Epson underwater photo grand prix flooded with stunning entries as organisers prepare for November Red Sea event

Underwater photographers united this August to capture the world’s stunning aquatic treasures as part of the Epson World ShootOut, the first live global aquatic photography competition of its kind. Throughout the month, 226 professional as well as amateur photographers from 27 different countries accepted the challenge proposed by the contest.

More than 1,550 images were submitted to the competition, ranging from those that captured the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada to others that showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and dramatic images of the great white shark in the Gulf of Mexico. All demonstrate the beauty and diversity of underwater life as well as the creativity, quality and fine skills required for underwater photography

Epson Red Sea Competition – November 2011

Category winners will be announced during the annual Epson Red Sea Competition, which will take place in Eilat, Israel, from 13 to 19 November 2011 (Registration is now open). Billed as the “International Underwater Olympics”, the Epson Red Sea will also be the venue of an exhibition of the best images taken during the World ShootOut.

David Pilosof, director of both competitions, flagged the major achievement of the new contest: “The Epson World ShootOut has given photographers the freedom to choose where and when to take spectacular images. It has been exciting to see established professionals competing alongside complete beginners in this unique festival. Although entrants were not permitted to edit or enhance images, the results are simply amazing.”

Kristin Saus-Opuszynski, Epson, said: “We are delighted by the positive response to this new competition and the quality of the images submitted. Epson has a long standing connection to conservation and photography projects such as the Epson Red Sea and the Wild Wonders of Europe. Our support of these, as well as the new World ShootOut, is part of our commitment to encouraging a more sustainable future.”

Entry examples

“Loads of technique, patience and hours”

Esteban Tore, a Spanish professional and autodidact photographer started, as many others did, shooting underwater pictures by chance. “Four years ago I bought a very basic camera to take pictures of my wife diving.” The passion grew to a point where he has became one of the masters of Macro and Super-Macro photography. “Taking pictures of animals that are just 6 or 7 millimetres big is a real challenge. Each of the pictures took me at least four to five immersions of two hours each. You need to stand still, 12 metres deep, waiting for the perfect moment to get the perfect frame.”

Protecting the marine environment

The images submitted to the Environmental Conservation category are a real eye-opener to the fragility of the vast marine biodiversity of the planet. German professional photographer, Tobias Friedrich, took part in the Epson World ShootOut with one specific goal: “I wanted to campaign for the need to protect our wildlife’s environment”. His project, which displays aquatic animals made mostly out of beans and cat food cans, took him around 40 hours of preparation.