Florida Skin Divers Association

​2016 FSDA Florida State UW Photo & Video Championship 

The FSDA 2016 Florida State UW Photo & Video Contest was held in conjunction with Reef Monitoring Inc. and the Guy Harvey Lionfish Safari.  Winners and prizes were announced on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach Florida. 

2016 UW Photo & Video Winners

1st Place
UW Video – Diane Randolph – “Florida – Simply Paradise”
Marco Photo – Linda Ianniello – “Pretty in Pink”
Wide-Angle Photo – Katy Danca Galli – “Little Fisher Boys”
Lionfish UW Video – Alex Fogg – “Control”
Compact Photo – Ryan Nelson – “Ambush” 

2nd Place
Marco Photo – Bob Weybrecht – “Bearded Bristle Worm”
Compact Photo – Sonia Smith – “Eye see you!”
Wide-Angle Photo – Debbie Wallace – “Smiles”
UW Video – Dimitri Skoularakos – “It’s a Small World”
Lionfish UW Video – Teresa Hattaway - "Beautiful, Deadly and Delicious" 

3rd Place 
Marco Photo – Judy Townsend – “Slithering”
Compact Photo – Ed Jackson – “Invader”
Wide-Angle Photo – Walt Stearns – “Formation”
UW Video – Lisa Tatro – “Florida FantaSeas”
Lionfish UW Video – Ryan Nelson – “Lion Will Sleep Tonight” 

Honorable Mention
Marco Photo – Wayne MacWilliams – “Yo, Bring It”
Wide-Angle Photo – Ryan Nelson – “Domestic Dispute”
Lionfish UW Video – Courtland Hunt – “Glock-Fishing Lionfish”
UW Video – Mary Ann Hicks – “Florida Trek 2016”
Compact Photo – Heath Massey – “The Pilot”

​2016 Winning Photos & Videos

1st Place Marco Photo - Linda Ianniello - "Pretty in Pink"
Jellyfish photographed during a black water dive off the coast of Palm Beach.  (A black water dive is a night dive in the gulf stream where it is approximately 500 feet deep.)

Linda won $500 certificate for Aquatica TLC Delta 3 Strobe Arms
1st Place Wide-Angle Photo – Katy Danca Galli – “Little Fisher Boys”
​Late summer sunset in the beautiful Dry Tortugas, two little fisher boys watch for tarpon, as I watch for the green flash in cool, crystal waters.

Katy won a 
7 Night Dive Trip Package to Lembeh Indonesia with Kungkungan Bay Resort  
1st Place Compact Photo - ​Ryan Nelson – “Ambush”
Taken in the Gulf of Mexico, this grouper reminded me of a lion hunting on the savannah the way he was hiding in the substrate. It was fun watching him gorge itself on the passing sardines. I honestly did not know how it was fitting them in its Buddha belly.

Ryan won a 4 Night Dive Trip Package for 2 in the Bahamas with UNEXSO
2nd Place Macro Photo - Bob Weybrecht – “Bearded Bristle Worm”
Photographed in Lake Worth Lagoon, Riviera Beach, Florida. Olympus OMD E-M1, Nauticam NA-EM1 housing, 60mm macro lens, Nauticam CMC-1 diopter, 2 x Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes, f/16, 1/160, ISO200.

Bob won a Fantasea Radiant 1000X LED Light & Divers Direct Gift Card ($100)​
2nd Place Compact Photo - ​Sonia Smith – “Eye see you!”
Close-up of the stingray's eye taken in Key Largo.

Sonia won a 7 night Live-aboard Dive Trip in the Bahamas with Blackbeard's Cruises
2nd Place Wide-Angle Photo - Debbie Wallace - "Smiles"
This is Ms. Snooty, a resident lemon shark found in Jupiter, FL; this shot was taken in May 2016  Snooty has a bite malformation which we think might be secondary to previous trauma that results in a permanent "smile."  She is very gregarious and loves the paparazzi!!

