I'm excited to announce that two of my images were selected as winners of the 2016 SoCal Shootout, sponsored by Bluewater Photo. This great event takes place each year in early to mid-September, where underwater photographers create images over a three day period in the Southern California region of the Pacific ocean.
In addition to being limited to only a few days of shooting, the challenge comes in that we have to work with what nature gives us. This year saw challenging conditions with less than ideal water clarity and fairly high winds, at least at Santa Barbara Island and Anacapa Island, where I spent two days shooting.
The other unique aspect of this competition is the rule limiting the amount and types of edits than can be performed on a submitted image. No cropping and no targeted edits (such as backscatter removal) are allowed. Only global edits, such as color temperature, contrast, etc. are allowed, which really challenges us to get the image done right when we press the shutter release.
The best part is the prize I was awarded...a dive trip to the Phillipines to a resort in a region I have been wanting to visit for some time...Dauin. Really looking forward to that trip and getting to shoot the amazing macro critters this part of the world is known for.
Thank you to Bluewater Photo and the judges, and congrats to all of the other very worthy photographers from this year's competition.
Here are the two images of mine that placed:
1st Place Macro - Open Category (Babakina festiva nudibranch, Anacapa Island, CA)
2nd Place Wide-Angle - Open Category (Giant Sea Bass, Santa Barbara Island, CA)