Little Cayman Digital Shootout Winners announced

Little Cayman Digital Shootout Underwater Photography Contest Winners announced

By Scott Gietler


The Digital Shootout is a annual underwater photography workshop, usually held in the Caribbean in places like Bonaire for the last few years. This year it was in Little Cayman, and there were about 50 underwater photographers in attendance. Staff was onsite from Backscatter Photo, Canon, Light & Motion and Aquatica. I heard well-known underwater photographer Berkley White gave several excellent workshops.

There's also an underwater photo contest held at the event, with some great prizes. Each category had a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and 2 honorable mentions. Here are the 1st place winners:


Digital Shootout Best of Show - Danilo Rios

little cayman digital shootout underwater photography contest

 Danilo Rios won 11 nights at Wakatobi resort. Nikon D200 + 105mm, in Aquatica Housing and 2 x Inon Z-240. f/18 - 1/160 - ISO 100

Notes from the photographer - "I was on the Wall (Little Cayman) taking macro and Supermacro underwater photos  pictures (with my Macromate flip-diopter) when the turtle came in my direction, with another underwater photographer taking Wide Angle underwater photos. Was just the time to flip the Macromate off and star to swim side by side with the turtle for about 3 to 4 minutes. I took about 6 pictures total, and this one was the closest one. One of the several Magic Moments at Little Cayman!!!"


Digital Shootout Wide Angle Traditional - Ron Watkins

little cayman digital shootout underwater photography contest

 Ron Watkins won 10 nights on the FeBrina liveaboard in Papua New Guinea. Photo was taken with a Nikon D300 in Sea&Sea Housing with Tokina 10-17mm lens: ISO 200, F/8, 1/125 ambient light.

Notes from the photographer: "One of the shots I wanted to get before I left for the digital shootout in Little Cayman was of the fabulous sunbeams in one of many cuts in the wall. I had spent several minutes setting up my shot to properly expose the sand, light beams and silhouette the cut. I then waited several more minutes waiting for a diver to swim buy to perfect the composition when I saw super model Rusty Sanoian of Backscatter turn into the cut on his scooter. I was able to get off 5 shots as he cruised directly at me and over my head. It wasn't until later that I noticed there was also a silhouetted turtle in the cut in several of the images. You can see a partial turtle silhouette of a turtle in the top right of the cut. Thanks Rusty for making my shot a truly special one." - Ron


Digital Shootout Wide-angle unrestricted - Kiril Vidimce

little cayman digital shootout underwater photography contest

 Kiril won a 7 night trip on the Manthiri liveaboard in the Maldives. Kiril used a Canon 7D, Sea & Sea MDX-7D Housing, Tokina 10-17mm, 2 x Inon Z-240 Type IV Strobes, Ultralight arms and StiX floats. Shot at 17 mm, 1/250 sec, F/8, ISO 400.

Notes from the photographer: 

"I actually have a video of most of the encounter as well. It was quite interesting since the sting ray swam for a while, started digging in the sand, changed his mind, swam a bit further, then got serious about digging in and after sitting there for a bit, decided to once again swim away. So all that sand and mayhem in the background is from the sting ray digging into the sand before deciding to swim away. The colors in the original were not that interesting, so, I decided to switch to black & white, up the contrast a bit which helped make it look a little bit more dramatic."

Message from the editor: contact me if your photo appears on this page to add your own notes to help other photographers


Digital Shootout Macro Traditional - Jim Squires

little cayman digital shootout underwater photography contest

 Jim won a 7-night liveaboard trip on the Kararu to the Komodo islands.


Digital Shootout  Macro unrestricted - Tim Neuman

little cayman digital shootout underwater photography contest

 Tim Neuman won an Aquatica T2i Housing


Digital Shootout Point and shoots - Elizabeth Davis

little cayman digital shootout underwater photography contest

 Elizabeth Davis won a Sea & Sea RDX-550 underwater housing


Underwater Video contest

Marsha Simmons won first place in the underwater video contest, and won an Aquatica HD Wave Video Housing


Additional Winners & Prizes

underwater photo contest winner wide-angle

Sean Havas won 2nd place in the wide-angle traditional category. This was my personal favorite of the 2nd place winners. It was taken with a Nikon D90. Sean won a S&S YS-250 strobe.

For more winning photos and prizes visit the Digital Shootout website at


Additional Resources

Learn Wide-angle underwater photography

Learn Macro underwater photography

Recommended point and shoot underwater cameras

Best Dive Destinations for Underwater Photography



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