Debbie won a $500 certificate 
towards 5 day Shark Dive Trip with Epic Diving - Bahamas 
3rd Place Macro Photo - ​Judy Townsend – “Slithering”
Larval eel taken on a black water dive off of West Palm Beach

Judy won ​a Bayphoto certificate for a ​16x24 Acrylic Print of any photo &
Divers Direct Gift Card ($100)
3rd Place Compact Photo - Ed Jackson - "Invader"
I was diving the wreck of the Mexican Pride in the gulf.  Inside the wreck, there was a lionfish that was swimming unafraid in the wreck.  Surrounded by predatory fish, it had no fear.  It was sad and beautiful at the same time.

Ed won a Divers Direct Gift Card ($100) 
3rd Place Wide-Angle - ​Walt Stearns – “Formation”
Group of large goliath groupers during spawning season in September assembled in front of the Castor Wreck’s bow in Boynton Beach, FL.

Walt won a Bayphoto certificate for a 20X30 MetalPrint with Exhibit Mount &  Underwater Photography Masterclass book by Alex Mustard ​
Honorable Mention - ​Wayne MacWilliams – “Yo, Bring It”
Dusky jawfish taken at the Blue Heron Bridge. Captured with a Saga Magic filter lens screwed onto the front of port, Saga +5 diopter and Nikon 60mm lens.

Wayne ​received ​the Underwater Photography Masterclass book by Alex Mustard 
Honorable Mention - ​Ryan Nelson – “Domestic Dispute”
Image is from the Gulf of Mexico.  These two grunts were having a territorial dispute.  I was lucky enough to witness it.

Ryan ​received ​the Underwater Photography Masterclass book by Alex Mustard 
Honorable Mention - ​Heath Massey – “The Pilot”
This loggerhead turtle was found resting atop the pilot house of the Black Bart wreck out of Panama City Beach.

Heath received the Underwater Photography Masterclass book by Alex Mustard 
1st Place UW Florida Video - Diane Randolph - "Florida - Simply Paradise"
This video shows some of spectacular diving available in and around the State of Florida. Including Crystal and Rainbow Rivers, The Blue Heron Bridge, and Black Water Diving off the coast of West Palm Beach Florida.

Diane won the 7 night Philippines Dive Trip Package sponsored by Atlantis Philippines Dive Resorts & Liveaboards.
1st Place UW Lionfish Removal Video - Alex Fogg - "Control"
Over the past year I have dove in a number of locations offshore Florida's Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. I have seen first hand some of the highest densities of lionfish in their invaded range and the impact they can have on the native ecosystems. There is good news. Lionfish taste great and although they have invaded most reefs in the western Atlantic Ocean, they have also invaded restaurants throughout the region. I hope you enjoy this informative video about lionfish, their impacts and how we can combat this invasive species.​

Alex won the 7 night Roatan Honduras Dive Trip Package for 2 sponsored by Anthony's Key Resort
2nd Place UW Florida Video - Dimitri Skoularakos – “It’s a Small World”
A short film about the underwater beauty of Florida. Location: Pompano Drop off (also Lookey Reef off of Ramrod Key and French Reef, Key Largo, FL).​

Dimitri won ​BigBlue Dive Lights Combo Pack AL250 Blue & AL1100WP Lights 
2nd Place UW Lionfish Removal Video - Teresa Hattaway - "Beautiful, Deadly and Delicious"
Beautiful, deadly and delicious - lionfish are majestic and beautiful yet pose a deadly threat to our local marine ecology. They do however have a few positive attributes, they make great underwater video/ photo subjects and are delicious.​

Teresa won ​BigBlue Lights Head Light 450N Lumens & Underwater Photography Masterclass  book by Alex Mustard 
3rd Place UW Florida Video - Lisa Tatro - "Florida FantaSeas"
Video captures some spectacular small sea life and transitions to larger colorful life all common to Florida area. Filmed in Gulf of Mexico and East Coast (Jupiter, Boynton, Pompano). Camera Equip: Sony A5100 with various lenses, macro & wide angle UW conv lenses.​

Lisa won Bayphoto certificate for a ​16x24 Maple Wood Print of any photo & Underwater Photography Masterclass  book by Alex Mustard 
3rd Place UW Lionfish Removal Video - Ryan Nelson - "Lion Will Sleep Tonight"
This was shoot in the Gulf on 2 dives off Pinellas County. It was a hard video to make because luckily there were not too many lionfish to be removed. I am glad such a effort is being made to remove these invasive animals. Hopefully there is a sustainable fishery created and less pressure on the other sought after catches.​

