SoCal Shootout Winners Announced!

18-Year-Old Clinches Underwater Photo Championship in Southern California!
By UWPG News

SoCal Shootout Winners Announced!

18-Year-Old Clinches Underwater Photo Championship in Southern California!

By Brent Durand, September 25, 2013


socal shootout 2013

"Best of Shootout" by Nirupam Nigam. A sarcastic fringehead lunges at the camera!


The 3rd annual Bluewater Photo SoCal Shootout took place September 13-15, 2013, drawing photographers from all over southern California. The winning photos this year are simply stunning, and truly capture the essence of socal diving. Even more impressive is the fact that photographers were limited to basic global editing of their photos, so many tricks that digital photographers have become acustomed to were not permitted: cropping, backscatter removal, dodging/burning, etc. It was truly a test of in-camera photography skills.

Congratulations to the winners, especially the Best of Shootout winner Nirupam Nigam!

View the SoCal Shootout Winning Photos Here


socal shootout 2013

1st Place Macro: Shark Eye by Craig Hoover


SoCal Shootout 2013

1st Place Wide-Angle: Bat Ray in Kelp Forest by Liz Sullivan


SoCal Shootout 2013

1st Place Portrait: Harbor Seal in Kelp by Kyle McBurnie




18-Year-Old Clinches Underwater Photo Championship in Southern California!

Culver City, CA – September 25, 2013 – 18-year-old underwater photographer Nirupam Nigam just clinched the “Best of Shootout” title in the 3rd Annual SoCal underwater photo shootout. The Southern California competition attracted over 70 talented photographers with decades of experience, however Nirupam took awards in several categories, winning the competition. His winning shot of a sarcastic fringehead fish charging his camera is a stunning image that leaps out of the screen at you. The fish actually attacked his reflection in Nirupam’s camera dome port but he was still able to capture the best moment in the action while also protecting his gear!

Other winning photos include an endearing harbor seal staring into the camera, a galaxy lost in a shark’s eye, a dreamy scene of a bat ray soaring through a towering kelp forest and even a blue whale in the open ocean. These amazing photos truly represent the immense beauty of Southern California’s oceans. All photos entered had to be taken between September 13th and 15th, 2013 in Southern California waters.

Over $15,000 in prizes are being awarded to the winners, including trips to Wananavu Fiji resort, Club Cantamar in La Paz, Crystal Blue resort Anilao, the Rocio del Mar liveboard, Maluku divers in Indonesia, and a dive computer from Oceanic. Visit the SoCal Shootout webpage to view all the winning photos and prizes.

SoCal Shootout 2013:


About the SoCal Shootout: The SoCal Shootout is an annual photography competition where some of Southern California’s most active underwater photographers strive to capture the best possible photo over a 3-day period. Major editing is not allowed, so the competition truly tests a photographer’s ability to capture stunning imagery in-camera. Bluewater Photo, Southern California’s only dedicated underwater photography center, sponsors the event along with many top scuba brands, international resorts and local dive boats – all of which are excited to support the California scuba diving community.



Best of Shootout

Nirupam Nigam


1st: Liz Sullivan
2nd: Mel Moncrieff
3rd: Roger Carlson
4th: Nirupam Nigam
HM: Brian McHugh
HM: Ron Watkins
HM: Michael Zeigler
HM: Kevin Cushing


1st: Craig Hoover
2nd: Cindy Shaw
3rd: Nirupam Nigam
4th: Michelle Hoalton
HM: Cindy Shaw
HM: Ron Watkins

Marine Life Behavior

1st: Nirupam Nigam
2nd: Kevin Cushing
3rd: Alonso Cabello
4th: Michelle Hoalton
HM: Jeff Laity
HM: Brian McHugh


1st: Kyle McBurnie
2nd: Nirupam Nigam
3rd: David Andrew
4th: Cindy Shaw
HM: Brian McHugh
HM: Craig Hoover


1st - tied: Kyle McBurnie
1st - tied: Nanette Van Antwerp
3rd: Kevin Sullivan
HM: Roger Carlson

Compact Wide-Angle

1st: Carolyn Wang
2nd: David Thompson
3rd: Deanne Beck

Compact Macro

1st: Deanne Beck
2nd: Deanne Beck
3rd: Aaron Halstead

Compact Behavior

1st: Deanne Beck
2nd: Aaron Halstead
3rd: Renee Copozolla

Compact Portrait

1st: Debbie Karimoto
2nd: Renee Copozolla
3rd: Steve Murvine




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