My fetish for underwater photo shoot is no secret.

On one hand, I connect with the world under the water – the silence of diving, the floating sensation, followed by the spin that intensifies as you go deeper and deeper. On the other hand, I connect with photography – hoping to seize the moment and express something different in front of the camera.

So this year I went forward and took part in an international underwater photo contest.

HP Red Sea 2012 – Eilat

HP Read Sea Eilat is an annual contest. Photographers from around the world arrive to Eilat to compete in several categories – Fish photography, underwater video shoots and, as of recently, underwater fashion shoots.

International fish photographers come to Eilat with general ideas and directions, looking for new riffs and undiscovered destinations. So do the fashion photographers, who come to Eilat with their models and crews after planning the sets months in advance, including locations, clothes, lightning and positions.

Last year, a gifted photographer called Yohan won the contest for shooting the amazing Ellie Bial underwater.

The moment of winning; Dress: ErezOvadia; Shoes: Almbika, Makeup: RinatShor

We make plans and god laughs…

I’ve heard of the contest two weeks before it started.

I spoke to a photographer I know, and although everybody else had months to prepare, I decided to go for it. I collected some fashionable items and even spoke to a lovely makeup artist, Rinat Shor, who agreed to come with me all the way to Eilat and to take part in this experience.

Everything was set. I was ready and excited, when suddenly, a few days before the contest, the photographer cancelled. He claimed he must attend a family get-together that takes place on the very same days.

Bummer.

But I didn’t give it up.

I flew to Eilat thinking ‘whatever, I’d go to Eilat and find a photographer’. Que sera sera.

Clothing: Bina, Shows: Almbika. Makeup: RinatShor

Winning against all odds

Photographers had 3 days in which they had to shoot 5 photos of the model underwater. On my first day, it occurred to me that everybody had already finished their first sessions.

On my first evening I met Tobias Fredrick, a great fish photographer from Germany. Tobias never shot models underwater, but when I told him I had the styling, makeup and motivation set up, he agreed to be my photographer. “But I only have one day”, he apologized, “So let’s go ahead” I said, “We have one day to make 5 winning photos” (although there were three days left).

On the next they I changed 5 dresses, went in and out of the freezing water, and we manager to take 5 photos that we actually like.

On the third day, while everybody was busy making last attempts, Tobias flew to Germany and I went back home.

We knew we didn’t have much chance, as we didn’t prepare as well as everybody else.

With Tobias, my crazy photographer. Dress: ErezOvadia

A surprising end

A day before the closing ceremony I decided to go back to Eilat to attend the glittering closing ceremony and see who won.

I was very (very!) surprised to learn – me and Tobias won the first prize!

But to be honest, even without the prize, I won…

I won an amazing experience,

Magnificent new artistic photos

Meeting new and special people along the way

And understanding that this life is absolutely what we want them to be!

Below are some treats from the contest. Enjoy!

 

Dress: ErezOvadia, Makeup: RinatShor

A winning team!

In action. Photo: Sharon Reiss, Photographer appearing in the photo: Tobias Fredrick , Oxygen: Rubi, Shoes: A