Photo contest draws wealth of spectacular underwater images

For five hours, they toiled over an amazing 299 photos submitted from around the world in the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s 2012 Underwater Photo Competition with the goal of selecting the top images.  

Thanks to Cathy Church, Patrick Weir and Elly Wray, the difficult task of selecting the best photos from all submissions (while ensuring that the rules of the competition were adhered to) resulted in a successful reveal of the winning entries at the eighth Annual International Underwater Film Festival on Thursday, 8 November.  

All photos had to be taken in Cayman waters, and with the exception of the creative category, photo editing was not allowed. Once all places were decided, the judges selected a Best in Show photo. More than $4,000 worth of prizes was distributed. 

First place in each category received their photo printed on canvas (16×20) by Cathy Church’s Photo Centre; a $250 Camana Bay gift card; a 30L Keg of White Tip Lager from the Cayman Islands Brewery. 

Second place in each category received a photo printed on canvas (11×14) by Cathy Church’s Photo Centre; a $150 Camana Bay gift card; a case of White Tip Lager from the Cayman Islands Brewery. 

Third place in each category received a photo printed on canvas (8×10) by Cathy Church’s Photo Centre; a $100 Camana Bay gift card; a bottle of Wente wine. 

Best in Show received a trip for one with the Aggressor Fleet on a live-aboard to select destinations in the Caribbean. 

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association said it congratulated all the winners and added that photos were available for viewing on the association’s website.  

 

Best in Show 

Simon Morley, “Deep Colour” 

 

Cayman Wrecks 

First place: Sean Crothers, “Ridgefield Sunburst” 

Second place: Simon Morley, “Inquisitive Guest” 

Third place: Michelle de Villiers, “Final Resting Place” 

Honourable Mention: Jason Washington (Ex-USS Kittiwake Port Stern B&W), Kevin Panizza (Videographer Shooting the MV Capt. Keith Tibbitts) and Gayla Goff (Up Top!) 

 

Turtles 

First place: Michelle de Villiers, “Free Falling” 

Second place: Soren Kolbe, “Hey How Ya Doin’?” 

Third place: Lauren Hill, “Heading Up” 

Honourable Mention: Ellen Cuylaerts (What’s Up?), Ken Sutherland (Turtle in Snell’s Window), Edward Talbot (Shell Beauty) 

 

Critters/Macro 

First place: Tracy Candish, “Flounder Face” 

Second place: Amanda Nicholls, “Fangtastic” 

Third place: Peter de Maagt, “You Better Start Running!” 

Honourable Mention: William Goodwin (Peek-a-Boo), Andy Deitsch (Camouflage), Donna Goodwin (Split Crown Tube Worm Radioles), Ellen Cuylaerts (Spring) 

Scenic (no turtles or stingrays) 

First place: Simon Morley, “Deep Colour” 

Second place: Ellen Cuylaerts, “Ball of Silversides … on the Roll” 

Third place: Ken Sutherland, “Grouper Carwash” 

Honourable Mention: Amanda Nicholls (Predator Amongst His Prey), Michelle de Villiers (The Aquarium), Julie Corsetti (Cayman’s Great Barrier Reef), Ellen Rierson (Conch at Stingray Sandbar), Michelle Davis (Dive Boat and Jacks) 

 

Creative 

First place: Donna Goodwin, “Wounded Warrior Standing Tall”  

Second place: Ellen Cuylaerts, “Having a Ball” 

Third place: William Goodwin, “Juvenile French Angelfish” 

Honourable Mention: Natalia Martin de Pablos (Dynamic Sandbar), Michelle de Villiers (Lionfish on Fire), Ellen Cuylaerts (Tarpon Feast) 

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