UnderwaterPhotography.com
2011
World Champions

2011/12 u/w photo Awards

There was no recession in either the quality or quantity of underwater photography in our contest this year! It was a bumper year that saw an increase in standards on all levels.

  • We had 11,135 entries from 130 countries this year – down slightly (by a couple of hundred) from last year but the quality was greatly increased! Remember, we restrict entry to one per day per person (2 for pro accounts) to stop being inundated with high volumes. We just want your best shots!
  • more entries than ever (1506) were shortlisted to the first round of judging by our 200+ moderators (Thanks Guys!). see website for the shortlist
  • 369 entries went to the final round. Of those several were disqualified for not uploading hi-rez images before the deadline (probably because their email addresses had expired and they didn't receive notification!)
  • 102 images were placed. 79 photographers were placed. 60 medals were awarded.


Once again the newbies triumph - with 80% of the medals going to first timers! Many of these new entrants look set for successful careers. Providing they keep competing they could be future Champions and Grand Masters. To pick some names out at random: Nick Blake, Paul Colley, Tobias Friedrich and for the ladies Lucie Drlikova, Doris Vierkoetter, Mona Dienhart, and Suzan Meldonian.

We saw several of these new names (e.g. Paul Flandinette, Lucie Drlikova), come through our new photo critique service. This service is run by a team within our moderators who offer newbies constructive criticism for their first entries to the contest. It’s free, and it works!

The battle for World Champion was intense, with Rico Besserdich just pipping Doug Anderson to the title. In fact so many of the ‘old stalwarts’ produced their best work this year that we created more Grand Masters in one year than ever before; including Henry Jager, Michael Gallagher, Patrick Neumann, and the two Andersons - Steven Anderson and Doug Anderson (no relation, we think). They are all multiple medal winners from previous years.

Benny Sutton (Editor)

2011/12 World champion - Rico Besserdich

Rico Besserdich is this year’s breakout star!
A member since June 05, 2010 he has 478 entries in the contest. I make that (more than) one upload per day! His average vote is 26 and, when spread over so many images, requires incredible consistency for such a high score in that time frame.
He’s from Germany but names his adopted country Turkey on his member record. This is where he lives and, until recently, where he was a diving instructor - diving, and shooting, every day. If you think this gives him an unfair advantage remember - Rico doesn’t have the best u/w photo subjects in his Mediterranean waters – yet he knows how to turn the slightest opportunity into a stunning u/w photo.
He’s one of our community MVP’s and was instrumental in starting our photo critique service.
A photographer since 1978 and underwater photographer since 2001, he uses a Canon D-SLR in a Ikelite housing with Sea & Sea strobes.
If you want to learn Rico’s Tricks and secrets he will be bringing his knowledge and experience to running UnderwaterPhotography.com resort courses in Turkey and Egypt this year. Check out website for more details.

One of our previous world champions sums up Rico’s talents...
With no hesitation, Rico (Besserdich) HAS to be our World Champion this year (2011/12)
Wide Angle, Macro - super Macro, Outside, Half-Half, Modeling, B&W...etc... have no secret for him... Almost every week, Rico came up with amazing and surprising pictures...
He control's to not far from perfection all the techniques of photography... and that is the mark of a great and versatile (polyvalent) photographer...
He also has done a lot with the "critic" initiative.... Great job... and so useful for the new comers on UP.com...

High praise indeed! Rico’s ambition is to become a professional underwater photographer in 2012 and we wish him luck. If anyone can, he can!

Rico Besserdich

UW photographer & journalist, cat owner, beer drinker, uw photography teacher, human beeing. "Try not. Do or do it not. There is no try". More infos on my website: http://www.maviphoto.com

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  While tried capture shot these juvenile squids near diving platform curious guest watching me wonders what heck am doing there lights top are reflections my strobe water surface. ;-) ;) surface
  Dakota C47 C-47 47
  Pool Shooting
  Golden Girl 15 cm small shrimp. 60mm lens 10 diopter attached. shrimp attached
  Diving place named Canyon Turkey. love blue water there Turkey :-) :)
  Patrol Boat 119 took this shot 13 minutes after new shipwreck touched oceans ground. Lots dirt dust clouds....the ships stern was totally covered sand cloud time. Ambient light converted BW. ground cloudsthe clouds time B/W. B/W W.

Final Round Entries

These are the entries that reached the final round of judging

  Inside wreck Coastguard Patrol Boat No 119 KasTurkey Kas/Turkey Kas Turkey ).
  Squid Closeup
  Dakota C47. was bit experimental since depht 20 meter used ambient light no strobes but had found results quiet...interesting Canon 40D Sigma 1020mm 10mm end F8 1160 sc. ISO 800. C-47. C-47 47. quietinteresting quiet interesting ;-) ;) 10-20mm 10 20mm 1/160 160 sc 800
  just fun ;-) ;)
  Exploring new shipwreck SG 119 around 20 minutes after touched oceans ground. Still dirt clouds bubbles around. Canon 40D Sigma 1020 10mm end ambient light usage magic filters. ground 10-20 10 filters". filters"
  Something different. Thats photo shooting racing yacht team last weekend. got wet well almost felt like doin uw stuff CANON 40D Sigma 1020mm circular polfilter attached inbuild strobe used. different". different" weekend u/w ;-) ;) 10-20mm 10 20mm pol-filter pol filter used
  Pepper Muray Eel......I hear someone whispering my ears pays fill frame lol EelI Eel ;-) ;)
  last decompression beer
   