Ryan won Ikelite ​PC LED flashlight & Underwater Photography Masterclass  book by Alex Mustard 
Honorable Mention UW Florida Video - Mary Ann Hicks - "Florida Trek 2016"
Florida has the most diverse dive environments in the world. Not only does it have two coastlines, both offering different topography and differing coral environments, but also is full of fresh water springs and caves which offer their own wonders. The east coast (West Palm and Jupiter) have a carribean feel as the gulf current coming from the south brings all the beauty of the tropics - soft corals, colorful fish, sharks and sea turtles of all kinds. The west coast (Clearwater) offers more shallow wrecks and low lying reefs covered in schooling baitfish and hard coral. Regular sites are florida regal sea goddess, goliath grouper, schools of amberjacks, and spotted toadfish. Pelagic jellyfish drift through the area at certain times of year which is a treat to watch at the 15 foot safety stop. The stark contrast of the Florida caves (Ginnie Springs) to the "full of life" venues on our coastlines is deceptive. There is specilized and sparse life in the caves- each life unique to it's environment. The water from the caves feeds the naturals spings of floridas which brings us to the most iconic sea mammal in Florida- the manatee. Manatees are a symbol of why we must protect both fresh and salt water environments in Florida. Their survival, as well as many other creatures, depends on it.​

Mary Ann received the Underwater Photography Masterclass  book by Alex Mustard 

​Photos from Awards Ceremony

​2016 Contest Themes and Categories

1) Macro Underwater Photo – Florida underwater photo where the subject is recorded as lifesize or greater. Image should be taken with a macro/super macro lens of a subject composition recorded in life size at a 1:1 or greater reproduction ratio. The subject or focal point is expected to fill as much of the frame as possible with extreme detail.​ 
2) Wide-Angle Underwater Photo - Florida underwater photo that shows a wider angle of view than the human eye (35mm focal length), including over-under shots (half in the water, half out) and close-focus wide-angle photos.  Image should depict a wide scene with subject(s) in their natural environment​.
3) Compact Underwater Photo - Florida underwater photo taken with a compact camera.  Compact cameras includes Point & Shoot cameras, GoPros and any camera with a fixed lens.  Both marco and wide-angle shots welcomed.  Compact photos can be entered in all photo categories. No DSLR, mirrorless photos can be entered in this category.  
4) Underwater Video – video submission between one (1) and four (4) minutes showing the beauty and variety of diving that Florida has to offer.  This includes scuba, free diving, cave diving in all our various Florida waters (Gulf, Atlantic, Springs, Keys, etc.) and highlighting Florida's wonderful marine life.  Video may include above and below water footage. Editing of video is allowed and expected.​
​5) Lionfish Removal Underwater Video – video submission between one (1) and four (4) minutes showing the infestation and removal of invasive Lionfish from our local Florida reefs. This can include them being speared, killed, captured, and prepared in a delicious meal.  Video may include above and below water footage. Editing of video is allowed and expected.​

​Contest Judges

​​Thanks to this year's Contest Judges!
Amanda Cotton

Beth Barklage Watson

Michael Patrick O'Neill

Check out their bios and view their amazing images!
​A special thanks to each of them for volunteering their time and effort. 

