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Underwater Images Competition - 2008 Winners Announced
By Jason Heller, May 1, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

Editor's note: The 2008 Underwater Images Competition announced winners today, and many DPG members and winners of our past competitions are included in the rankings.Congrats to all the winners for an outstanding batch of images.

A Message form the  Judges of the 2008 Competition:

In our work, we spend a lot of time underwater looking for unusual or oddball images and behaviors. Our exposure to what other underwater photographers are shooting is pretty much limited to photographs published in the mainstream dive magazines. The multitude of entries in this year’s competition offered us a dramatic insight into how significantly underwater photography has matured in recent years. The images, whether of seascapes, divers, or marine life, consistently expressed the photographers’ enlightened understanding of their subject matter. Most gratifying, the new entrants are right on track, many are only a dive trip away from distinction. Choosing winners from amongst so many excellent choices was a challenging but delightful task.

  - Ned and Anna DeLoach, Eric Riesch

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
Sponsored by The Walindi Plantation, and The MV FeBrina,  PNG
Cor Bosman, Amsterdam, Netherland- Trust

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First Place: Kris Chmielewski, Gdansk, Poland-Green Turtle
Second Place: Gary Brennand, Brinsmead, Australia- Oh My!
Third Place: Doug Klug, Santa Barbara, CA- Kelp Forest Glider
Honorable Mention: Ann Beisser, Scottsdale, AZ- Moon Jellyfish Swarm
            Gary Brennand, Brinsmead, Australia- All Arms
            Csaba Tokolyi, Budapest, Hungary- Reflection

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First Place: Jose Alvarez, Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic- Manatee Resting
Second Place: Petr Vaverka, Zitenice, Czech Republic- Noble Opal Mine
Third Place: Mark Thomas, Cheshire, UK- Compass Jellyfish
Honorable Mention: Judy Johnson, Irving, TX-Kelp Flag
            John Scarlett, Austin, TX- Open Wide
            Mark Thomas, Cheshire, UK- Swimming in the Rain

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First Place: Csaba Tokolyi, Budapest, Hungary- Murena
Second Place: Bruce Yates, Medina, WA- Pipefish Brain Coral
Third Place: Csaba Tokolyi, Budapest, Hungary- Reluctance
Honorable Mention: Donna Goodwin, Birmingham, AL- Brain Colors
            Kevin Lee, Fullerton, CA- Lion Nudibranch
            Lasse Iverson, Oslo, Norway- Batman

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First Place: Patrick Weir, Georgetown, Grand Cayman- Grouper Clean
Second Place: Brian Francisco, Dili, East Timor- Spiny Seahorse
Third Place: Paul Papadopoulis, Monaco, France- Fireworks
Honorable Mention: Judy Johnson, Irving, TX- Grumpy
            Adriano Morettin, Trieste, Italy- Big Brother
            Alessio Viora, Borgomanero, Italy- Rainbow Turtle
            Keri Wilk, Mississauga, Ontario- Coral Mouth
Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First Place: Ralph Oberlander, Dover, NH- Squadron
Second: Marchione Giacomo, La Loggia, Italy- Carousel
Third: John van Lent, Geldermalsen, Netherland- Thresher Shark Passing By
Honorable Mention: Rand McMeins, Lynwood, WA- Sea Lion
            Cor Bosman, Amsterdam, Netherland- Tornado
            Alexey Stoyda, Moscow, Russia- Magic Entrance
            John van Lent, Geldermalsen, Netherland- Lionfish Showing Off

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First: Steven Kovacs, Clewiston, FL- Good Friends
Second: Jim Chambers, Tucker, GA- Flamingo Tongues
Third: Victor Zucker, Granada Hills, CA-The Pack
Honorable Mention: Patrick Weir, Georgetown, Grand Cayman- Indigo Hamlets Spawn
            Patrick Weir, Georgetown, Grand Cayman- Mud Crab & Red Clingfish
            Steven Kovacs, Clewiston, FL- Fish Fight

Underwater Images Competition 2008 Winner
First: Marina Kochetova, Moscow, Russia- An Unexpected Meeting
Second: Marco Caraceni, Chirti, Italy- Lightness
Third: Jose Alvarez, Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic- Inside the School
Honorable Mention: Jean-Louis Danan, Palaiseau, France- Uncommon Meeting
            Donna Goodwin, Birmingham, AL- Eye to Eye
            Mark Thomas, Cheshire, UK- Dirk & Gray Seal Pup

First: George Tierney, Columbus, OH- Diving the Inner Passage (video)
Second: Bernie Atkins, Elyria, OH- Common Lionfish
Third: Bernie Atkins, Elyria, OH- Spotfin Lionfish
First: Drew Wohl, Congers, NY- Akumal…In Decline (video)
Second: Barb Anthony, Flower Mound, TX- 30 Days Means Life
Third: John Scarlett, Austin, TX- My Home
Honorable Mention: Jose Alvarez, Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic- Crystal River 2

First: Walter Marti, Santa Ana, CA- A Year Under the Pier
Second: Mike Boom, Oakland, CA- Komodo Beneath the Waves
Third: Anastasia Laity, Glendale, CA- Just Goofing Around
Honorable Mention: Karen Doody, Morehead City, NC- Magical Cenotes
For a complete gallery of winning images and videos, please visit UWimages.org


From the Director:

Thanks to all entrants, judges, and sponsors.  Your participation is an integral part of this competition, and is greatly appreciated.  We received entries from 20 different states in the United States and 25 different countries.  Competitions of this type share divers’ own visions of the underwater world, and serve to promote good conservation practices.  They also highlight some of the world’s best diving destinations.

Prizes were set before the judging according to their values and the number of entries in the respective categories.  Proceeds go to marine educational and scholarship purposes.  This past year we again sponsored former sea turtle fishermen from Baja, Mexico to attend the National and International Sea Turtle Symposiums through ProPeninsula where they learned about the conservation of this endangered animal and took that information home to spread the word with their neighbors.

We are also continuing to support Mahonia Na Dari, a Nature Conservancy program for students in Papua New Guinea, where they learn true conservation and preservation principles with hands-on experiences.    Some former Mahonia students have since become scientists who are still diligently working to conserve the world’s natural resources.

This year we have added Diveheart to our list of beneficiaries whose purpose is to provide and support educational SCUBA diving and snorkeling experience programs that are open to any physically impaired child or adult in the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person. 

As we are all volunteers in these contests and they are just for fun, we hope everyone enjoyed our friendly competition this year.  I’ll be looking forward to your entries next year.  Safe Diving and Shooting. 
Sea Ya!                                                                                                      
Roger Roth, Founder/ Director



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