The Durban Undersea Club (DUC) hosted its annual Still and Video Shootout this year, with the shooting period being between 1 December 2014 through to 3 May 2015. Geographically, the images had to be taken between Mozambique and the Cape. Geo Cloete took first place in the stills contest. Hearty congratulations to all the winers, and it is great to see so many of Wetpixel’s South African contingent to be amongst the placings!
Video: Underwater YouTube
Video: Underwater Music
The 5th DUC Shootout took place between 1st of December 2014 to the 3rd of May 2015.
The shooting period was increased to 5 months (as opposed to the normal 1 month shooting period) in celebration of the 5th year, of what is South Africa’s only national underwater shootout. Amazing prizes, top judges and the freedom to capture video /stills in the waters of Mozambique to the Cape, create a unique forum in which shooters can compete with one another in a variety of environments.
The images produced were once again amazing and a reminder of how diverse our ocean life is here in Southern Africa!
Diving holidays and even regular weekend dives cost more and more each year driven by inflation and increased fuel costs. Unfortunately the down turn in the economy has curtailed growth in the 2015 Shootout with many of the regular inland competitors not making it to the coast this year to capture images.
The Novice and intermediate categories continued to improve as they had done in previous years and the Advanced section of the stills was highly competitive.
Judging took place on 15th of May 2015 at the Durban Undersea Club, with the prize giving taking place the next evening at the clubhouse. Judging was done by some of the finest and most experienced camera men and women in South Africa, namely Peter Pinnock, Camilla Flores, Allen Walker, Gorden Hiles, Clive Read and Cuane Hall. The contest culminated in a well-supported prize giving at the DUC clubhouse which was also streamed live on the web to contestants in other parts of South Africa.
Prizes for the DUC SHOOTOUT 2014 exceeded R100 000 in value.
Foto First, Marlin Marine , Govan Mani, Photo Blox and Thule sponsored camera’s, underwater lighting systems, prints and camera accessories.
Aquatec, Scuba Pro, Aqua Lung, Umhlanga Scuba and Rob Allen provided dive gear as prizes.
Wilderness Safaris, Back to Basics, Calypso Dive Adventures, Gala Gala, Triton Dive Lodge, Agulhas House, Blue Ocean, Nkumbe, The Shoal, Shark Explores, Animal Ocean and Scuba Xcursion, Blue Marlin Hotel, Gozo Azul, Rocky Bay resorts and Aliwal Shoal Adventures sponsored dives and accommodation packages for the deserving winners.
The diving operators play an integral part in the competition. Not only do they support the competitors in getting their images, but they also play a key role in exposing South Africa’s diving destinations to international and local scuba divers which is one of the objectives of the DUC SHOOTOUT competition.
I am Water, an international Ocean Conservatory organization and Agulhas House sponsored a free diving course and side mount course respectively, educating the prize winners in alternative ways of exploring our oceans. The Prawn shack, Marula Shack, the Hatchery and Big Rush provided non water related activities for our divers to experience!
Our primary media partner, WETPIXEL provided a portfolio as a prize to the overall winner of the competition. This was a first for a SA based competition to receive international exposure from the worlds primary web based underwater photographic magazine.
The DIVESITE, and WETPIXEL , confirmed the publishing of the winning images in their respective magazines providing excellent exposure for the competitors the competition and Southern Africa as very viable scuba diving holiday destination for the rest of the world.
Reflecting on the 2015 event, it is encouraging to see that the DUC SHOOTOUT has in tough economic times, retained the support of its sponsors and attracted a substantial amount of new shooters to the competition!
The prizes for the contest were relevant and in abundance, allowing allocations of prizes up to 5 th place in all the stills categories. This is unpinned each year by the amazing support of the sponsors who work with DUC Shootout year on year.
The overall quality and originality of the stills and videos astound the organisers and judges year and year, making it a fantastic competition to facilitate, and testimony to the amazing talent and incredible subject matter we are privileged to have here in Southern Africa.
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to the judges, sponsors, all the entrants and the Durban Undersea Club who assisted in a successful 2015 DUC SHOOTOUT.