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Eilat Epson Red Sea Competition: Day 3
By Jason Heller, November 16, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
by Keri Wilk
 
Day 3
 
 Day 0 | Day 1| Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
 
I thought the last two days of competition were hectic, but today (the third and last day for the shoot-out) brought with it a whole new level of light-hearted tension. Manta Dive center hours were graciously extended to help all of the divers who frantically need ‘just one more dive’ to get the shots on their checklist. Since midnight tonight was the cut-off point for eligible photos, some divers felt the need to truly maximize their last day by making a meticulous full-day schedule. Focused and determined, many divers went about their business, stopping only briefly to refuel with water and a quick bite here and there.
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Oren Lederman ready for the last day

Daylight came and left, as did my hopes of getting the shots I wanted. Throughout the day, the imaging center was very busy with competitors uploading and deciding on their best shots:

Here are the 5 images which I’ll be entering in the portfolio category:
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Keri Wilk Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Those of us who were satisfied with the images we’d created so far finally got to truly relax during today’s happy hour, while some divers continued with dusk/night dives throughout the festivities. In addition to the normal few beer kegs, nearly a dozen bottles of Russian vodka were opened and served with bread/pickles, with the hopes of loosening up even the tightest of individuals. Shortly after the music began, noise levels sky-rocketed, and good times continued. It was next to impossible to wade through the crowd without being forcibly handed a full shot glass to be part of any number of toasts. These toasts began as, for example, “To new friends!” or “To Eilat!”….but quickly devolved to “To…Ah who cares, just drink!!!”….and eventually were just long drawn out ramblings which none but the toaster could understand.
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Vodka was flowing like water during happy hour

Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Though it was happy hour for some, others were still diving and collecting images


Once the crowd at Manta dive Center thinned out (when the booze was finished), a much smaller group went to the bar at Dolphin Reef a few kilometers away. Though I didn’t have a chance to see them myself, I’m told this site is unique because of the uncaged dolphin experiences it has to offer the public.
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Bar area of Dolphin Reef


We relaxed with a few more beers, and had a chat about our images until the evening came to an end.
Epson Eilat Red Sea Underwater Photo Competition Day 3
Two of last year’s winners, Dany Weinberg and Amir Stern, look over their images with Arnon Ayal and others


Image judging begins tomorrow, both for the international mail-in competition, and the shootout. Below is a video walk-through of this year's colour print entries which are on display in the main entrance of the Ambassador/Isrotel Yam Suf Hotel:


Some parting words from Noam Kortler after wrapping up his competition shooting today:

I will have the results of both competitions tomorrow, so stay tuned for more!
 
Day 0 | Day 1| Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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Arnon  Ayal
Nov 17, 2008 3:39 AM
Arnon Ayal wrote:
Hi kery,
Its was great to meet you there, as you wrote its was great time though a little too short for me.
I was impress by your macro external length, in the image there we are looking at one of Oren's images with that equipment, amazing results.
Keri  Wilk
Nov 17, 2008 6:51 AM
Keri Wilk wrote:
Very nice to meet you too. Too bad you only made it out for the last day! I think the competition should be extended by a few days, so things aren't as rushed...but still was very fun. Glad you and Oren like my SubSee macro lens, I used it to get the picture of bubbles above. Stay in touch!
Oren Lederman
Nov 17, 2008 1:24 PM
Oren Lederman wrote:
Hi Keri,

It was nice to meet you in Eilat. I was sorry to see that you didn't won, as I believe that at least your blenny shot should have won one of the single images prizes.

Thanks again for letting me use the SubSee macro lens during the competition - it's a wonderful little gadget. I'm so ordering one...
Keri  Wilk
Nov 19, 2008 11:33 AM
Keri Wilk wrote:
Good to meet you too, Oren. Too bad we didn't get any "fun dives" in, since we were too busy gathering competition images! Unfortunate that I didn't win anything, but at the same time, VERY fortunate to have come so close. Looking at it as an "almost win" versus a "loss" :) No problem about the SubSee, I hope you got some good shots with it! Stay in touch.
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