A fantastic event was recently hosted at Sodwana Bay, where selected media had the opportunity to experience the many treasures of Sodwana Bay, exposing them to the inspiring landscapes above and below the water that provide the perfect destination for this unique photography event.
From this magnificent platform we launch the 2017 shootout event, which will take place from 22-27 May 2017. Full details to follow.
Originally an underwater competition, the categories were expanded in recent years to enable non-diving photographers to enter in the ‘Land’ category as well, with photographs taken anywhere in the Park. This resulted in an interesting mix of images coming through including the recently introduced lions in the uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso.
According to event organiser Brian Ring of Reefteach, one of iSimangalio’s licensed Sodwana-based dive operators, “The event went off extremely well and once again showcased not only the natural attractions of this coastal jewel, but also provided a great fun family event during the school holidays with environmental education, informative talks by marine specialists and a range of musical entertainment.”
Professional photographer Allen Walker, also a past winner and one of the judges of this competition, said that “The iSimangaliso Sodwana Bay Shootout 2015 powered by Nauticam is one of only a handful of competitions around the world held at a specific location, where all the competitors compete in the same conditions, rules and amount of time. Entrants need to produce world class portfolios over a five-day shooting period and at the end of the day the best underwater photographer is judged the overall winner! This is the truest test of any underwater photographer’s skills and the fairest form of competition amongst competitors from South Africa and around the world. Sodwana Bay did not disappoint with a week of outstanding diving conditions and with some top notch photographers back in the competition, we saw the standard of photography once again make this event of world class standard. We hope to see this become the premier South African underwater photography contest with the support of all South African and international underwater photographers”
According to iSimangaliso’s Business Director, Terri Castis, “The work of the committee, other local Sodwana Bay businesses and the Ozabeni Honorary Officers ensured that we had another successful event that highlighted some of the reasons for iSimangaliso’s inscription as a World Heritage Site – its outstanding universal values of biodiversity, ecosystems and superlative natural beauty. We were particularly grateful to the new sponsor Nauticam that came on board this year, our marine specialists who presented excellent talks: Georgina Jones, Neville Ayliffe, Dennis King, Kerry Sink & Rose Thornycroft.”, and to the judges who gave their time: Hendrik Louw, Allen Walker and Barry Bey-Leveld.
Sincere thanks to the sponsors of the iSimangaliso Sodwana Bay Shootout 2015, who collectively sponsored over R200 000 worth of prizes as well as other contributions to the event:
Aliwal Shoal Adventure & Blue Pixel Photography, Amanda Clifford, Angela’s Safari Camp, Back 2 Basics (Ponta), Beqa Adventure Divers, Dive Action Cape Town, Dolphin Encounters, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Flexi Club, Gala-Gala Eco Resort & Blowing Bubbles Diving (Ponta), Manex Marine, Mary Bason, Natural Moments Bush Camp, Nauticam, Nemo Dive Charters, Oceanscape Sportswear, OK Jock Morrison Mbazwana, Omnico (Pty) Ltd, Pisces Dive Charters & Retreat, RAID, Reefteach Lodge, Scubapro, Sodwana Bay Lodge, Submerge, Supa-Trade Spar Mbazwana, Thule, Toad Tree Cabins, Triton Dive Charters and Lodge, WEI Volunteers, White Shark Projects and Wilderness Safaris.
You can visit the past event listing from the 2014 event here.