Mechanic wins underwater photo contest

A mechanic at Vampt Motors has won worldwide fame in the Chronicles Dive magazine.

John Ferguson said it was a surprise when he found out his underwater photo was the only one from the Cayman Islands to win first prize in the Digital Jam 2005 contest, hosted on-island by Divetech and Ocean Frontiers for Dive Chronicles magazine.

His submission, a ‘Diamond Blenny in Anemone,’ won first place in the macro digital SLR division and a week’s stay on the dive boat Nekton Diving Cruises in Southern Bahamas, Andros Island.

He also received honourable mention in Creative division for his ‘Orangeball Chorallimorph’ with Photoshop effects added.

‘My winning shot was taken during the night time because night dives are excellent for photography. Creatures, which we normally do not see in the day time, venture out at night.

‘I chose the dive site at the Turtle farm for my shot because the reef around there is so healthy. There is so much current that goes by there, it is just teaming with all kinds of colourful plant and animal life.’ ‘After three hundred dives in that spot I knew just where to go to get the wining shot.’

Mr. Ferguson said his love for the beautiful waters off Cayman is just as great as his 28 years of being in the auto mechanics business.

‘I remember I used to rush home at lunch time, quickly do 20 minutes scuba dive off the Grand Old House, run back inside, take a fast shower, put back on my uniform and rush back to work; that is how much I love diving.’

‘My wife Katie and I are both passionate photographers and spend most of the time in the water. We love the water so much that we got married at the base of the mermaid anchored off Sunset House,’ he said.

‘Katie and I met on a dive boat right here in Cayman. She was on vacation here when I met her on the boat that day and I just knew I had to have her.’

Mr Ferguson said he also loves photographing landscapes, wildlife and portraits. ‘Underwater, of course is what I love the most. It is very rare that I go in the water without the camera.’

Mr. Ferguson’s winning picture can be seen in a creative piece on Dive Chronicles website at www.divechronicles.com/mainfinal1.html.

The digital event took place in January with an awards banquet dinner following at Grand Old House.

Local judges included Cathy Church, Geri Murphy and Alex Mustard.

The event was put together by Dive Chronicles magazines.

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