Organizer Dive into the Pink and host DPG are thrilled to unveil the winners of the Share Our Air Photo Competition. Proceeds from the contest will support a comprehensive investigation on the effect COVID-19 infection has on lung function in divers, to be pursued by Duke Dive Medicine and Divers Alert Network (DAN). Shooters were invited to submit their best photos into two themed categories—Togetherness and Divers.
In the Togetherness category, Hannes Klostermann nabbed first place with his action-packed image of marlins and California sea lions corralling a large school of mackerel; he wins a week at Crystal Blue Resort in Anilao, Philippines. With the top-scoring image overall, Hannes also won a $300 GoAskErin gift card, good for any GoAskErin On Demand product. Second place and a $250 gift certificate for Ultralight Control Systems gear goes to Dr. Alex Mustard, whose tightly gathered catfish school represents the ultimate in social distancing failure! Third place winner Nuno Rodrigues wins $100 cash for his gorgeous image of “yin-yang” sharks. And we couldn’t resist awarding an honorable mention—and a special “Share Our Air” limited edition tee—to Wendy Austin for her colorful anemonefish pair.
In the Divers category, Ellen Cuylaerts’ spectacularly exposed first place image of a cave diver gets her a future weeklong visit to Lissenung Island Resort in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea. Ron Watkins is in second place, winning a $250 gift certificate for Ultralight Control Systems gear for his lovely portrait of a diver approaching a pair of humpback whales. A dynamic photo of a diver swimming through a school of baitfish wins Joel Penner third place and $100 cash. And we absolutely had to award an honorable mention—plus a “Share Our Air” tee—to Ellen Cuylaerts’ creatively depicted image of a photographer and a sperm whale.
Togetherness: First place – Hannes Klostermann
Divers: First place – Ellen Cuylaerts
“When we met in April to discuss our annual Think Pink imaging competition, we knew that cancer fundraising—critical as it is—was not going to be at the forefront of peoples’ minds,” said Dive into the Pink founder and contest organizer Allison Vitsky. “With the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic sweeping the globe, the world had essentially ground to a halt. However, we all agreed that doing nothing was unacceptable. We decided to shift our focus for this year’s competition, thinking long and hard about how we could make a difference under these circumstances. Ultimately, we settled on funding a joint effort by Divers Alert Network (DAN) and Duke Dive Medicine that would evaluate the long-term effects that COVID-19 would have on diver fitness, hoping that this new cause would inspire the passion, determination, and enthusiasm of our community.
“The response was beyond anything we could have imagined. We were humbled and astounded by the support we received during the Share Our Air event, which raised over $20,000 in a single month through contest entries, donations, and tee shirt purchases. Thank you for sharing your spectacular artistry and your kind generosity with us. Finally, many thanks to our generous sponsors, to this year’s judges—Mike Bartick, Renee Capozzola, and Tobias Friedrich—as well as to DPG Managing Editor Ian Bongso-Seldrup. The competition wouldn’t be possible without your time, effort and expertise. Stay well, and I look forward to seeing you all underwater soon!”
Togetherness: Second place – Alex Mustard
Divers: Second place – Ron Watkins
Togetherness: Third place – Nuno Rodrigues
Divers: Third place – Joel Penner
Togetherness: Honorable Mention – Wendy Austin
Divers: Honorable Mention – Ellen Cuylaerts
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