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Best/Favorite image of 2011


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#1 Drew

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:09 AM

Breaking with tradition, I'll start the fave/best shot thread since everyone else more qualified is busy. I was thinking of which shot to post: Marlins, sharks, whales, baitballs, penguins etc etc... but one shot stood out among the thousands I took this year. Now this subject has few peers when it comes to the underwater kingdom. He is the only animal whose eyes are filtered, almost magically! All other animals behave around him like adoring puppies, even humans! Why? Because he is Doctor Alex Mustard, and he is the most helpful, kindest and genuine guy you can find. Nobody can say anything bad about him and everyone loves him. He has no critics (well one other!) because he is a happy uw photog.... or is he?
Yes, more important than finding the rarest shot of marlins mating with dolphins and giant squid playing nurse maid to flamboyant cuttlefish, I finally shot the real Alex Mustard. Beneath the kind, gentle and to many... sexy (rrrrwoowrr!) exterior hides an angry man. He may take fantastic photos of people in diving positions, but secretly he is really ....

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... just flipping you off for being in his shot! :uwphotog: :)

Sorry Alex! I'll buy you a beer to make up for this! :D:D

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#2 Scuba_SI

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 05:01 AM

I thought it was Veitch... same hairline, same finger position!

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#3 londonsean69

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 07:47 AM

And an instant break of the rules - although this was submitted as a single file :uwphotog:

This portfolio won me best beginner at BSOUP this year :)

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#4 decosnapper

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:28 AM

Many images to choose from, but the "Three wise divers, following the star & bearing gifts" for this years Royal Navy Christmas card was a highlight:-

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#5 Drew

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:08 PM

I thought it was Veitch... same hairline, same finger position!


WOW I guess Alex will come after you first... then Veitch! In defense of the hairy baldy... he does have more hair (on his head and everywhere else!) than Alex.

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#6 gecko1

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:00 PM

Definitely would have to be a shot from my trip to Alaska this year. I think this one is the best one. The Stellar Sea lions were both cooperative and (relatively) friendly this year.

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And I suppose you do have to break the rules in this thread so here's me enjoying a well earned beverage after a dive in Alaska. I guess technically not my shot but it was shot with my camera. Close enough. :)

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#7 Tom_Kline

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:24 PM

Finding a favorite for the year is always a challenge. I had another one or two picked out based on the work involved in hiking the gear to the site (heavy pack up a creek) but then went for this one. My selected image reflects two firsts for me during 2011. (1) I finally got a shot of pink salmon, the most common of the Pacific salmon, during the act of spawning and (2) pix showing predation on salmon eggs. This one was taken about 1 minute after gamete release was complete (based on exif data). It shows small (< 10 cm in length) coastal cutthroat trout dining on the eggs. The female is just a starting a covering dig (angled slightly before lunging forward) so we can see more of her than her tail.
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#8 DiverPam

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:53 PM

Choices, choices, choices. Going to break the rules right from the start and put two pictures up.

Taken in Grand Cayman at Babylon. I had been having trouble with CFWA work and spent this trip really trying to get this down (thanks to an Alex Mustard workshop).
Cayman_2011_web__2_of_2_.jpg

Taken in Turks and Caicos. First chance I have had to get up close and personal with sharks. This was one of my favs from this shoot.
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Looking forward to all the wonderful photos I know are to come from the year. Happy diving - DiverPam

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#9 saudio

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 05:02 PM

Here's mine, from Bligh Water, Fiji in March (Nai'a). The model hates this because of her body position, but I like it. Thinking about photoshopping a bicycle under her :-)

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#10 loftus

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 05:59 PM

Was about to post one of my pics when my daughter emailed this one to me. Now how can a proud daddy not say that this is favorite shot of the year? Kyra tagging a Tiger Shark on Friday. Neil Hammerschlag in the background

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#11 stewsmith

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:16 AM

Not my best, but one of my favourites from a really good first year with the new rig.

Seasons greetings to all.

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#12 Walt Stearns

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:19 PM

Here two favorites for the year. Funny how the main subjects come as pairs.

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#13 lundysd

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:37 PM

This was definitely the most intense image of the year -- this giant pacific octopus was probably pushing 100lbs, and it was a VERY physical 5 minute struggle to get my camera back

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#14 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:38 PM

I always adore this thread each year. So I shan't rise to Drew's bait for several reasons. First, I am keen to prove I have thick skin, despite thin hair. Also I always use my middle finger for taking UW pictures. And finally, he has much worse pictures of me...

