Allen Walker – Judge Convenor, Michel Lonfat – Judge, Adam Hanlon – Judge, Markus Roth – Judge, Isabella Maffei – Judge, Gregory Lecoeur – Judge

DUC SHOOTOUT JUDGE - ALLEN WALKERI fell in love with underwater photography because of its essence, difficulty and pure rawness, which allows the photographer the freedom to paint his canvas and create fine art that tells a story. Underwater photography is most probably the truest form of wildlife photography that any photographer can experience.
The underwater photographer is extremely limited by equipment and fully exposed to nature and its elements in every conceivable way, no hides, 4×4’s, barriers etc.
Just imagine walking around a game reserve amongst lions, leopard, wild dogs, elephant, buffalo and rhino with the normal non threatening buck, bush pigs etc. around you. Only a raw nervous energy that heightens your senses, stirs your emotions and enhances your creativity. You have the freedom to photograph these awesome animals, and of course, totally rely on the fact that they are not planning to eat you, well that is UWP and why I find this genre of photography most appealing.
The studio is a moving, changing and a all encompassing live canvas. It has texture and substance that can be touched and felt, very unlike air. The medium constantly changing and it has many limitations e.g. time, movement, density, light etc. making it a very demanding, yet stimulating to work in, taking it to the next level is a constant goal and I love the challenge to “get the shot”!
I try my best to highlight the beauty of the ocean and the need for its conservation by using the skills I have – photography, to show the animals that people fear and kill in a different light, to create beauty, to create compassion and more importantly to show human interaction with these magnificent animals so that there is a sense of connection by the viewer.
Essentially, I am a photographer with a passion and I take any and every moment I can to do any kind of photography given the opportunity.
DUC SHOOTOUT JUDGE - MICHEL-LONFATThe need to be in the water …. The desire to share my passion … The envy to educate people about the beauty and richness of our oceans, lakes and rivers …. ” Born in Sierre, a small town in the middle of the Swiss Alps in December 1968, I have lived all his youth abroad, My father was working for an International Oil Company.
I had the chance to experience scuba diving in Papua New Guinea in 1985 where I achieved my first Scuba Diving Certification. From this experience on, all my holidays were based on the sport I loved to practice only at sea. It was only in 1995 that I discovered scuba diving in our cold waters in Switzerland, participating in a course for the obtention of a new Diving Certification in the Lake of Geneva … and it was for me the “Spark” – the beginning of a real Passion. Since then, I dive regularly, exploring lakes, rivers and seas all around the world with my wife Caroline – fortunately – sharing also my passion.
I discovered Underwater Photography almost by accident, during a visit to the Maldives and it is for a cruise in Thailand in 2003 that I bought my first camera with an underwater housing. From this experience, the passion of Underwater Photography has accompanied me in all his dives.
Currently my main purpose is to show people my Passion, My Work and above all my Desire is to cultivate a greater awareness of the surprising beauty and riches of the underwater world there is in lakes and rivers. My favorite subject in Freshwater is : the Pike Fish
Golden Diver 2014 Theme Series at the “Festival Mondial de l’Image sous-marine of Marseille”
2008/9 World Champion by underwaterphotography.com.
Co-director of Festisub – the Swiss internationnal underwater festival
President of Festisub’s photo contest since 2010.
Always be happy!
Never touch – just take pictures!
And tell the world how important our oceans are!
Adam Hanlon is an underwater photographer captivated with the challenge and beauty of the underwater world and passionate about its conservation. His images and reports have won Numerous international competitions and been used in prestigious publications and by world-renowned organizations.
He grew up in South Africa, learned to dive in mid-1980’s and has been pursuing a career “beneath the surface” ever since. He holds recreational and technical diving qualifications up to instructor level from many agencies, and dives very regularly.
He is the editor of Wetpixel, the world’s leading resource on all things underwater imaging and through Wetpixel Expeditions, Adam leads regular photography expeditions and workshops around the world. He also owns a successful dive school based near Lancaster, UK.
He is lucky to live with his wife Caron and a menagerie of cats and dogs in a house from which he can see the sea from every window
1. Focus on backgrounds. A mediocre subject can look stunning on a good background, but an amazing and unique subject can look week on a poor one!
2. Like all divers, I am fascinated by marine creatures, but if the image just shows an animal, it is unlikely to hold my interest (no matter how rare/dangerous/ unique it is). Concentrate on creating an image, not on creating a likeness.
3. Lighting is critical. Consider how best to use all the light in the scene.
4. Have fun!
Born in September 1976, Markus Roth’s passion for photography reaches all the way back to his childhood. The son of the well-known sports photographer Hans-Alfred Roth has learned in his early childhood how fascinating it is to captivate special moments on film or memory chip.
He has been addicted to the underwater world since 2004. Thus, next to his wife, Judith; his camera has been his constant companion.
Apart from local waters, the main international dive sites Markus Roth has visited so far are the Maldives, Negros in the Philippines, Lembeh Strait, Bangka and Bunaken in North Sulawesi, Weda Bay in East Halmahera, Ambon, Saparua on the Malukku Islands, the Jewels of Indonesia, Cenderawasih Bay, Triton Bay, Manokwari & Raja Ampat in West Papua.
He really likes extraordinary remote places like Cenderawasih Bay, Triton Bay or Weda Bay. Being the first diver at a reef has become an obsession for him.
His pictures and articles have been published in magazines and newspapers world wide.
Just to name a few: TAUCHEN, EZ-Dive Magazine, Asian Diver, Diver, Sport Diving (Australia), Dive Pacific, DIVE THE WORLD, Buddy Potapeni, Niugini Blue, Divemaster, Wielki Blekit, Natures Playground, The Dive Site, Silent World and Geolino.
