
Thanks again to all the hardworking staff that made this week possible. Serge and the Divi dive staff ran like clockwork with smiles on their faces. Jim and Russ, the Backscatter demo crew, and Jean from Aquatica were up early and stayed up late handing out demo gear to all the hungry shooters. David, Daniel, Mary Lynn, and Dan gave great support and high quality seminars. Lenny was the head top-side photographer and dived in deep with all the guests insuring all our bases were covered. My MVP staff award goes to Joel and Jen Penner of Newmediasoup, who designed and produced this amazing website. You guys rock!! Thanks also to the Backscatter home team that held down the fort and made it possible for us to serve our people and test the new gear here in Bonaire.
Finally, my hat is off to all of the hard working guests that joined us this year. The excitement and drive you exhibited this week has inspired me and will hopefully spin each of you on a new creative path in image making. Thank you! I hope to see you underwater again soon!
Mary Lynn Price: What a fantastic event this has been! The video judges had very difficult decisions to make this year as there were a lot of good films. We had eight filmmakers submit final entries this year, which is great! And, of course, one of my favorite aspects is seeing new filmmakers produce their very first videos. And this year was a bumper year for that! Congratulations to all the filmmakers who participated this year--your commitment to honing your art really paid off! Hope to see you all at another Shootout in the future. And in the meantime, happy imaging and keep on editing!
David Fleetham: What a week! Berk, Dan, Mary-Lynn and I had our work cut out for us.
We started the judging with the videos and debated…watched them
again…arm wrestled…and watched them again. We still photographers
have it easy compared with the number of computer hours it takes to
put together a fully edited show that tells a story, and this weeks'
gang did a great job. Not to say that the photo judging was a piece
of cake. We debated art, difficulty of the subject, lighting, focus,
compostion…but in the end we kept bringing it back to art. Would we
print this image, hang it on our wall and be able to keep looking at
it years down the road. This years Digital Shootout’s shooters
worked it and then worked it again. Helping out before hand, I saw
subjects shot not once, not twice, but 80 or over 100 times and in the
end that was one of the shooting strategies that payed off with unique
angles of common subjects that we had not seen previously and some
I would like to pass along a big aloha and many
mahalos (that’s thank you in Hawaiian) to all the participants on a well
spent week of pixel gathering. It was pointed out by our dive guides
that this group was not only talented photographers, but also the
best they had seen with buoyancy control and non-distructive diving
techniques that left Bonaire's reefs as we found them. I hope to see
some of you again next year in June when we do this all over again in
Lenny Bucko:OH WHAT A NIGHT !!!
That was a show of some of the best images that I have ever seen and some of them were from first time shooters.
Once again we proved that with a little coaching and some technical support you can become really good at a skill in a very short time.
I would like to congratulate all the winners and also say how nice it was to meet and dive with some very great new friends . My experiences from breakfast, through the day on the boats, and in the evening with a group of people eager to learn is what makes teaching a reward for an educator.
Special thanks to Berk, Dan, Jim, and Russ for allowing me to be on the team and run with the big dogs . Hanging with David, Mary Lynn, Daniel, Joel and Jen was a technical treat and my learning curve went off the right side of the Histogram.
I hope that you have enjoyed our journey on line as much as we have enjoy living it here for real.
Hope to see you on the bottom soon.