FromOctober 6th to 12th, the Spanish island of Formentera organized its first underwater photographic competition.Under the auspices of the Formentera Island Council and in collaborationwith the Vellmarí Diving Centre, diverscongregated in the smaller of the Pitiusan islands in order to enjoy two oftheir favourite activities: diving and photography.
Morethan 100 people took part in the event dedicated to the promotion of theseabed of the island and underwater photography, especially withdivers who have little, or no experience in the discipline. The week wasdivided into courses and also the competition. The Photography Competition was divided in two sections: compact andreflex. The winner of the reflexsection was Pedro De Ureta, followed by Jordi Benítez and Rafael Sánchez. Inthe compact digital camera section, the winner was AlbertLerycke, second Julio Sanz and third Sergio Arribas.
Therewere also four special prizes: the most representative picture of the seabed ofFormentera (Pedro De Ureta), the most original photo (Albert Lerycke), the bestmacro (Carlos Hernández) and the best photo with a compact camera withoutexternal flash (Jaime Sánchez-Cámara). The courses were organised by ManuSan Félix, the marine biologist and the first photographer to win theInternational Festival of the Underwater Image and the Wildlife Photographer ofthe Year. There was also an exhibitionof the photographs of Manu San Félix that everyone could visit inthe special marquee which was installed behind Vellmarí Diving Centre.
The firstevent of the Underwater Photography Week of Formentera, which was one of themost important gatherings of divers in Europe during 2008, concludedwith dinner in a famous restaurant of the island, courtesy of Formentera’sIsland Council. All the prizeswere presented there, including three special prizes that the organizationdedicated to the most friendly couples. Nacho Pardo comments “TheUnderwater Photography Week of Formentera has demonstrated that the discipline ofphotography should be supported in the future, and the only thing that a diverneeds to begin or continue enjoying it alone is simple equipment andjust a little bit of skill.”
Contributionby Nacho Pardo, Formentera