Everyone who owns a camera wants that one perfect shot. The shot should be focused, the contrast rich and the colors magnificent.
For the image to be substantial, the photographer has to tell a story or at least convey a message.
The perfect shot takes effort, innate talent, skill, and a little bit of luck. I learned all of that and more at the 2nd Annual Splash-NUDI Underwater Photo Shootout (SNUPS).
SNUPS, now on its second year, is a yearly underwater photo and video competition that takes place in the most beautiful diving spots in the country. This year, they have chose to premiere dive spots- Mactan in Cebu and Anilao, Batangas.
Anilao, considered to be the “Center of the Center of arine Biodiversity in the World”, is a favorite spot for divers and home to thresher sharks and the Sardine Run.
Last May 4 and 5,Choose Philippines was given the opportunity to witness and experience SNUPS on its second leg in Mabini (the town is the concentration of dive resorts, collectively known by the more popular Anilao).
With a rich and diverse species of marine life, this finger of land in the south of Batangas is a perfect spot for divers and photo/video enthusiasts. The subjects are practically endless because Anilao boasts of the largest number of living underwater species, more than any country in the world.
Anilao is also known for having one of the most diverse species of nudibranchs and macro life, which is a delight for underwater photographers and videographers.
The equipment used by participants ranged from compact cameras to the most sophisticated type. “If you have a camera and want to join, put it in a ziplock and shoot away”, Jovic Santos, our host has said. It is not about the camera, it will always be about the talent and skill of the photographer/videographer and how he/she uses and make the most out of the equipment. There was a joke shared by Lynn Funkhouser, a diver and underwater photographer who made her mark in the world of diving and we had the pleasure to meet, at dinner that best explains this sentiment: A photographer went to a socialite party in New york. As he entered the door, the host said ‘I love your pictures- they’re wonderful, you must have a fantastic camera.’ He said nothing until dinner was finished, then said: ‘That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove.”
SNUPS aims to promote and be the anchor event for Philippine underwater imaging competitions with set standards on diver shooting etiquettes, proper handling of imaging gear and photo-video diver friendly dive resorts. The local tourism of dive spots is also promoted by the event. It also creates awareness for the locals and tourists to appreciate the treasures that they have in their area and help preserve it. Through SNUPS, the beauty of the marine life can be showcased and gain awareness on the importance of environmental conservation.
The competition is open for everyone who has a camera, and at least a ziplock. Beginners, in photography and SCUBA diving alike, are encouraged to join. Only non-professional photographers/videographers are welcome to join the competition, the reason being to discover new talents, hone their skills and recognize their work. SNUPS is a perfect platform that can be a stepping stone to further a career in underwater imaging.
Photos and videos can be taken anywhere in the Philippines just as long as it is to be taken within the competition dates. It is exclusive in the waters of the country so as to promote and for people to be aware of the beauty within our waters. And really, with the most diverse marine life in the world, the Philippines is a diving paradise.
Seeing first hand the beauty of the world at the bottom of the sea, I have grown to love and appreciate the colors and the life within. I have also learned that pictures are not merely colorful or focused, they actually have a story if you just look closer and be curious of what you see. The event made me aware of the richness that our country has. Now it is up to us to share the stories, protect the beauty and aim for saving it.
SNUPS is a yearly underwater photo and video competition organized by Splash Underwater Imaging, Inc. The event is done in cooperation with the Network of Underwater Digital Imagers Inc. (NUDI), an underwater photography club based in Manila, Philippines.
SNUPS background based from www.snups.ph
Photos from: www.snups.ph