Digtal Shootout Location




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Emerging from a 2+ year pandemic, many folks were a bit rusty when it came to scuba diving, their camera and their image editing software. But once the fog cleared, guests participated in the very full daily schedule of 3 boat dives, 24/7 available shore diving, daily late afternoon seminars on photography, videography or editing, evening image critiques or inspirational presentations by the pros and checking out the awesome underwater camera gear in the Demo Gear room. Squeeze in breakfast, lunch and dinner and you've got a 27-hour schedule packed into one day! Then repeat every day for two weeks… you can autobahn your way to improving your underwater imaging skills in a very short time. It's also your vacation time, so if a seminar was skipped for the spa, or an image critique was passed on for a night dive, no judgement here, only thumbs up. Learning and fun go together like peanut butter and jelly or Champagne and caviar. Learning is FUN!

A common sentiment heard over the two-week event was one of gratitude. Appreciation for all things big and small was conveyed by many, who were overjoyed to get back into the ocean after a lengthy unplanned hiatus. Being surrounded by like-minded folks buoyed spirits and souls. We are among the lucky.

Whether it is immediately realized or not, once you become an underwater photographer, you automatically become an ambassador for the underwater realm. Many factors are causing the degradation of the Earth's oceans, lakes and waterways. By sharing your images and experiences, you too can be the impetus for change by increasing awareness and getting folks to care about the ocean. Love the ocean. Protect what you love.

A Day-in-the-Life at the Digital Shootout
A SHORT FILM BY JOEL PENNER Video - by Joel Penner, Newmediasoup, LLC A Day-in-the-Life at the Digital Shootout  |  © Joel Penner  |   Canon 1DX MKII Camera, Canon DSLR Cameras, GoPro Hero9 and Hero10 Black Cameras, Kessler TLS System with Second Shooter Pro 

Above and Below Slideshow "Above and Below Slideshow"   |   © The Digital Shootout

Watch this amazing video shot and edited during the event
by guest instructor Cristian Dimitrius
Red V-Raptor Sample Footage at the Digital Shootout


The Digitial Shootout Demo Gear and Tech Support Staff

No other underwater imaging event in the world has the amount of demo gear that is showcased each year at the Digital Shootout. Dozens of camera systems on-offer from Nauticam, Isotta and Backscatter, as well as strobes, lights and accessories to give you the tools needed to produce quality underwater images. And Pegasus Thruster brought their very popular tank-mounted DPVs for participants to zip up and down the reef.

Not only is there demo gear to try, but the manufacturers' reps are also available to answer questions and share their expertise with attendees during meals, on the boats, in the Demo Gear room, before seminars, after seminars, over a beer at the bar. Talking tech and specs is what the manufacturers' reps love to do!

See the latest cameras in action on our gear test page.

The Digitial Shootout Teaching Staff

With an all new two-week schedule, the Digital Shootout is the ultimate working vacation for the underwater photographer aiming to level up in image capturing and editing. With 10 photography seminars, 9 video seminars and 5 Lightroom/Photoshop seminars to choose from during the two-week workshop, there is no shortage of learning opportunities. Need extra help with your post processing? The Creative Cave is the place for additional one-on-one or small group assistance. Another great way to improve underwater imaging is direct feedback from the pros. Our evening slideshows with image critiques not only benefit the photographer who submitted the image for feedback, but many photographers in the audience who might be challenged with the same issue of focus, exposure, color cast, composition, lighting etc. At first, it can be very intimidating to "put yourself out there", but with some encouragement from staff, most attendees submitted images for critique and welcomed honest feedback on how to improve image capture and/or editing. With a guest to staff ratio of 3:1, the Digital Shootout features more educators and staff than any other underwater photography workshop in the world.


Hailey Springer - 2019 Beneath the Sea Scholar
Hailey Springer

2022 Boston Sea Rovers Summer Intern
Boston Sea Rovers

I am the 2022 Boston Sea Rovers summer intern, and as the intern I get the opportunity to travel and learn from different professions in the diving world. When I was told I would be going to the Digital Shootout as the first stop this summer, I was so nervous! I had scoured the Digital Shootout website and seen the amazing photos participants in the past had taken. I realized that I needed a lot of guidance to get to where they were. Upon looking at the caliber of talent that would be present as staff at this year's shootout in Bonaire, I knew I would be able to learn from them and hopefully apply the skills I acquired. 

I had invested in an Olympus EPL-10 camera and housing from Backscatter a few months back, but did not know how to use it to its full potential. For the internship, Backscatter loaned me arms and strobes, along with a wide angle lens. Over the 10 days I was in Bonaire, I used both a wide-angle lens and a 60mm macro lens that Backscatter was letting participants use as part of the Demo Gear Program. My favorite was using the macro lens, especially paired with a snoot, once I got the hang of using it. A snoot is an attachment that makes a light very focused, and can be adjusted in size based on the subject that is being shot. I was most proud of my snoot shots during the Shootout! 

Each day, there were two boat dives in the morning and one in the afternoon, paired with the opportunity for unlimited shore dives on the house reef. I enjoyed going out on the boat when I was shooting wide-angle as I had a greater opportunity of finding larger subjects such as squid or spotted eagle rays. However, I was also a big fan of the house reef. I found it a great place for me to practice my macro shots and adjust my settings and snoot position while in a comfortable area that I knew well. In fact, all my macro shots were on the house reef. Along with the extensive diving, we had classes each night on different aspects of photography and video. The photography ones were very helpful to me, and I especially enjoyed Todd Winner's class on macro photography. Pairing daily diving with classroom education, I was able to apply the skills I was learning about in real time, while also practicing safe diving.

I am immensely grateful to everyone at Backscatter for providing me this opportunity. To Berkeley White for inviting me to the Shootout and being a wonderful mentor to look up to. To Becca Boring for getting in contact with me prior to the Shootout and always making sure I was set up with gear. And to James, Robin, and Thomas in the Demo Gear room for helping me switch out my lens everyday as I wanted to try something new. You are all tremendous people!

Not only was I able to converse with pros, I also made great connections with other Shootout participants. They helped make my days even more enjoyable. I especially loved diving the house reef with Jocelyn and Christine, and helping to create Jim and Karin's video about 'The Bonaire Dream.'

I will apply the skills I learned here throughout the rest of the Boston Sea Rovers internship and my life, and will keep in touch with so many people. Cheers to a great Digital Shootout!


Unfortunately, it's old news that coral reefs around the world are on the decline. For 10 years, a coral reef restoration program has been in place on Bonaire to help mitigate these losses and increase the health of the reefs. In 2021, another coral nursery was added at the Divi Flamingo's house reef. Heading up this new nursery of staghorn and elkhorn corals is scuba instructor Dénise Glacer. Currently, the nursery is 3 underwater "trees" that each holds 100 coral fragments – 70 staghorn, 30 elkhorn. Once the fragments are large enough, they are out-planted onto the Divi's house reef, Calabas Reef, where (hopefully) they will continue to grow and attract marine life. To learn more about the coral reef restoration being done on Bonaire, check out Reef Renewal Bonaire.

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