Local talent underwater

| 06/02/2009

(CNS): Updated with photos — Local amateur photographers took their place alongside international film makers recently when they were invited to submit underwater images that best depict Cayman.  The “Eyes Wide Shut” photo competition, with categories of “Images with Strong Eye Contact” and “Images with No Eye Contact,” attracted nearly 200 entries as part of the 6th annual Cayman Islands International Underwater Film Festival on 30 January 30. (Left: Photo by Patrick Weir)

All of the photos submitted were shown during a slide show and displayed at the event where celebrity judges Cathy Church and Geri Murphy announced the winners.  “Choosing the winners was a difficult decision as all of the photos submitted were winners in their own right,” said Church. “There is an incredible amount of talent on this Island.”

She added that CITA had confirmed that the Photo Competition will become an annual event along with the Film Festival. (Right: Photo by Mike Johnston)

Winners of the “Images with Strong Eye Contact” section were: First Place – Patrick Weir; Second Place – Cynthia Abgarian and an honorable mention went to Jack Cudworth, Michael Brown, Mike Johnston, Chris Alpers, Jonathon Dietz, Nancy Mowbray-Cook, J. Syson, Ash McKnoght, Dave McKay, Hugo Segura, Cynthia Abgarian, and Younghwa Lee.

The winner of the “Images with No Eye Contact” was Mike Johnston with Jonathon Dietz taking the second place. Honorable mentions went to Gary Redfern, Susan Kerr, Jack Cudworth, Miklos Ujhelyi, Jonathon Dietz, and David Colli.

As well as presenting an audio/video feast of beautiful imagery guests enjoyed stories from around the globe. The Film Festival, organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), was the second event in a high profile week for scuba divers around the world, which kicked off with the annual Induction Ceremony for the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame which was held at Pedro St. James the evening before. (Left: Photo by Cynthia Abgarian)

Each presenter at the Film Festival was a Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Inductee.  Howard Rosenstein kicked off the evening with a fascinating presentation highlighting his experiences in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean Atolls, followed by Casey Smith speaking on behalf of his father, the late Larry Smith, showing a film featuring Larry muck diving in Indonesia and New Guinea. Renowned underwater photographer, Geri Murphy, presented an Al Gidding’s classic film entitled “Silent Warrior,” about divers searching for the famous I-169 submarine.

Dr. Alex Mustard, a previous Film Festival presenter and guaranteed crowd pleaser, ended with a slide show highlighting the role of the underwater photographer. The evening also included a fundraising silent auction where artwork, hotel, diving, restaurant and other exciting certificates donated by CITA members were sold for the benefit of CITA’s marine conservation efforts. (Right: Photo by Jonathon Dietz)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Still incorrect information. I was there, it clearly said on the images, FIRST place “Images with Strong Eye Contact” Patrick Weir. It clearly said FIRST place “Images with No Eye Contact” Mike Johnston  AND Patrick Weir. Patrick Weir had TWO FIRST places in the same category “Images with No Eye Contact”?  It is so typical that such an event, that will be ongoing next year is marred by the incompetence of the judges, to leave the results in such a mess. Shame on you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You have the facts wrong, why you did not mention that Patrick Weir took 3 first places?

    CNS: I checked with CITA and they said, "There was only onefirst place in each category, but the judges had a hard time choosing between Patrick’s photos since they were all so good so they said that all three were first place, but he only received one prize."

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where can the contest photos be viewed by the public?

    CNS: CITA says they are in the process of updating their website and hope to have all of the entries posted so that the public can view them.