I have had a very busy year underwater with many highlights. And if you'll forgive the indulgence, I'd enjoy looking back.

2011 kicked off in Cayman Islands, shooting the brand new Kittiwake: images that did really well for me, being published in many newspapers and many diving magazines around the world (plus at least 2 magazine covers of the wreck taken by guys on my workshop). Then up to Florida, which after a run in with a Portugese-man-o-war on my birthday, I shot the manatees, which have also done the rounds in the newspapers and wildlife publications. Then some diving in Italy, a highlight of which was diving Capodacqua (google it) in Abruzzo and place I'd always wanted to dive (although I have had no luck at all selling any of my photos!). Then Scotland for some early season sealochs, including Loch Carron, which was beautiful and has yielded shots that have been published on both sides of the pond (I always like seeing my UK diving shots used in the States) as well as comp winners (BWPA) and opened my 2020V account (more in a minute). Then Iceland, which surpassed expectations and provided my photographic highlight (see below) and a set of images that were published very widely (many, many newspapers, general interest magazines and dive magazines etc). After that to Egypt for my Red Sea workshop - this year we focused on the Thistlegorm, which was enjoyable and inspiring for all on board (again images published on both sides of Atlantic).
Then a series of shoots in the UK for a conservation photography project called 2020VISION taking me all over the UK from off Lands End to the north tip of the Shetland Islands, shooting everything from basking sharks to puffins underwater (and much more). Most of these images are under wraps for now, so can't provide a favourite from them! Before a late summer/autumn of photography in the Maldives, Canada, Bali, Komodo and finally Italy - a series of shoots where I felt I was on particularly good form with the camera. Although I keep most of the galleries on my website password protected, the Canada gallery is not (link at the bottom of this page).

So to Iceland. This was the best underwater experience of my year. With amazing dives, but also very diverse underwater experiences in both fresh and salt water. Almost every dive of the trip provided a completely new diving experience for me. I am going back in 2012, hopefully to launch an exhibition of some of the images from the 2011 trip, but also to fill in a few of the diving gaps! I dived 4 different underwater canyons on this trip, but have chosen an image from Silfra for several reasons. Silfra is Iceland's famous "dive between the continental plates" and is an easy place to take photos because the water is super-super clear - and many have been taken before. But many images have technical faults, lacking sharpness, for example because of camera shake or because of lack of depth of field (it is easier to shoot at f/6.7 than f/16, when it is dark), which can be a problem in amazing viz. Also most shots are taken with fisheye, so I was keen to shoot the canyon with rectilinear so I could keep the ragged vertical walls, vertical and not bendy, despite the increased technical challenge of getting good corner sharpness (thanks Ryan and Zen UW) and chose a image stabilised wide angle for the job. So this is not just a pleasing shot visually, but a pleasing shot technically.

ICE11_am_13592.jpg

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#15 johnspierce

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:47 PM

St. Kitts, November 1, 2011, Paradise Reef. I love shots where I can remember exactly where I was and how it felt when I snapped the shutter :uwphotog: Sun ball shots are a lot of fun and I probably do too many of them, but who can resist?


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Just noticed I posted right after Alex Mustard. Man, that's unfortunate, sort of like playing a set right after the Rolling Stones leave the stage :)

Edited by johnspierce, 12 December 2011 - 01:50 PM.

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#16 leighd

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:59 PM

I started getting into some underwater fashion type shoots this year, here are a couple of my favorites.

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#17 chilipino

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:23 PM

Not the best but one of the hardest shots I had to take (snoot + remote slave trigger + no strobe focus light + surge = need buddy to be the lighting engineer!)


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#18 girelle

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:03 AM

My favorite shot for this year , as I was lucky enough to won with it one of the weekly contest of Wetpixel .
That was one of my best moment for 2011 , and I thank again Wetpixel for that great joy :) :uwphotog: :D

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#19 Fontaine

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:53 PM

Im a newbie to UW photography and have just started shooting in manual and have ben trying to learn the basics this year, I have finally got my set up geared for WA and macro, I am really loving it and very addicted, im looking forward to many more years of UW photography to come!

Heres my favorite, for the year, its probably the best shot I have ever taken, the composition seems good, its pleasing to the eye, the exposure was right, and the photo didnt need much editing at all, not to mention the subject was a fast moving fish, add to that it was my first dive shooting in manual so I was pleased! I know its not much but for me its a good start!

IMG_8260.JPG
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#20 rhlee

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 09:53 PM

Not as intense as Scott's encounter, but deep, dark in Monterey:

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