Just over a week ago we wrapped up the fourth annual Roatan Underwater Photo Fest, and I think this was our best one yet. I personally had a great time and loved diving and photographing with everyone. We had a lot of returning participants (which forced Andrew and me to step up our games and make some new presentations) and I loved the vibe we had of friend’s just diving and taking photos together.
We were also fortunate to have Mickey Charteris, (I like to think of him as the Roatan Marine Life Guru) dive with us and share his photography on the macro life of Roatan (and made us all jealous of the amazing creatures he finds!) Julie Ouimet and Michel Labreque shared some tips for underwater videography and the finalists of the Turquoise Bay International Film Festival with our participants and hotel guests. Tripp Funderburk of the Bay Islands Reef Restoration Project talked to us about the Turquoise Bay coral reef nursery and regrowth projects. Some participants went with him to plant coral (or take photos of coral planting coral and the nursery.)
Roatan is a perfect place to improve your underwater photo and video skills with good viz, warm water, and little current. The easy diving with plenty of healthy marine life gives photographers endless opportunities to try new techniques and perfect skills. We try to create an easy going learning environment and underwater we dive slowly, allowing photographers to spend a lot of time with individual subjects if they choose (no marathon swimming or going anywhere fast). Many of the dive sites are just a few minutes out of Turquoise Bay Dive Resort and Subway Watersports takes great care of us and our cameras. Diving includes reefs, wrecks, caverns, walls, and we do a night dive and spend a morning at the Roatan Shark Dive.
We welcome participants at all levels of underwater photographers from beginners to advance and provide a wide range of instruction on the individual and group level. Throughout the week there are evening presentation and talks on a wide variety of subjects which are catered to the participants who join us each year as well as one-on-one time and help on the boat and during dives.
We like to conclude the week with a little healthy competition to see how everyone improved with our annual Photo Contest. The talent was overwhelming this year and we had a tough time picking winners. Michelle Scamahorn took home Best of Show with her epic macro shot of a gorgonian hydroid shrimp. Our generous sponsors provided prizes including Ikelite gift certificates and swag, BayPhoto lab credits, a Mares dive computer, Stream2Sea reef-safe products, a NightSea photography package and more.
It was so great to see everyone and we’re really excited for next year. We hope to keep up better with social media updates and create some new excitement for next year, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for photos and photo tips. We’d love to see you next year, so please join us November 2-9th, 2019.
More details can be found at www.roatanunderwaterphotofest.com.
Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions!