Judges

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Carden Wallace PhD

With her appointment in 1987 as Curator in Charge, Carden Wallace became the first woman to head the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. Carden began her lifetime journey into the sciences in 1970, with an honours degree in science at the University of Queensland, and a thesis on earthworms. Carden has been the balancing home commitments with long hours of fieldwork since the birth of her two sons between 1974 and 1978.

In 1979 Carden completed a PhD at the University of Queensland, her research still on invertebrates but now directed to tropical marine ecology with a study of soft corals, Acropora. Throughout the period since 1974, Carden’s marine science research has been indicated in an extensive list of papers, reports and contributions to significant publications, including ‘A Coral Reef Handbook’, edited by Patricia Mather and Ian Bennett, and ‘Coral Reefs’, edited by L Hammond.

High points in her career include the POL Prize for Environmental Research, awarded in 1992 to Carden along with four other scientists from James Cook University for their exciting discovery of mass annual spawning on the Great Barrier Reef by over a hundred species of coral. Carden’s own research has focused on biogeography and biodiversity, particularly on corals and tropical biota. Her current interests are directed towards other tropical countries, especially Indonesia. She feels strongly that scientists should give back all they possibly can, in communicating and applying the results of their work.

 

 

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Doug Perrine

Doug Perrine grew up far from the ocean in Dallas, Texas, but felt the sea calling him from an early age. After studying at the University of Hawaii, he worked as a lifeguard, teacher of English as a foreign language, marine biologist, and scuba instructor, living in a number of coastal and island nations. He returned to the USA and earned a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Miami. Only in his 30’s did he find his true calling, and take up the profession of nature photography. Perrine is now widely regarded as one the world’s foremost marine wildlife photographers. His photographs have been published in thousands of magazines, books, calendars and other graphic products. He is the author of seven books and numerous magazine articles on marine life.

His images have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, the British Museum of Natural History, and numerous other prestigious institutions. He founded the stock photo library SeaPics.com, and operated it for 18 years before selling it in 2003 to concentrate on his own writing and photography.  He has served as a consultant for filming projects for the BBC NHU, National Geographic, Discovery, Disney, and other companies. His photographs have won a number of awards, including the grand prize in the prestigious international Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2004. Perrine currently lives on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaii, only a short distance away from the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

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Emory Kristof

A pioneer of innovative, high-tech underwater photography using robot cameras and remotely operated vehicles, Emory Kristof has been a National Geographicphotographer since beginning as an intern for the magazine in 1963.

Kristof created the preliminary designs of the electronic camera system for the Argovehicle, which found the Titanic. He led photographic surveys of the C.S.S. Alabamaoff the coast of France in 1992 and the 16th-century wreck San Diego in the Philippines in 1993. In 1995, he led an expedition to recover the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald and produced the first deep-water images with high-definition TV.

Kristof’s “Testing the Waters of Rongelap,” published in National Geographicmagazine in April 1998, recorded oceanic life in the nuclear weapons-contaminated waters surrounding the Marshall Islands. In August 1998, Kristof’s pictures of theTitanic were presented in the National Geographic article “Tragedy in Three Dimensions.” The pictures, recorded in 1991 using high-intensity lighting systems, appeared in unprecedented detail because of advances in 3-D computer video-editing.

Born in 1942, Kristof studied journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and received a bachelor’s degree in 1964. A National Geographic staff photographer from 1964 to 1994, he has produced over forty articles for the magazine.

Kristof has earned many awards for both writing and photography, including the NOGI Award for Arts from the Underwater Society of America in 1988 and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award for Underwater Exploration in 1986. That same year, Kristof and Robert Ballard received the American Society of Magazine Publishers Innovation in Photography Award for their photographic coverage of the Titanic. In 1998, Kristof was presented with the J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award by the National Press Photographers Association “for being one of our profession’s most imaginative innovators.” In 2001 Kristof was named a contributing photographer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.

 

 

alex_mustardAlex Mustard PhD

Dr Alexander MUSTARD, 37 from the UK, trained and worked as a marine biologist, but since 2004 has worked full time as an underwater photographer and author. His photographs have won many awards including, on multiple occasions, in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and British Wildlife Photography Awards. His last book, Reefs Revealed, won the International Grand Prize for the best book of underwater photographs at the World Festival of Underwater Photography, France. His photographs have been displayed in exhibitions around the world and a particular highlight was personally presenting his work to Queen Elizabeth II.

