Live Reports: Red Sea Diving Festival

At the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, lies the town of Eilat. For many years, it has drawn many underwater photographers to enjoy a mixture of patchy reefs, wrecks, and macro diving. To celebrate this, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism is sponsoring an annual event, which focuses on photographic opportunities to be found in the resort.

Run by well-known photographers, Boaz Samorai and Noam Korlter, it has a shootout, along with an underwater gallery of imagery, presentations, and in-water sessions. It is a celebration of diving in Eilat and is a social event gathering divers from around the globe.

The first job for the day was to get the pictures installed in the underwater gallery. Boaz and Noam have selected shallow coral bommie, surrounded by sand just in front of the Aquasport Dive complex. Each image is printed on acrylic that is slightly buoyant and is then attached to weights with a thin monofilament fishing line. This gives them the appearance of them hovering in mid-water.

the weights for the pictures are heavy!

The images have their lines attached on land and are then ferried out on a kayak.

They are then brought down one by one and their position roughly adjusted.

The next phase was to get them evenly distributed and relatively even in height.

They look stunning!

The next stop was to summon an angel to help out! Gali Hochman was one of the hard-working team that brought the images down for hanging.

The event was officially opened with an underwater ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Yossi Chen, head of tourism in Eilat

The site of the installation is an area used by many of the local dive schools for training dives, so we soon had a large nimble rod people coming and enjoying the images.

We even had an underwater artist, Geir Børresen painting a picture in oils

It is very much a family event, with divers and snorkelers all going out and enjoying the water.\ \

We even got a visit for a group of passing mermaids!

While this was all going on, photographers were out capturing images to enter into the shootout. All entries have to be in by early on Friday morning, for judging and an awards ceremony on Friday night. The instructions for camera date settings were sent out at midnight on Tuesday night, and some people were out diving all night!

Events in the evening were at the Aquasport diving center, with a happy hour and then a series of presentations covering plastic pollution, underwater photography (by Danny Weinberg), saturation and commercial diving and cave and technical diving.

Boaz Samorai and Danny Weinberg

The gallery of images changes each day, so there will be a new display tomorrow. Looking forward to another stunning display!

Reports: Day 1
Reports: Day 2
Reports: Day 3
Gallery: Red Sea Diving Festival Shootout Results
Reports: Day 4