1997 Nikonos Shootout Winners

In the spotlight by Tamara Collins

During four special events last summer, divers converged on the shores of islands notorious for clear, warm water and colorful coral reefs. They came for the diving and the chance of taking a prize winning photograph but found much more. The Nikonos Shootouts offer amateur underwater photographers incredible prizes, parties, education and camaraderie in the spirit of healthy competition. They also offer the opportunity for worldwide recognition of photographic excellence. Gracing these pages are nine images from photographers who have earned the distinction of being the 1997 Nikonos Shootout winners. Their eye for composition, exposure, focus and framing caught the attention of the Shootouts judges; professional photographers who have the exacting job of choosing a handful of winners from thousands of entries. Singling out a Grand Prize winner is even more difficult, but one image stood out from the rest. Ryan Boerma's photograph of Slender Filefish suspended in the safety of sea rod branches won First Place Macro in the Bonaire Shootout. As 1997s Grand Prize winner, he and a friend will be traveling to Papua New Guinea, where they will explore the Bismarck Sea aboard Peter Hughes Star Dancer. The eight first place winners featured here are to be equally commended for their prize winning photographs. Lloyd Tucker won in Bonaire; Robert Black and Frederico Cabello found their luck in Cayman Brac; Susan Schermer and Mike Borne were chosen in Key Largo; and Mike Kennedy, Russ Haeberle and Barry Heller were selected in Curacao.Each of these contestants will have the chance to once again explore the reefs where they snapped their ideal image; their prize is a return trip to the island, plus accommodations and diving for two.
You can look forward to Grand Cayman's Shootout November 7 to 14; Bonaire's will be held September 26 to October 3. Direct your questions and comments to WaterHouse Photo Tours at (800) 272-9122, (305) 451-2228 or fax (305) 451-5147. Send e-mail to phototours@aol.com.