All roads lead to the Anilao in Mabini, Batangas as the 5th Anilao Underwater Shootout, highly anticipated by diving enthusiasts and underwater photographers from all over the world, is back for its fifth year.
Ongoing until December 2, the “World Cup of Underwater Photo Competitions,” is considered the world’s largest underwater macro photography competition, and is organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and sponsored by Philippine Airlines (PAL). More than 200 divers from all over the world have converged in Anilao for this year’s competition. Participating countries are Taiwan, USA, Turkey, France Korea, China, Spain, Russia, and many more.
Categories are Macro/Supermacro, Marine Behavior, Nudibranch, Fish Portrait, and Cephalopod, in two classes – Open Class for participants with any type of camera and accessories; and Compact Class, for cameras without interchangeable camera lenses.
There are also two special categories this year. First is the Blackwater and Bonfire for photos that feature animals found and photographed by doing blackwater or bonfire dives. Blackwater dives are done in deeper waters with a downline fitted with lights; while bonfire dives are done in a shallower setting. The second category is the GoPro/ iPhone special beginners.
Six of today’s most prestigious names in underwater photography are judging the competition: David Doubilet, esteemed National Geographic photographer; Jennifer Hayes, aquatic biologist and photojournalist; Scott “Gutsy” Tuason from the Philippines, whose book Blackwater Open Blue received the Underwater Photography Book of the Year award from the Underwater Photographer of the Year Organization early this year; Singapore’s William Tan whose photos of marine life are much sought after by tourism organizations; Germany’s Tobias Friedrich whose works have been featured in prestigious scuba diving magazines such as US Sport Diver, Unterwasser, Tauchen, Scuba Diver Through the Lens, and many others; and Japan’s Yoshi Hirata, marine biologist and renowned underwater photographer who has been diving for 44 years now.
The 5th Anilao Underwater Shootout is mounted in partnership with Nauticam and ScubaLamp Underwater Photography Equipment (SUPE), and is sponsored by Weefine, Fun In Taiwan (FIT), Pacifica Dive, RGBlue, Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, BuceoAnilao Beach and Dive Resort, Camp Netanya Resort and Spa, Pier Uno Resort and Dive Center, Balicasag Island Dive Resort, and Azure Dive Resort.
For more information about the 5th Anilao Underwater Shootout, visit www.facebook.com/anilaounderwatershootout and www.anilaoshootout.ph.