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Underwater Photo Shot in Bonaire Wins National Geographic Contest

(Bonaire Insider) – Bill Goodwin, along with his wife, Donna, is a frequent scuba diving visitors to Bonaire and the island’s reefs.  Both enjoy underwater photography. Bill just won a major photographic competition sponsored by National Geographic.

His shot of a peppermint shrimp in a sponge taken at Margate Bay in approximately 75 feet of water was first entered into the National Geographic competition.

There were 208,000 entries from 28 countries in 20 different language editions of the magazine. Bill placed first place in the Nature category (one of three categories: People. Places, Nature) in the English language National Geographic contest, but his image then went on to win first place in the worldwide competition.

For a closer look at the photo, click here: Bill Goodwin’s Award-winning underwater photo

Often a photographer will work with a subject for some time, taking multiple images.  Bill, however, took only this one shot of the shrimp.  His camera was a Sony DSC WX-1 and, unbelievably, the camera was just set on “auto.” The camera took the image at f/2.4, ISO 160, with a shutter speed of 1/100. He did not employ a filter, he had a finger over the internal strobe to avoid double flashing, and the lighting was provided by Underwater Kinetics Light Cannon (HID) handheld on an arm outside the sponge.

Bill has been winning or placing in competitions since 2007, including the Our World Underwater 2008 Photo Contest and the 2009 Underwater Images Photo/Video Competition.  Last year at the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, which is held every four years there was a big photo competition with large prizes for the best work from the last four years by scientists, fisheries people, marine park managers and others who are lucky to have unlimited photographic opportunities.

This competition was judged by noted photographers Paul Humann, Stephen Frink, and a staff photographer from National Geographic in six categories. Bill was honored with a second place in Reefs at Risk (also with a shot taken from Bonaire), a first in Marco (with an image from Bonaire), a first in Reef Inhabitants (also with an image from Bonaire), and the Best in Show (from Cayman Brac)! The Best in Show photo (and a story about the grouper in the picture) was featured in the Cayman newspapers the week before a vote in the parliament on banning all spearfishing for grouper in Caymanian waters, and the ban was enacted, partially as a result of that image and story.  Bill and Donna are certainly making good use of their photography to help conservation efforts.

Bill and Donna have been visiting Bonaire since 2004.  Since that time, they ensure they visit for two weeks at least once a year, and sometimes twice, having their sons and daughters or friends accompany them.  Before their first visit, they’d heard that Bonaire was too good to be true–and Bill says they had to come and check it out themselves and found it to be true!

Bill hails from San Diego, and Donna is from Louisiana.  They currently reside in Birmingham, Alabama where they work at their physical therapy clinic.  They’ve definitely given back to Bonaire, too, as they organized a fundraiser with a local dive shop in Birmingham to help fund the water quality monitor program executed by STINAPA, and they are currently working with STINAPA to produce an Underwater Image Bank for students of all ages, so as to help teach many of the local children about the treasures that inhabit the waters around Bonaire.  This image bank will be useful to students and teachers in biology, information sciences, tourism industry studies, art and more.

Source: Bonaire Insider

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