​Sponsors and Prizes

​​We absolutely could not pull off this event without the tremendous  generosity of our sponsors.
Thanks to each of you for the support of diving, underwater imaging and the removal of invasive Lionfish. 
Atlantis Dive Resorts offers one of the most outstanding first class dive vacations in the world today. Experience Atlantis' resorts in Dumaguette and Puerto Galera, Philppines. Atlantis Dive Resorts is sponsoring a 7 night dive package at either Atlantis Puerto Galera or Atlantis Dumaguete!   www.atlantishotel.com
Kungkungan Bay Resort is Lembeh’s first dive resort and proud to have introduced the world to the now famous Critter/Muck Diving of “Lembeh Strait” in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.  KBR is the only Sea level Luxury Resort in the Lembeh Strait with 16 of their 17 rooms being waterfront.  Kungkungan Bay Resort sponsoring a 7 night dive package with beach front accommodations to the Critter/Muck Diving capital of the world!   www.kungkungan.com
Underwater Explorers Society located in beautiful Freeport on Grand Bahama Islands and has it all!  Swim with dolphins.  Dive with sharks.  Shop 'til you drop.  UNEXSO offers a wide variety of diving experiences for all to enjoy. UNEXSO is sponsoring a 4 night stay at Pelican Bay Hotel in a waterside suite including daily buffet breakfast and 3 days of unlimited diving package for two!  www.unexso.com
Anthony's Key Resort blends picture perfect beach life with the incredible Caribbean diving at Roatan, Honduras. Bungalows are perched above a tranquil lagoon, white sand beaches and breathtaking views greet divers in this tropic wonderland.  Anthony's Key Resort is sponsoring a 7 night all-inclusive dive or snorkel package for two!   www.anthonyskey.com
​Blackbeard's Cruises offers liveaboard scuba vacation packages to the outer Bahamas islands, along with a huge variety of diving - sharks, walls, reefs and more. Blackbeard's is sponsoring a 7 day week-long liveaboard scuba adventure!  www.blackbeard-cruises.com 
Epic Diving offers dedicated shark diving expeditions in the Bahamas with a number of key shark species. From the ubiquitous reef shark, the larger-than-life tiger shark, to the ultra rare oceanic whitetip shark and great hammerhead shark, these trips offer nonstop heart-pounding excitement. Several Nat Geo photographers dive with Epic Diving to obtain amazing shark photos & videos. Epic Diving has donated a $500 gift certificate towards one of their amazing 6 night 5 day Shark Diving & accommodations package at any of their locations! www.epicdiving.com
Aquatica is a Canadian manufacturer of fine quality aluminum housings for underwater photography. Their camera housings are available for selected  digital cameras and are part of a comprehensive system which includes a large selection of wide angle and macro ports, and accessories. Aquatica has become the housing choice of the discerning underwater photographer today. Aquatica has donated $500 worth of strobes arms from their TLC Delta 3 Line. Check out Aquatica's TLC Delta 3 Line of strobe arms.   www.aquatica.ca
​​Bay Photo offers complete pro lab services to professional photographers throughout the United States and around the world. Whether you specialize in wedding, portrait, sport, school, landscape or other style of photography, our approach is to provide you with a large variety of professional printing and photo finishing solutions to help you maximize your efficiency and excel at your business.  Bay Photo is sponsoring over $500 worth of gift certificates ($225 16x24 Acrylic Print, $180 20x30 MetalPrint, and $99 16x24 Maple Wood Print) towards the printing of your underwater photos!   www.bayphoto.com
​Blue Water Life is focused on the promoting the beauty of the amazing underwater world below.  Specializing in Underwater Photography, Scuba Dive Trips and Travel, they are dedicated to promoting Underwater Photography on the west coast of Florida and help FSDA to run various UW Photo & Video contests. Blue Water Life is sponsoring $300 towards gift certificates (3 $100 Divers Direct Gift Cards) for winners of this contestwww.bluewtrlife.com
Bigblue Dive Lights continues to be a market leader developing new underwater LED lighting products for the Recreational, Technical, and Photo/Video dive light user.  Their combination of illumination, light features, battery technology, and reliability has made Bigblue the light of choice for commercial, professional and recreational divers.   Bigblue has donated their AL250 BLUE & AL1100WP Combo Pack and 450N Head Light. www.bigbluedivelights.com
Fantasea Line is an international company that is dedicated to developing, manufacturing and marketing creative and affordable products with a special focus on water-sports, diving and underwater photography equipment.  Offering years of experience and expert advice on cameras, housings, strobes and accessories.  Fantasea Line has donated one of their newest LED lights, the very cool Radiant 1000X!  Check out the Radiant 1000X in this review. www.fantasea.com 
Ikelite is a USA based manufacturer located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since 1962, they have dedicated themselves to quality product and innovation in underwater photography and lighting.  Ikelite is sponsoring one of their PC LED flashlights!   www.ikelite.com

Please Note that Dive Trip Packages do not include Airfare.