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Our World Underwater: Event Photos
By Jason Heller, February 23, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
As you know, of course, the Our World Underwater dive expo and underwater film festival, one of the largest such events in the US, is the gracious home to the annual Wetpixel & DivePhotoGuide International Underwater Photography & Video Competition. This year marks the 38th annual event, which wrapped up last week. The event takes place each year in sunny and warm slightly freezing Chicago, and attracts divers from the entire midwest region and beyond.

We'd like to take this chance to thank Pat & Sherry Hammer for hosting such a great show, as well as all the volunteers that make it possible, especially Dennis Gagnon and Larry Boucha, who manage the film festival. The film festival at Our World Underwater is very well organized and always offers the packed theater full of eager attendees an impressive roster of films - and of course acts as the venue for the official announcement of our international competition winners! Congratulations again to all the winners of the 3rd annual competition, winning images and videos can be found on the official competition website - UnderwaterCompetition.com.
 
Show attendees were welcomed by the sponsors of the photo & video
competition. A special "thanks" to our wonderful sponsors!

Legend Stan Waterman was the emcee for the Friday night film festival.
Here he introduces Jason and the competition. The Saturday night film
festival was emceed by Annie Crawley.
 

Jason presents the winning videos on Friday night and the winning
images on Saturday night
 

Jim Strayer and Michel Gilbert both presented wonderful presentations
on Saturday evening. You can find Michel in the DPG PRO galleries.
 

Berkley White (Backscatter) - the Mad Scientist Underwater Photographer.
 
The DivePhotoGuide booth and an exhibit of the winning images from
the photo competition, before the show floor opens to the public.
 
Marine artist Carlos Hiller paints live for show attendees. This magnificent
painting of a whale shark materialized within a day. Carlos is amazing!
You can find Carlos in the DPG PRO galleries.
 
Rand from Fantasea confirms that the new Nikon D60 will indeed fit
perfectly into the Fantasea D40X housing with no modifications. You gotta
love that! (PS: He's not smiling because he's that seriously happy!) Rand
and Howard from Fantasea are both great guys and we expect to hear
a lot from them this year!

Kenji from Fisheye / Seatool Housings and Ryan from Reef Photo
& Video showing off the new line of compact Seatool housings, including
a Nikon D300 prototype!
 
Veronica Frontado and Mark Santa Maria - this couple feared well in
the competition this year. Mark's Manatee harassment video placed Gold
in the Conservation Video category and Veronica's image of a maple leaf
reflection at the surface nabbed a Bronze in the compact category.
 
Karen Doody grabbed an Honorable Mention in the compact category
for her shot of two anemone fish nestled in their host.

Kerri Wilk and David Haas. Kerri has placed in every competition we have
hosted since 2005, and David can be found in the DPG PRO galleries.

Dietmar Guenther flew in all the way from Germany to enjoy his Honorable
Mention in the Macro Traditional category, for his shot of mating Mandarinfish
laying eggs.

Greg from ScubaRadio.com and his mermaids from Weeki Wachee
Springs, Florida.
 
Marine artist Pascal Lecocq and his wife pose in front of his best seller.
Pascal can be found in the DPG PRO galleries.
 
The folks from Oceana were providing attendees with much needed
information on the dissemination of the world's shark populations, which
can be downloaded here.
 
Jeffrey Gallant from the Divers Almanac and Yearbook, which we are long
overdue to review, can't keep the books from flying off the table! I don't
think anybody sold as many books as he did - and wait until you see this
thick-as-a-phone-book almanac of what's what, where's where and who's
who of diving!

Christer from Waterproof Wetsuits and Tom from Hugeyfoot and
Green Force. These guys are European powerhouses and have
just scratched the surface of the US market. Keep an eye on
these brands being marketed soon in America.
 
Dan Baldocchi from Light & Motion shows off some of their electronic
video housings.
 
The DEMA sponsored pool - teaching newbies to "Be A Diver".
The ad campaign has utilized images from our very own Jason Heller,
with dive model Erwin Filius, veteran dive guide from Wakatobi.
 
We always love Our World Underwater and already look forward to next year!

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