Grand Master - Doug Anderson

Doug Anderson is one of the World’s most respected underwater photographers. He does shoot the occasional wide angle but mostly specialises in macro photography.
The old saying ‘form is temporary but class is permanent’ applies to Doug. He has 360 entries and an average vote of 30! That takes quality!
His shots are simple, yet classic. They are usually characterised by a single subject that fills the frame so pleasingly, with attention to detail, saturated colour, and a well thought out negative space background. Doug’s nudibranch shots are delicious, as is his eye for behaviour.
Even his captions say ‘less is more’ - usually a species ID (always accurate!) and the place taken. The pictures do the talking!
If you want to learn macro underwater photography just look over his work, and learn.
We are particularly pleased that he is one of the photo critique team, always willing to help newbies with a succinct observation.
Doug is an Aussie, living in Sydney where he dives his native waters (especially the Tasman Sea) extensively. He also dives Indonesia (Andaman Sea, Bali Sea) the Banda Sea (East Timor) Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean).
An ardent ecologist he is the Biodiversity Officer at Leichhardt Council He Studied Philosophy, Applied Ecology at University of Sydney, University of New South Wales

My Portfolio

  Muppet morays Pulau Weh
  Bluespotted Ray Cleaner Wrasse. Gapang Beach Pulau Weh. Blue-spotted Blue spotted Wrasse Weh
  Green Moray. Moray
  Eastern Cleaner Clingfish Bare Island. Island
  Ceratosoma amoenum Bare Island. Island
  Bigbellied Seahorse Chowder Bay. Big-bellied Big bellied Bay

Final Round Entries

These are the entries that reached the final round of judging

  Nembrotha kubaryana Tulamben. Tulamben
  Yeah baby... baby..." baby" baby
  Goby tunicate. Seraya Bali tunicate
  Hingeback shrimp Tulamben Hinge-back Hinge back
  Slugged eye. eye
  Red Indian Fish Bare Island
  Dartfish pair. Tulamben Bali pair
  Chromodoris aureopurpurea Tulamben
   


Grand Master - Henry Jager

Henry Jager is from Switzerland and has been a member since 2007 when he upgraded to D-SLR and started taking underwater photography seriously.
Henry is a valued member of our photo critique team with always a kind word of encouragement and a concise solution to our newbies.
He has been in the medals from the start with two runner ups, a Bronze, and now Gold.
His over/under of a reef at sunset was technically brilliant and universally acclaimed. It took the monthly winner earlier in the year and a Gold in these annual awards.
He does most of his diving in the Phillipines/Indonesia.
He shoots with an Olympus E-5 in a BS Kinetics housing with two Inon Z 240 strobes.

Henry Jager

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Henry Jager is a passionate underwater and wildlife photographer with an incredible sense for an unexpected view on the subjects. Recently, in 2013, he added experimental photography (high speed, liquid art, drops, underwater painting and more) to his portfolio. His photographies are appreciated around the globe. Besides two gold medals at the Trierenberger Supercircuit, the world biggest fotosalon and from here at UWP, Henrys pictures have been awarded by National Geographic, Ocean Geographic, The Open, and many more. He has been awarded the "Grand Master” title here at UWP. Henry publishes in travel and dive magazines as well as on scuba diving related webpages and blogs. He writes about travel destinations, photo courses and special photo techniques. He acts as judge and leads the Deep Visions 2015 Jury More about Henry you find at his www.conartix-photo.ch

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  Manta Silhouette
  Chromodoris collingwoodi
  Bulbtentacle Sea AnemoneShot Kubuh Indah Bali. Bulb-tentacle Bulb tentacle Bali
  Angry Fish Face
  Cathedral Pescador Island
  Pipefish Portrait

Final Round Entries

These are the entries that reached the final round of judging

  Sardines Pescador Island
  Wreck
  Hawksbill Turtle eating soft corals Habili Radir Wadi Gimal Egypt
  After Sunset Red Sea Reef
  Pygmy Seahorse Hippocampus denise divespot Talisay. Talisay
  Jelly Close Upfrom Menorca Spain
   


Grand Master - Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher is our second Aussie Grand Master of the year.
He has been a member since 2009, has entered 268 images in 14 categories, which has gained him a runner up placing and a medal for the past three years.
His versatility stretches from super-macro shots of Pygmy seahorses through to large pelagics - with wrecks and everything else in between! Whatever he shoots fills the frame nicely, and shows his empathy for the oceans.
Michael really gets about. He has dived his native Australia, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sudan, and the United Kingdom!
He uses a Canon 50D in Hugyfot housing with dual Inon Z240s.