Alex s a regular contributor to many publications in the marine, wildlife, diving and photographic media, and to date has published more than 400 articles. In addition to various features, he also regularly writes the Be The Champ monthly column for DIVER Magazine (UK), the Nature Notes extended feature for Dive The World Magazine (DK) and the Images Column in Sport Diver (USA).

His images are also regularly featured in other newspapers and magazines around the world. He is one of the photographers working on the 2020VISION conservation photography project in the UK.

One of the most unusual projects Alex has been involved in is Nissan’s NV200 concept car built for the Tokyo Motor Show. The car was designed specifically around his needs as an underwater photographer working in the field.  He is the inventor of the Magic Filters, filters designed specifically for available light underwater photography with digital cameras. He also runs highly popular underwater photography workshops at top diving destinations around the world. Alex has always had a passion for helping others improve their underwater photography, especially the next generation of photographers. He took his first underwater photos while still in single figures, was first published in his teens and started the YUP, the Young Underwater Photographers group in his twenties. Before digital cameras were widespread, underwater photography was hard for people to get into and YUP brought together a collection of next generation of underwater photographers to exchange ideas, advice and encouragement. Many members of the group have gone on to great achievements in the underwater imaging world.

 

 

Stan2Stan Waterman

Stan Waterman has received numerous honors and awards for his work in television and in behalf of the sea including five Emmys, two Gold Medals from the U.K. Underwater Film Festival, four Golden Eagles, a lifetime Achievement Award from the Miami Expo and from Boston Sea Rovers, the Cousteau Diver of the Year Award, the Richard Hopper Day Memorial Medal from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, the Reaching Out Award from the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, and most recently has been named to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame . The Discovery Channel produced and broadcast a two-hour biographical special about Mr. Waterman, The Man Who Loves Sharks.

Stan Waterman has been at the forefront of scuba diving since its inception as a recreational sport both in this country and throughout the world. His attraction to the underwater world began as a schoolboy in 1936 when he first dived with a Japanese Ama diver’s mask in Florida. In the 1950’s, inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s revolutionary invention of the Aqua Lung, Mr. Waterman acquired the first one in Maine and went on to pioneer scuba diving in that state.

Between 1954 and 1958 he operated a dive business in the Bahamas with a boat he had built specially for diving. His first 16mm film on diving was produced during those years. For the next fifteen years, Mr. Waterman continued to record his worldwide journeys and exploits on film; most were ultimately purchased as television documentaries. In 1965 he took his entire family – wife and three children – to Tahiti. Their careers as television stars were launched when National Geographic purchased the rights to air his film of that year-long experience.

In 1968 he collaborated with Peter Gimbel on the classic shark film, Blue Water, White Death. He was associate producer and underwater cameraman during the seven-month long production. However, he may be best know for his work in commercial film. He was co-director of underwater photography and second unit in the production of The Deep, based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel. In other collaborations with his close friend and neighbor, Mr. Benchley, he was responsible for ten years’ worth of productions for ABC’s “American Sportsman Show”. More recent productions include documentaries for ABC’s “Spirit of Adventure” series and the “Expedition Earth” series on ESPN.

Mr. Waterman graduated from Dartmouth in 1946, where he studied with Robert Frost and earned a B.A. in English. He has maintained an appreciation of language and literature throughout his life. He is married and is the father of two sons and a daughter, each of whom has acquired a special love of the sea from him. He and his oldest son, Gordy, a successful cameraman in his own right, won the first father and son Emmy for their work together in the “National Geographic Explorer” production, Dancing With Stingrays. Mr. Waterman maintains residences in New Jersey and Maine. Mr. Waterman’s first book, Sea Salt, was published in 2005 and is in its second printing. Mr. Waterman continues to dive, film, lecture, and hosts dive tours

 

 

DSC_0789[1]-David-Doubilet-color--finalDavid Doubilet

David Doubilet has a long and intimate vision into the sea. He began snorkeling at age 8 at summer camp in the Adirondack and by age 12 he was making pictures underwater using a Brownie Hawkeye camera stuffed into a rubber anesthesiologist bag. The bag filled with air and it was like trying to submerge the Hindenburg. The pictures were barely recognizable. David has long since mastered the techniques of working with water and light to become one of the world’s most celebrated underwater photographers and a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine where he has published nearly 70 stories since his first assignment in 1971.

David has spent five decades under the surface in the far corners of the world from interior Africa, remote tropical coral reefs, rich temperate seas and recent projects in the ice pack.  His personal challenge is to create a visual voice for the world’s oceans and to connect people to the incredible beauty and silent devastation happening within the invisible world below.

