Little Cayman
2014 Event Coverage

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The 2014 Digital Shootout Group Photo
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SHOOTOUT LIFE
Depending on whom you ask, the Digital Shootout is also known as The Ultimate Working Vacation or a Boot Camp for Underwater Photographers. To the uninitiated, this can sound like a whole lot of effort, and not something remotely enjoyable when experiencing the idyllic Caribbean's turquoise waters and swaying palm trees. The daily schedule included morning boat dives, afternoon seminars or optional afternoon boat dives, evening slideshows of participant's images or optional night dives, which all gets repeated each day. Little Cayman Beach Resort kept our energy levels up with tasty meals, featuring a local and continental flair three meals a day. The social hub, you guessed it, was the bar, where all would gather to share stories from the day, discuss plans for the following day, obtain more post-processing tips in Lightroom or Final Cut Pro X or just enjoy a cool beverage amongst friends! When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work!

Biking, kayaking, lounging by the pool or a visit to the spa were also activities enjoyed by our attendees, and if spotted partaking one of these activities during class-time, they received a wink and a thumbs up!

TopSide VIDEO Topside Timelapse and Video - by Joel Penner "The Shootout Life" Timelapses and Video   |   © Joel Penner  |   GoPro Hero3+ Black Cameras, Canon DSLR Cameras & Motorized Kessler Slider 


TopSide Slideshow
Topside Slideshow "Topside Slidseshow"   |   © The Digital Shootout


THE WORLD'S BEST LEARNING EVENT HAS THE MOST DEMO GEAR
Free demo gear for our attendees to test drive during The Digital Shootout is a large component of this event. There is no other underwater imaging event that offers such a wide array of current gear available to demo. Many of the winning images in our friendly contest were won using demo gear! The on-site manufacturer's reps not only lugged hundreds of pounds of their gear to Little Cayman (consider the baggage fees!) but also made themselves available to all of our guests 24/7 to answer questions and provide shooting tips. Hats off to all of our Gear Staff – Jim, Fred and Mike from Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo, Jean and Sean from Aquatica Digital, Ed from Canon, Chris and Paul from Nauticam USA, Ryan from Light & Motion and Marissa from Pegasus Thruster! The Shootout would not be The Shootout without all you do!
See the latest cameras in action on our gear test page.

The Digitial Shootout Demo Gear and Tech Support Staff


In the Classroom

One of the main focuses of the Digital Shootout is the learning aspect. Yes, there is world-class diving. Yes, it is underwater gear-centric for the gear-geek in all of us. But it really is all about learning to improve your photography or videography in water, and out of water. The teaching pros - Berkley White, Erin Quigley and Mary Lynn Price - are not only passionate about underwater imaging, but they LOVE to teach, especially when surrounded by motivated, up-and-coming shooters. Alone, each is a wealth of knowledge. Collectively, they are an amazing and invaluable resource to us all! Additionally, the camaraderie amongst the Shootout attendees is a remarkable sight to behold – attendees sharing their knowledge with fellow attendees so all can learn and improve.


© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 

© The Digital Shootout 



Photo and Video Techniques with Berkley White

Speaking to a packed classroom, Berkley kicked off the week's seminars with Underwater Photography Techniques, sharing the vital importance of critical focus and proper exposure for your images, and how proper lighting can either make or break an image. Underwater Video Techniques covered Berkley's tips and tricks for acquiring in-focus, white balanced, stable and properly exposed video underwater.

Lightroom Techniques with Erin Quigley
Once we've shot a few stills, what do we do with them next? Erin Quigley, Certified Adobe Teaching Pro in Lightroom and Photoshop, AKA: GoAskErin, covered Lightroom 5 basics, from importing your images, to cataloging and organizing them, to basic editing of white balance, exposure and cropping, and even more advanced localized editing using brush tools, masks and graduated filters. Lightroom, being a very popular topic, Erin OFTEN shared her knowledge in small group sessions and one-on-ones with participants who showed extra interest. Available 24/7, Erin was always happy to teach a Develop Module technique, and if it was after diving, there might have been a cool beverage imbibed!

Video Editing with Mary Lynn Price
Since the majority of the cameras on the market today have video capability, we've seen the number of participants shooting video increase exponentially. Video Editing Basics, taught by everyone's favorite video editing instructor, Mary Lynn Price, is the bread and butter of video editing for those just getting started. And, for the video shooters with some experience under their belts, there are always a few nuggets of wisdom to be acquired in this class! MLP manned the video portion of the Help Desk, and could be found in The Creative Cave encouraging her students.

Modeling for Your Buddy with Joel and Jen Penner
While there's no question that a wide angle reef scenic makes for a beautiful underwater image, sometimes that type of image can benefit with the addition of a diver/model. Whether it's to equate size and scale of the primary subject or to illicit a connection with your audience, a diver/model thoughtfully placed in the frame can provide added interest. Each day on the boats, Joel and Jen informally shared some of their tips for successful modeling for your dive buddy.

Printing Images with Ed Meyers of Canon
For the past several Shootouts, we have had the pleasure of Ed Meyers from Canon joining our "working vacation". We are thrilled and grateful for Ed, not only for his wealth of camera knowledge and gear for attendees to demo, but also because he painstakingly drags his pro level Pixma printer, high quality photo paper and inks with him to the Shootout to print participants' images on-site. After the printer stopped churning out stunning images from Little Cayman's reefs and walls, the images then adorned our classroom walls.


GoASkErin Before & After

Each day, attendees wishing to have their images critiqued at the nightly slideshow would submit a few that he/she felt needed improvement, but didn't know how to accomplish that task. Working her Lightroom magic, Erin would edit some of the attendees images, show the 'before' and 'after', then describe which tools she used to accomplish the task. Sometimes it was a one-click change, sometimes a little more work was involved, but clearly illustrated how powerful Lightroom's tools are for post processing both still images and short video clips. Here are some Before & After images from our participants.
GoAskErin Before and After

Iguana Discovers a Staff Camera- Video by Ed Meyers "Iguana Discovers a Staff Camera"   |   © Ed Meyers  |   Canon Vixia Mini X



Berkley White and Dan Baldocchi are the owners of Under Exposures, the dive travel company that organizes The Digital Shootout. Year after year, they enthusiastically orchestrate this event, bringing together the finest group of professionals to provide the utmost in training and services to underwater image makers wanting to fast-track their skills. Thanks guys for your vision… we are honored to be a part of it!


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