The winners of the Caymanian Compass calendar photo competition were announced recently.
At stake was a place in the Cayman Free Press 2012 calendar for the 12 finalists, with the top three receiving camera prizes from Cathy Church’s Photo Centre.
The theme of the photography competition was ‘Diving … above, on and underwater’.
The winner of the competition was Joseph Tepper from Chicago, who is a sophomore at New York University’s journalism school. His photo of a stingray impressed the judges as it reflected everything that makes diving in Cayman a unique experience.
“I took this photo at the world-famous Stingray City sandbar. I have taken hundreds, if not thousands, of photos at this location, but this was the first time I had the sandbar to myself. In order to be so secluded at this tourist hotspot, I went out with a friend at 4:30 in the morning to be prepared to shoot the sunrise, clouds, and stingrays,” Mr. Tepper said.
He said he has been coming to Cayman ever since he was 13, and visits between three and four times a year.
“The theme of the contest was something along the lines of ‘above, on, and underwater’, so I thought a split shot of stingrays and a beautiful Caymanian sunrise would be a great way to showcase this amazing place,” he said.
Mr. Tepper received an Olympus E-PL2 camera with 14-42mm lens, accessories, and a two hour private photography class.
Second place went to Jay Easterbrook for his photo of a group diving on the wreck of the Kittiwake. Mr. Easterbrook will be donating his prize, an Olympus TG-310 waterproof camera and accessories, to the Bonaventure Boys Home.
According to Mr. Easterbrook, who along with wife Nancy own Divetech, the company has been involved with the home since 1996.
“We have provided masks, snorkels and fins, trained the boys and staff to scuba dive and provided boat trips for the boys and staff to Stingray City and other dive sites. This new awesome camera will provide the boys a whole new adventure to explore above and below the Caribbean Sea,” Mr. Easterbrook said.
Third place went to local professional photographer Patrick Weir for his photograph of a Hawksbill turtle, which netted him an Olympus TG-310 waterproof camera and accessories.
According to renowned underwater photographer Cathy Church, who was one of the judges, there were many good photos, which made judging difficult.
“The competition was terrific. The winners were very good pictures, I enjoyed them all. The hard part is trying to figure out whether they followed the competition rules as far as the sizing and that goes. Secondly was to make sure that it was colourful enough and bright enough that it would intrigue people looking at it for a month on their walls. And that’s what we would ask each other ‘Is this something you would like to look at for a month on your wall?’,” Ms Church said.
However, in spite of the difficulty in deciding on a winner, Ms Church said that overall it was a wonderful experience.
“It was a lot of fun to do, and I’ve seen a lot of pictures under water, so I have a tendency to know what’s difficult to do, what’s unique, what took some time and some creativity to do. In some pictures it was just a quick snapshot and they didn’t bother to just change something very simple that would have made it a good photograph,” Ms Church said.
“It isn’t just a scavenger hunt of who can find something weird, it is a photography contest – who can manipulate their camera the best to get the best sort of image,” she said.
The remaining nine finalists, Jason Eastman, Julian Grimshaw, Lisa Burke, Anne Bersee-Mills, Luiz Cogliati, Julia Peters, Gary Redfern, Graham Mills and John Watson all received a matted 8×10 print of their photograph, with all finalists being features in the 2012 Cayman Free Press calendar.
“We started this competition two years ago and it has proved to be very, very popular,” said Anne Mason, marketing supervisor with Cayman Free Press. “We use the finalists’ images of Cayman in our Cayman Free Press annual calendar. It proved extremely popular last year selling out well before Christmas at various retailers and at Cayman Free Press. I am certainly going to get more printed this year as the demand was just so high. We will be selling them from September on caymanboxoffice.com for $10 or at our reception desk at Cayman Free Press.”
Interested retailers please contact Holly Uzzell at [email protected]