David is a contributing editor for several publications and an author of 12 titles including the award winning Water Light Time. His numerous photographic awards include Picture of the Year, BBC Wildlife, Communication Arts and World Press. David a member of the Academy of Achievement, Royal Photographic Society, International League of Conservation Photographers and International Diving Hall of Fame. David was named a National Geographic Contributing Photographer-in-Residence in 2001. He is honored to be a Rolex Ambassador and recipient of the prestigious Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award and Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography.  David lives with his wife and photographic partner, Jennifer Hayes in Clayton, NY, a small and relaxed river town in the Thousand Island region of the St. Lawrence River.

 

 

ErnieBErnie Brooks II

Photographer, Adventurer, Diver and Educator Ernest H. Brooks II was born to be a photographer. His men-of-the-sea Portuguese ancestry insured the ocean environment would play an important role in his life. As the son of Ernest H. Brooks, founder of the internationally renowned Brooks Institute of Photography, Ernie was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps before forging his own path. He graduated from Brooks Institute, served on the school’s executive staff and assumed the office of the president, from 1971 until 2000.

As a noted professional photographer, educator and ambassador to the industry at a time when underwater photography was taking on shape and form and seeking direction, Ernie was winning international acclaim for his underwater photography and audio/visual presentation. As a working professional, he contributed to numerous magazines and organizations including: Cousteau Society, California Highways, Ocean Realm, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Nature Conservancy and Natural Wildlife, to name only a few. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including: 1973 ‘Triton Award’ Inner Space Pacifica, Hawaii; 1975 ‘NOGI’ The Underwater Society of America; 1977 ‘National Award’ Professional Photographers of America; 1971 through 1980 Hall of Fame elector Photographic Arts and Science Foundation; 1978 Camera Craftsmen of America; served on the National Advisory Council of the National Society of Arts and Letters; ‘Hall of Fame’ Underwater Photographic Society; was honoured by the Oceanic Community of SSI and Nikon for 5000 hours beneath the sea ‘Platinum Pro Diver Award’; and his most recent honour, ‘The 1996 Partner’s Award,’ was received from the American Oceans Campaign for his lifelong commitment and dedication to our oceans.

A trailblazer in the development of underwater photographic equipment and technique, Ernie has witnessed great industry advances, harnessed, and implemented much of that new technology, even so, at a time when colour underwater photographs dominated magazines and glossy brochures, Ernie turned to black and white. “I don’t think that blue, an inherent colour of the ocean, really adds to many photographs, especially of mammals – and I like the quality of black and white. Frankly, I get great personal satisfaction working with black and white, being able to control the development and printing.  Today, the ocean and underwater photography are his main interests. In the pursuit of dramatic marine images, Ernie has descended into the waters beneath the polar icecaps as well as into the depths of almost every ocean on Earth. His photographic legacy often is the evidence that illustrates the changes in our environment, and insists that he become the informed voice of our need to change.

His work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium Shark Exhibit, Yugoslavia ‘Man in the Sea,’ Our World Underwater, Smithsonian ‘Planet Earth’ and was also honoured by the Smithsonian Institute in January of 1995. He is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and is one of forty photographers in the world admitted to the prestigious Camera Craftsmen of America. As a leader or principal member, Ernest H. Brooks II has participated in projects of international recognition including: the photographic investigation into the Shroud of Turin (1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project); and photo-documentation of Arctic research station activities (1977 sponsored by the McGinnis Foundation of Toronto, Canada). He was also a project leader and member of the international panel in the ‘Focus on New Zealand’ event in 1985, and led a photographic research and travel expedition to the Sea of Cortez aboard the Institute’s research vessel, ‘Just Love,’ in 1986.

In 2012, Ernie Brooks stands as Beneath the Sea’s Legend of the Sea celebrated for his art, his character, his devotion to the environment, and his love of the grace and the beauty of man in the water.

 

 

ericEric Bettens

Multi- award winner composer, Eric Bettens was born on April 27th 1973, in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. Eric early exposure to his maternal grandfather’s renditions of Polish folk music on his violin gravitated him to the Academy of Music of Courcelles; here he was schooled in music theory, the history of music and the trumpet and percussion as his instruments of choice. They earned him the Great Distinction for. “Médailles du gouvernement” (Medals of Government). Performing with local bands through the years, Eric works to improve his ‘New Orleans’ jazz style, with his trumpet in chamber music, symphony orchestras and solos. .