Besides being published worldwide, I´m a speaker at BOOT Show Düsseldorf for 7 years and Diving Resort & Travel Expo Hong Kong for three years.
1. Be different. F.E. shoot wide-angle on a typical Muck dive
2. No image is worth to harm an animal or its habitat
3. Stay focused, but never be rugged.
DUC SHOOTOUT JUDGE - ISABELLA MAFFEIIsabella was born in 1973 in Varese, where she still lives. Her passion and experience drove Isabella to become instructor. She still runs her diving school “Deep Avenue” in Mendrisio, a small town in the Italian part of Switzerland. The approach to underwater photography came from Isabella’s need of leaving, to the newbies divers grown up inside her diving school, a reminder of that amazing experience that the first underwater breath is. Later, a more “commercial” mindset evolved into a career. Since long time Isabella collaborates with several Italian and international diving magazines such as Scubashooters, EZdive, Asian Diver, Ocean Planet joining the art of photography to the art of writing. Asian Diver and Travel Undersea magazines published some of her portfolio, and also the prestigious book “Full Frame 2014: Retrospective”, published by Wetpixel.com, chose to publish her photos.
-2012 – Winner – “Woman underwater photographer of the year” – “Abissi” city of Venice photo contest
-2012 – Runner – SLR Mediterranean wide angle category – “Abissi” city of Venice photo contest
-2013 – Gran Master in Photography 2013 – [View]
-2013 – Winner – super macro category 2013 [View]
-2013 – Winner SLR Tropical wide angle category -Pelagos contest
-2014 – Winner – “Woman underwater photographer of the year” – “Abissi” city of Venice photo contest
-2014 – Runner – SLR Tropical wide angle category – “Abissi” city of Venice photo contest
-2014 – Winner – “AQUA” category – Pelagos contest
-2014 – Runner – SLR wide angle category – 8th DRM on line Uw Photo contest
-2015 – Third place – SLR Tropical wide angle category – Marmara Festival
-2015 – Permanent exhibition at SPREHODI POD MORJEM 2015
-2016 – Second place in “DIVERS” category at Deep Indonesia photo contest
-2017 – Second place and Honourable mention in “CONSERVATION” at Beneath the Sea photo contest
-2014 – Isabella is a Scubashooters network’s administrator, and a judge of the monthly photo contest and of the annual competition “Deep Vision”.
-2016 May – VIP Speaker at Tdex Bangkok, a fair dedicated to diving and underwater photography tourism. 
-2016 September – VIP Speaker at the prestigious DRT (dive resort travel) in Manila (PH). 2016 October – Photographer of the month on UW60
-2016 February – VIP Speaker at the prestigious DRT (dive resort travel) in Singapore and judge of UWPhotoChallenge in category WA and Marine life behaviour.
-2017 February – DPG dedicate her a photographer of the week portfolio
1. Don’t emulate a winner shot! express yourself!
2. Be responsible, you’re a testimonial about how much our world underwater is beautiful, give people the good example!
3. Be careful in post production process, like a judge, so many times i saw raw files better than the original
Native from Nice, on the French Riviera, the Mediterranean Sea put its spell on Greg during his childhood -developing his interest in marine biology and his desire to explore. After finishing his business studies, he joined the family company and then launched his own venture in the neighbouring state. When he wasn’t working he went diving. The sea became a devouring passion. He collected scuba diving certificates, invested in technical diving equipment, discovered underwater photography and accumulated lots of miles… It is his passion to be under water and photographing the marine life to be able to show it to those who have to stay on the surface as well as to the enthusiasts of diving and underwater images.At 32 years old with the Diving Instructor certificate in his pocket, he left his comfortable life, sold his company and took off to realise his dream. One year around the world with his underwater camera. He explored the Americas: The adventure began with the Galápagos and then continued to Ecuador, Florida, Bahamas, Honduras, Yucatán, Baja California, California, Hawaii and British Columbia … When he returned to France, he shared his impressions and images through french and international magazines. Since then, he is fully living his passion whilst traveling the Blue Planet presenting the underwater world through his own eyes and his style of photography.
By capturing unexpected scenes of marine life, he is seeking to catch the attention of the general public in order to raise awareness of the fragility our ecosystems and the preservation of biodiversity.
His portfolio was rewarded in 2015 by a gold diver at the Festival of underwater images of Marseille.

During 2016, he was recognised internationally at prestigious photographic events and his images were awarded and exhibited in four corners of the planet.
In December 2016, National Geographic named him “Nature Photographer of the Year”.

Greg is an ambassador for Nauticam and Aqualung brands who support him during his adventures.

1. Photograph with your heart
2. Be creative
3. Tell a story with your photo
Sirachai (Shin) Arunrugstichai is a photojournalist, with specialisation in marine conservation issues. Originally trained as a marine biologist, he first picked up camera to document coral reef biodiversity, while working in the field with several conservation organisations in Thailand. After realising the potential impact of photography for conservation, he later shifted his focus from scientific research to photojournalism, working on assignment for several international organizations such as IUCN, Oxfam, Greenpeace and National Geographic (Thai Edition).
Working on assignment for several international organizations such as IUCN, Oxfam, Greenpeace and National Geographic (Thai Edition)
1. Once you believe that you got the shot, it usually is not the best you can do. Just keep on trying to push it further
2. It is when the different layers of elements align together in the frame, which gives good narrative to your photos
3. For me, pre-visualising the shot, sketch them up and spend the whole day working on yield me the best result. Most of the time, it will be different from your plan in real situation, but at least you would have some ideas to work on instead of coming up with something while everything pass by.

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