DUC Shootout 2015 Judges

[2015 WINNERS]

 CORMAC MCCREESH I grew up a water-baby in Durban and must have been about eleven years old when I first donned a mask and fins to snorkel Vetchi’s next to the Durban harbour. I’ve been hooked ever since. I learned to free dive and scuba whilst studying in Cape Town where the water is cold and the sharks grow huge. After completing my studies I headed to Johannesburg where the busy business of a career and family took up much of my time. Nonetheless, diving remained my passion and one of my proudest moments was when my daughter qualified and then dived with me on a family trip to Wakatobi, Indonesia.
I’ve always had a thing for photography and it was natural to extend that interest to underwater photography. Now it’s become a passion and my diving these days is structured wholly around underwater photography.
These days, after a 28 year career in finance, I edit African Diver and am a pro photographer; teaching photography and selling my images.
Since starting African Diver with Paul, I’ve learned so much about the marine environment and the threats to it. And so, African Diver has grown to encompass a strong conservation bias and ethic.My hopes are that through African Diver we can introduce the world to what’s great about Africa, encourage us Africans to preserve our natural heritage and leave a living legacy of beauty and unspoilt seas to our children’s children.
 CLIVE READ Have been in broadcasting for forty years in radio and TV. Currently shooting news for SABC.
Have covered stories in many countries including Libya America and Europe. Shoot edit and script using FCP 7 or Premier Pro.
 GORDON HILLS Gordon began general B&W photography and snorkelling at about the same time back in 1964/5 while at junior school in Cape Town. First snorkel dives were off the Cat Walk in Fish Hoek Bay. Underwater photography began after a year or so of snorkelling when his older brothers decided to make a rubber housing for a Kodak Instamatic 25 camera. This proved successful because they managed to get photos without drowning the camera! Next they added a flash attachment in the form of a Mini headlight reflector with one-pop flash bulbs. It worked but resulted in a solid ‘hot-spot’ in the middle of the picture. But none the less, it was the start!
Gordon continued with snorkelling and spearfishing within the False Bay area until leaving Cape Town at the end of 1971. In 1973 he joined SABC TV in Johannesburg as one of the first 40 recruits for TV in South Africa. After 11 years of normal TV work he was offered the opportunity to shoot a story on Cape Fur Seals so underwent a scuba diving course for the purpose. In March 1984 he shot his first underwater documentary on 16mm film at Dyer Island – now the centre of the shark tourism industry in the Southern Cape. On the second dive to film the seals in the water, the first of three White Sharks cruised by not showing too much interest. It was early days and not too much was known about the shark’s anticipated behaviour but Gordon was able to shoot off three or four clear shots of them amongst the seals. Over the next few years he filmed underwater on TV features; documentaries; commercials; movie features; music videos, and the first international shark documentaries at Dyer Island in 1992 with Ron and Valerie Taylor as well as Californian Tom Horton Jr. in 1993 for Discovery Channel. Further underwater camerawork for international companies has occupied most of his time since then.In 2005 Gordon was involved in shooting the body recovery attempt at Boesmansgat undertaken by Dave Shaw for world-wide TV channels.In 2000 the Sodwana Shootout was initiated and from 2001 Gordon played a role in every event as a convenor, organiser and committee member. After ten continuous years of involvement there he stepped aside to concentrate on his own work again and continue with general and underwater camerawork in the professional filming and TV arena.
 CUANE HALL Currently Chairman of DUC for 9 years so far and video judge for DUC Shootout 2015.
–  Scuba/spearfishing since 1966
–  SA Navy Diver – 1968
–  Photography since 1969
–  Video/super 8mm/32mm since 1970
–  Member of DUC for 25 years
–  undersea photographic/scuba for DUC for 3 years
–  Video/editing for competitions since 1980
–  Chairman East Coast Camera club – 1999
–  Underwater Video footage for 50/50, Carte Blanche,    National Geographic
–  Scuba Undersea video photographer for 46 years
  I fell in love with underwater photography because of its essence, difficulty and pure rawness, which allows the photographer the freedom to paint his canvass 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. The studio is a moving, changing and 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”! Just imagine walking around in the Kruger amongst Lions, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino with the Antelope, Bush Pigs etc. all around you, no barriers and you have the freedom to photograph them, and 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. 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 sensed of connection by the viewer.
 PETER PINNOCK “Peter Pinnock is a photographer, conservationist, maverick, worldly African and obsessive traveller – a visual vagabond. He started his diving career 27 years ago. His interest in photography and love for the ocean soon prompted him to buy his first underwater camera and his career in underwater photography was launched. What started innocently as a hobby soon lurched out of control and became a passion that has spanned 5 continents and millions of air miles.Over the years Peter has accumulated an impressive number of awards. His pictures of the underwater world have appeared in numerous magazines and glossy coffee-table books. But its not about the awards. Its about the adventure to create the image – the underwater search and visual hunting that ultimately culminates in one thirtieth of a second to capture a special moment in time. He continues to travel to distant locations in pursuit of that magical, often elusive, undersea Nirvana. Peter lives in Durban, South Africa, where he dreams of exotic locations, clear water and has easy access to the best diving in Southern Africa.”
CAMILLA Dr Camilla Floros is a marine scientist at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban. Her fascination with the ocean developed at a young age when she spent many holidays exploring the coral reefs in the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique.
Watching the extensive overexploitation taking place on many of the reefs motivated her to become a marine biologist and focus on coral reef conservation. Camilla has spent considerable time traveling and diving abroad where underwater photography became a serious hobby.
She now spends as much time as possible underwater conducting research and capturing images of local and international coral reefs.
Camilla uses her photography to increase awareness about marine conservation and the plight of ocean.