Fascinated by synthesizer music, popularized by Jean-Michel Jarre or Vangelis, he started composing with the synthesizer, while mastering keyboard techniques with Annette VAN DE GORNE. Eric’s pursuit for a delicate balance between the acoustic and electronic instruments, often finds his love for Nature weaved into his compositions. Earning him the encouragements and advice in 2001 from the famous Liège composer, Luc BAIWIR, Eric submitted one of his compositions, Nydhis, for the Festival Mondial de l’Image Sous-Marine (World Festival of the Underwater Film) in Antibes (France). It won the First Prize (Prix François de Roubaix).

Making his mark in Antibes, in 2002, he started receiving requests for theater music, short films, and documentary films. This path led to the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award at the Festival of Antibes in November, 2004. In 2005, he collaborated in the adaptation of the musical notation software, in French, for Sibelius. In the same year, he was invited to be on the judging panel of Celebrate the Sea festival in Singapore and used the opportunity to give two concerts there and returned to Celebrate the Sea annually.

‘Discovery,’ Eric’s first CD was released, in 2006, allowing a wider public to be introduced to the multiple facets of his unique musicality. That year, he produced the sound tracks for more than 14 films!  In February 2008, using the audio-visual dimension, Eric gave a spectacular concert at the Cultural center “La Posterie” in Courcelles, Belgium.  With the growing list of accolades, Eric’s passion and finesse will see the creation of “Yvain, le chevalier lion” in 2010. It will be an oratorio for choir, orchestra, using 3 soloists and narrator on Marc Ronvaux’s libretto, which is based on the story by Chrétien de Troyes. What began experimentally is now his forte and his audience is growing in postive response to his unique brand of music. Eric was honored with the accolade as Ocean Geographic’s director of music in residence.

 

 

Michael AwMichael Aw

Michael Aw is an award-winning underwater photographer, author, publisher, and the founder of Ocean Geographic and director of Ocean n Environment. He initiated the Napoleon wrasse protection program in the Maldives, turtle nest adoption program in Indonesia and Say No to Shark Fins campaign in the South East Asia including a project to remove shark fins from restaurants in Singapore.

He was founder and publisher of Asian Geographic and publisher of Scuba Diver Australasia from 1998 to 2005. He acquired Scuba Diver Australasia in 2001 and successfully launched the title into South East Asia and become the official magazine for the PADI Diving Society in 2004. In 2007, he founded Ocean Geographic magazine.

Michael’s work on environmental issues and natural history have been featured in BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, Asian Geographic, GEO, Underwater GEOGRAPHIC, Nature Focus, Action Asia, Scuba Diver, Smithsonian magazine, Ocean Realm (USA), Times, Asia Week, DIVE, Unterwasser, Tauchen, and Aquanaut. Michael has published 27 books, and was a contributing author to another 11 books. His photographs have received more than 50 awards from several international organizations including the prestigious Nikon International Photo Contest on three occasions.

 

 

Jennifer HayesJennifer Hayes

Jen is an aquatic ecologist who has collected a couple of graduate degrees in zoology, marine and fisheries biology. She came into underwater journalism (photography and writing) out of sheer necessity to enliven dull scientific presentations and publications. To put it simply, strong images of ancient sturgeons spawning, hatching, migrating are infinitely more captivating to an audience than bar graphs and pie charts.

Photography and science lead to natural history articles and then into popular journalism. Jen formed a partnership with David Doubilet in 1999 and co-founded the stock photo company; Undersea Images Inc. Jen and David co-photograph and write for assignment features for numerous domestic and international publications, ad shoots and book projects.

 

 

Valerie TaylorValerie Taylor

Valerie Taylor is a dive legend, shark chronicler, pioneering undersea photographer and filmmaker, and National Geographic cover subject. Valerie, and her husband Ron Taylor, gained fame in the early days of scuba diving for their breathtaking live footage of sharks, particularly Great Whites.

In 1969, the Taylors formed their own production company. In the same year, Valerie was catapulted to international stardom in Peter Gimbel’s classic film, Blue Water White Death. During the 1970s Valerie and Ron’s live shark sequences appeared in the movies Jaws, Orca and The Blue Lagoon. In 1973 Valerie’s photo was on the cover of National Geographic. This image caught the attention of Lars-Eric Lindblad, and Valerie and Ron spent a decade traveling the world on the little red and white ship called the Lindblad Explorer. Both she and Ron have won numerous awards in underwater photography and videography. In 2000, she became an inaugural member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

 

 

Mathieu MeurMathieu Meur

Mathieu has been shooting underwater for over 20 years, at first free-diving and subsequently on scuba. He was among the first adopters and promoters of digital technology for underwater photography, authoring presumably the first PADI-approved digital underwater photography specialty course in the world in 2001.