Michael Gallagher

Canon 50D in Hugyfot housing with dual Inon Z240s. Check out my website for more info and photos: www.abovebelowbeyondimages.com

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  My first ever whale shark What way end year... year
  Bargibanti Pygmy seahorse sea fan Komodo Indonesia. Indonesia
  Get room Nudibranchs mating Komodo Indonesia. Any help identifying species nudibranch much appreciated hypselodoris bullocki perhaps Indonesia
  Diver surrounded glassfish inside Cod Hole Julian Rocks Byron Bay Australia
  Loggerhead turtle portrait taken today Julian Rocks Byron Bay part Sundive Photo Shoot 2010
  Hammerhead Galapagos close

Final Round Entries

These are the entries that reached the final round of judging

  Yellow Pygmy Portrait Indonesia
  Harlequin Shrimp claiming starfish Indonesia
  Jockey imperial shrimp riding nudi Indonesia
  Juvenile flying fish its own reflection surface Indonesia
  Crocodilefish portrait Komodo Indonesia
  Juvenile Cuttlefish Byron Bay Australia. Australia
  Freestyle frog masked tree promptly exits swimming pool when hungry snake appears. Shot taken jungle Costa Rica after liveaboard trip Cocos Island. appears Island
 


Grand Master - Patrick Neumann

Patrick Neumann is from Germany and a member since 2006. He has been diving since the age of seven!
Most of his work is done in Asia, especially the Andaman sea and South China sea.
Patrick shoots the full range of categories with an emphasis on macro. He shoots anything; from nudibranchia to models with much creative flair and the occasional experimental lighting.
He has 3 runner up places, Bronze, Silver and Gold medals from 312 entries over the five years he has been competing. He shoots on a Canon 7D in a Hugyfot housing.

Patrick Neumann

Hi i am 42 Years old and have been diving since i am 7 years old. I started UW photography in march 2006 and got hooked immediatly.. I love diving since i am a young boy and my father took me with him to explore this beautiful world under the surface. From the moment i did my first shot i have been loving UW photography and the love is still growing.. I am using a Canon 7D in an Hugyfot housing for my shots. love&respect Patrick

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  Blueshark Azores Portugal
  Inon Insect eye lens
  Flying Angel
  took this shot whilest Epson Red Sea Shootout November 2010. No postprocessing double exposure new Inon MacroFisheye lens 2010 Macro/Fisheye Macro Fisheye
  Porcelan knight
  Red

Final Round Entries

These are the entries that reached the final round of judging

  Snooted Lionfish cave diver my Dad background. background
  Yellow Seahorse Richileu Rock
  Seastar Azores Portugal
  future Generation
  my personal favorite Shot Epson Trd Sea Shootout 2011 .. liked colour lot but LOVE black white special Thx model Shelly amazing job strong brave
  darkunderwater nudity shot using alternative light sources. this case powerful uw torch sources
   


Grand Master - Steven Anderson

Steven ‘Creech’ Anderson is a freelance photographer from the United States, where he lives in Brentwood, TN.
He’s been a member for five years (and diving many more). In those five years Steven has entered 917 images in a wide range of categories well balanced between wide angle and macro. But, over a third of those entries are in the sharks category! Yes, Steven is the Shark Guy!
He believes Shark conservation is very important in order to maintain a proper balance in our oceans and uses his images to promote it.
Over the years he has treated us to a fantastic portfolio of tiger shark shots from Tiger beach in the Bahamas, where he dives with our sponsors, Stuart Cove’s. He gets up close and personal with his subjects, capturing the magnificence of these creatures. This work has earned him a runner up, Bronze, and two gold medals.
He dives the Caribbean and coastal United States and is also a member of our photo critique team

Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson is a freelance photographer who enjoys traveling and photographing nature and marine life. Steven operates from his home in Brentwood, TN., and has been diving and taking photographs around the world for many years. As a photographer it is his mission to make the same connection with the subject and the viewer by way of his images. For further information contact Steven@steveandersonphotography.com All of Steven’s images are available for purchase as fine art, prints, and greeting cards. Images are also available for licensing To date, many of Steven’s award winning images have been featured within different websites, publications, as well as seen on national television.

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  Healthy reefs clear water Bahamas surface MV Shear during dive off Freeport late day. day
  This big Tiger Shark one many patrol Beach off West End Bahamas
  Car pooling hitch hiking Lemon Sharks friends have somewhere be Tiger Beach Bahamas
  Catching wave Lemon Sharks Tiger Beach Bahamas
  diver gets overhead view healthy reef system surround waters Bahamas. Bahamas
  open wide Tiger Beach Bahamas

Final Round Entries

These are the entries that reached the final round of judging

  Open say AHHHHHHHHHH This image Tiger Shark mouth taken Paradise off Bahamas. Bahamas
  Emma Tiger Shark makes her presence known Beach Bahamas. She very much pregnant. Bahamas pregnant
  Lily pads pond provide perfect landing strip Dragonfly stop drink. drink
  Once lifetime chance mother Humpback Whale stops visit while diving off Molokai coast Maui. This was more stunning Hammerheads we saw. These beautiful mammals make long journey Hawaii raise their calves. Maui saw calves
  beautiful day Nassaus premier dive center Stuart Coves. Cove's. Cove's
  One big Tiger Shark taken Beach Bahamas
   



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