10 Reasons to enter the Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival 22-27 May 2017

Just in case you need them here are my Top 10 reasons to enter the Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival 

       1. Dive Action from Cape town have confirmed that Nauticam is the main sponsor of the Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival for 2017 (do you really        need any more reasons? enter NOW ! )

If you have ever seen a Nauticam housing you will already be drooling as you read this. If you haven’t, take it from me- you want to enter, just to try and get your hands on one of these beauties

Nauticam NA-D800

    2. Sodwana Bay is a World Heritage Site and is an amazing venue for underwater photography and video

There are 1403 fish species and over 100 coral species recorded in the bay. Just for comparison, there are 1083 species recorded in the Red Sea. The area is full of wild treasures from the Lebombo mountains down the the sea.Take a look at the pictures I have posted on this blog for proof of this indisputable fact.

     3. Sodwana Bay is a great venue for the whole family

Says iSimangaliso’s Marketing and Branding Manager, Lindy Duffield, “The festival is not only for photographers; there is a variety of events for the whole family, including programs to entertain the kids whilst Mom and Dad focus on their photography and diving.” The committee have hinted that they will be introducing a land-based fun section, including video and photos for entrants under the age of 15 years but details are still to come.

   4. There are amazing prizes and generally a relatively small number of entrants

To add to the Nauticam underwater camera equipment from Dive Action in Cape Town there will be dive and accommodation packages, dive equipment, accommodation packages, a magazine portfolio spread and apparel. The collective value of the prizes is in the region of about R250 000.

   5. A portion of your entry fee goes back into conservation and the community

20-30% of the competition entrance fee to the Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival is for iSimangaliso’s Rare and Endangered Species Fund. This is a fund for the introduction, protection and monitoring of these animals in the Park. According to iSimangaliso’s Business Director, Terri Castis, you will be providing benefits beyond the obvious. Terri told me that “ a portion of the Park entrance fees goes towards bursaries for local young people, mentorship and training support for the 178 small businesses in the area participating in our enterprise program, and many other initiatives that aim to improve the lives of people living around the Park. We encourage photographers of every skill level to enter the competition, explore and experience this World Heritage Site and in doing so, contribute to its protection for generations to come”

   6. There will be talks and workshops hosted by well known photographers and other experts in their fields

The program in the Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival 2017 includes marine educational walks and talks by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Sharklife, as well as sand sculpting competitions. The evenings include presentations by experts on photography, marine conservation and the astonishing world beneath the waves.

  7. It’s the longest running underwater photo competition in Southern Africa

The Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival has been running for 17 years  ( albeit in a slightly different format in earlier years) as it was founded in 2000 by the Gauteng Underwater Photographic Society. Throughout it’s many years it has become well-recognised and for those who enter and win prizes, their photography is showcased across various media.

  8. It’s no longer just a competition for underwater photographers only

The Sodwana Bay Shootout Photographic Festival 2017 has a section for terrestrial photographs and these may be taken anywhere in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park during the six days of the event.This may suit people in your family who don’t dive and it also widens up the possibilities for everyone to win some great prizes.

  9. You’ll get loads of wonderful photos to show off on your social media platforms

Who doesn’t love showing-off a little on facebook or instagram. It‘s the age of the hedonist after all ! Show your friends what fun you’re having in the paradisiacal surroundings of Sodwana Bay. You did promise yourself less time behind the computer didn’t you? 

And last (but not least) – It’s way better than spending 6 days in Johannesburg !

Find more information here- as it is released iSimangaliso Shootout Festival Page link

See you there.

Fiona Ayerst

2017-01-06

Here’s a gallery of  photos to get you booking….

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