Divi Flamingo Dive Resort in Bonaire played host during The 10th Annual Digital Shootout to a group of 80 amateur photographers, manufacturers’ representatives, camera experts and technicians who gathered on the island to enhance their craft and knowledge of underwater imaging.
June’s week-long event of diving and photo instruction produced hundreds of images taken during the Shootout that were entered into a competition with more than $45,000 worth of prizes.
Jeff Honda of Carmel Valley, California, took home the top honor, The Jim Watt Award, for the best image of the competition. Honda also won in the Video and Wide Angle Unrestricted Categories. Honda’s winning “best in show” shot depicts a spectacular orientation of his wife and young son staring down into the water as squid float through the image, just off Divi Flamingo’s main dive dock.
“We love hosting the Shootout, because all of the participants are passionate divers and photographers who strive to create stunning images of our beautiful marine environment. It’s a lot of hard work for us, as the dive staff pulls out all the stops to accommodate such a large group, but when we see the incredible images that everyone captures, it makes it all worthwhile,” says Serge DeGroote, Dive Operations Manager at Divi Flamingo Dive Resort.
Although the competition is a major feature of the event, the primary purpose is learning. Led by internationally renowned underwater photographer Berkley White of Backscatter, Berkley and his team of imaging professionals gave a series of seminars to help guests improve underwater photography and videography skills, as well as the post-production tools for producing finished images and videos. Backscatter is the world’s largest retailer of underwater imaging equipment.
Digital Shootout trip organizer, Dan Baldocchi, says this annual event is for the photography enthusiast of every skill level. “Over the last ten years, six of the Shootout trips have taken place in Bonaire with Divi Flamingo as our hosts. Their dive team is exceptionally efficient and accommodating,” Baldocchi added.