SoCal Shootout Winning Photos

Bluewater Photo announces winners of the annual SoCal Shootout 3-day underwater photo contest
By UWPG News

October 6, 2015

Bluewater Photo has just announced winners of the 5th annual SoCal Shootout underwater photo contest. The 3-day event saw some excellent dive conditions in Southern California, allowing photographers and videographers to access some of the most photogenic dive sites in the area.

The SoCal Shootout saw some intense competition from very talented photographers in all categories this year. A big congratulations goes out to Brook Peterson, who won Best of Show with her image of a sea lion pup swimming by blowing bubbles - a perfect example of active marine life behavior.

Over $20,000 in prizes are being awarded to the SoCal Shootout winners, including:

  • Aquatica Digital - choice of GH4 or OM-D E-M1 housing

  • Rocio Del Mar - liveaboard trip spot

  • Aiyanar - dive & stay package

  • SEA&SEA strobes

  • Bluewater Travel vouchers for dive travel bookings

Other sponsors include The Cortez Club, Maluku Divers, I-Torch, Channel Islands Dive Adventures, Bluewater Photo, Ikelite, Light & Motion, FIX Neo, Ultralight, Truth Aquatics and Peace dive boat.

The judging panel was comprised of professional photographers Andy Sallmon and Mark Strickland with Bluewater Photo owner Scott Gietler.


-> View all the SoCal Shootout Winning Photos


Bluewater Photo SoCal Shootout winners 2015


Socal Shootout 2015






5th Annual SoCal Shootout Results

Culver City, California – We are excited to announce the winners of the 5th Annual SoCal Shootout. With excellent conditions, our highest number of participants and overall great photographers this year we had an intense competition with some really fantastic entries. In the end, the best in show prize went to Brook Peterson with a stunning sea lion behavior shot. Ben Hofilena and Christopher Borel took first place in the Open Wide and Mirrorless Wide Angle categories respectively with colorful, fish filled photos from our local Oil Rigs.

Our new categories for this year, Mirrorless Wide Angle and Mirrorless Macro were extremely successful with many entries showcasing the beauty of the California waters. In addition we continued to have a strong video competition with Todd Kortte taking first place in our edited video category with his stunning edit of bait-fish schooling among the oil rigs. 

Compact shooters continued to amaze with incredible kelp forest scenes from Compact Wide winner Ty Oliver, and Compact Macro winner Michal Ross.


See below for the full list of winners, all winning photos can be found at:

The 5th Annual SoCal Shootout weekend took place September 18th-20th, 2015 with participants shooting all over the Southern California waters.

Entries were judged by professional underwater photographers Mark Strickland, Andy Sallmon and Bluewater Photo owner Scott Gietler.

Over $20,000 in prizes are being awarded to the winners with top sponsors offering a housing from Aquatica Digital, strobes from Sea & Sea and a lighting package from iTorch. We had several local trip prizes from sponsor Channel Islands Dive Adventures. Bluewater Travel will be organizing the winner's trips from our international sponsors. These included the Rocio del Mar liveaboard, Aiyanar Beach & Diving Resort in the Philippines, the Cortez Club & La Concha in La Paz, and Maluku Divers in Indonesia. A full list of sponsors can be located at


About the SoCal Shootout: 

The SoCal Shootout is an annual photography competition where some of Southern California’s most active underwater photographers strive to capture the best possible photos over a three day period. Major editing is not allowed, so the competition truly tests a photographer’s ability to capture stunning imagery in-camera. Bluewater Photo, Southern California’s only dedicated underwater photography center, sponsors the event along with many top underwater photography and scuba brands, international resorts and local dive boats – all of which are excited to support the Californian scuba diving community.




Best in Show

Brook Peterson


Open Wide Angle

First Place:  Ben Hofilena

Second Place:  Adam Martin

Third Place:  Jim Argonick

Honorable Mention:  Nayan Savla

Honorable Mention:  Jim Argonick


Open Macro

First Place:  Helen Brierley

Second Place:  Christopher Borel

Third Place:  Brook Peterson

Honorable Mention:  Craig Hoover

Honorable Mention:  Craig Hoover


Open Behavior

First Place:  Brook Peterson

Second Place:  Nayan Savla

Third Place:  Sandra Dildine

Fourth Place:  Brook Peterson

Honorable Mention:  Erik Lucas

Honorable Mention:  Steve Fitzpatrick


Open Portrait

First Place:  Cindy Shaw

Second Place:  Craig Hoover

Third Place (tie):  Tiffany Poon

Third Place (tie):  Desmond Ho

Honorable Mention:  Adam King

Honorable Mention:  Joseph Jenkins


Mirrorless Wide Angle

First Place:  Christopher Borel

Second Place:  Christopher Borel

Third Place:  Kelly Teich

Honorable Mention:  Renee Capozzola

Honorable Mention:  Mark Judd


Mirrorless Macro

First Place:  Desmond Ho

Second Place:  Bruce Sudweeks

Third Place:  Melvin Moncrieff

Honorable Mention:  Patrick Smith

Honorable Mention:  Melvin Moncrieff


Compact Wide Angle

First Place:  Ty Oliver

Second Place:  Ashley Lewis

Third Place:  David Guth

Honorable Mention:  Renee Capozzola

Honorable Mention:  Camilla Hall


Compact Macro

First Place:  Michal Ross

Second Place:  Brian Herold

Third Place:  Sandra Dildine

Honorable Mention:  David Guth

Honorable Mention:  Sandra Dildine


Edited Video

First Place:  Todd Kortte

Second Place:  Daniel McGanty

Third Place:  Robert Arnold


Unedited Video

First Place:  Andre Labuda

Second Place:  Daniel McGanty

Third Place:  Hank Kratzer

Honorable Mention:  Richard Hofmann

Honorable Mention:  Vanessa Homyak



Media Contact:

Kelli Dickinson




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