He went on to contribute regular columns on photography techniques to dive and photography publications. In 2004, he co-authored “An Essential Guide to Digital Underwater Photography” with Michael Aw and also “An Advanced Guide to Digital Underwater Photography” in 2007. He is a regular speaker at dive events, judge at underwater photography competitions, and coach at underwater photography workshops.raphy workshops.

 

 

Howard Hall & Michele HallHoward Hall & Michele Hall

Howard and Michele Hall are perhaps best known for their underwater IMAX films. Of the five highest grossing 3D films produced by IMAX Corporation, two were directed by Howard Hall. Into the Deep has earned box office receipts of over $70 million and Deep Sea 3D has earned over $96 million.

The Hall’s recently released Under the Sea 3D has earned over $52 million. Between them, Howard and Michele have won seven Emmy Awards. Howard has produced and/or directed many award winning natural history television films including a National Geographic Special, which he co-produced with Michele, and three episodes of the PBS series Nature. Howard also directed and Michele produced the award winning, five-hour series Secrets of the Ocean Realm for PBS.

Howard holds a BS degree in zoology from San Diego State University. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Michele is a Registered Nurse and holds a B.S. degree in Health Sciences. She is a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

 

 

Gerry AllenGerry Allen

Gerald is an internationally renowned authority on the classification and ecology of coral reef fishes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He is the author of 31 books and 400 scientific publications. He has an intimate knowledge of fish life on coral reefs, having logged more than 7,000 dives.

Field studies form an integral part of Dr. Allen’s research, probably more so than any other marine biologist. He received a Ph.D. in marine zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1971, having done his thesis on anemone fishes. He served as Curator of Fishes at the Western Australian Museum in Perth for 24 years before leaving to take a position with Conservation International as their Science Team Leader. He is a past President of the Australian Society for Fish Biology, an honorary foreign member of the American Society of Ichthyology and Herpetology, and a recent recipient of the prestigious K. Radway Allen Award for Outstanding Contributions in Ichthyological Science.

 

 

Stephen Frink Stephen Frink

Stephen Frink is among the world’s most frequently published UW photographers, with a career spanning nearly four decades. He arrived in Key Largo in 1978 to open a small studio dedicated to UW photo services, primarily renting cameras and processing E-6 slide film, but he soon began to receive assignments to photograph and write articles for the consumer dive publications of the day. He worked as a photojournalist for Skin Diver magazine for 17-years, covering much of the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida Keys for the publication. Subsequently he worked as the Director of Photography for Scuba Diving magazine. Most recently, and for the past six years, Stephen has been the publisher of Alert Diver Magazine, a beautiful coffee-table collectible magazine for the members of the Divers Alert Network.

Stephen teaches Masters level courses of Stephen Frink School of Underwater Digital Imaging in his home waters of Key Largo, Florida. Clients for assignment photography over the past 3 decades have included Scubapro, Victoria’s Secret, Aqualung, Oceanic, Canon, Nikon, Subgear, Mercury Marine, Jantzen, Alcan Aluminum, R.J. Reynolds, Seaquest, Henderson Aquatics, Neosport, American Express, Hanes, Club Med; as well as scores of resorts and live-aboard dive boats throughout the world. Rolex Watch Company has also engaged Frink for both endorsement and product photography.

Other Frink enterprises include a dive travel company, WaterHouse Tours and Reservations; and a stock photo agency, Stephen Frink Collection. Stephen Frink Photographic is the North American distributor for SEACAM underwater photo equipment.

Stephen lives in Key Largo, where he operates a studio and gallery at Mile Marker 101, Bayside.

 

 

Miriam Stein Battles

SAs a photo editor specializing in nature, Miriam Stein Battles has worked on magazines, books and websites. Combining her marine conservation background with her photo professional skills, Miriam has worked for nonprofits such as National Geographic Society, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy.

Miriam much enjoys using her formal knowledge of marine conservation to further the awareness and protection of underwater environments and species. She was a photo editor for the Smithsonian Sant Ocean Hall as well as the companion book, “Smithsonian Ocean.” Miriam has been a certified diver since she was fifteen.