Image 2003 Judgment day
Image 2003, the 11th International Festival of Underwater Photography and Film organised by Diver, has run its course. Now you can enjoy some of the winning entries
List of winners Winning photos
Eleven judges came together to select the winners of Image 2003: Swiss underwater photographer Kurt Amsler; BBC Blue Planet producer Andy Byatt; Lino Chiumarulo from Italy; Dietmar Fuchs, Editor of Germanys Unterwasser magazine; Brian Pitkin from the British Society of Underwater Photographers; film director Mike Portelly; film producer Paul Sarony; ex-BBC producer Ray Sutcliffe; and Bernard Eaton, Nigel Eaton and John Bantin of Diver.
The biennial Image festival is a showcase of what is best among the current work of underwater image-makers. Thousands of still and moving pictures received from newcomers and Grand Masters had ruthlessly been whittled down to fewer than 100. It was then that the arguments began!
After a long, emotional day, the judges finally settled on the winners. They were looking not only for excellent technique but new approaches to old subjects. Photographs that were not ecologically sound, such as a seahorse swimming in midwater, were dismissed no matter how good they were.
There were many different opinions about who should qualify for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, with images coming close falling into the Highly Commended category. The growing pile of rejected material seemed an unfair reflection, such was the high standard set in most categories.
We can only console entrants who come away without a prize with the words of Wellington: It was a damned close-run thing.