by Diarmuid O’Donovan – Amateur Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019
2019 was a very important year for me photographic wise as I felt the quality of my images were getting stronger and more impactful, so I thought it was time to test the metal as I was never one to shy away anyway from a good fight.
The CFT Vincent O’Brien Underwater Photography Competition was the perfect place. Being in the room for some of the talks all day long meant so much to me from an inspirational & educational point of view. I learned about camera techniques for under the water, compositional advice & also to believe in myself and my abilities to become a better photographer. It’s not everyday you get to see some of the best of our shores in one room from Ireland & the UK.
Later that day the competition entries were shown on a projected screen and I was simply blown away at the standard of images and thought to myself that I would have no chance of winning anything. I was entered into the non-advanced group as it was only after my first year of diving and was grateful just to be in the competition and to learn more about this amazing craft of ours. When they were announcing the winners of the different categories, I’d be lying if i said I wasn’t at the edge of my seat hoping my name would be called for anything, low and behold it was called for Non-Advanced Portfolio Underwater Photographer of the Year Award 2019. I was simply stoked at this achievement and to share the moment with my peers made it that much better.
So now 2020 has a new story to tell as I have a bit more skin in the game as being promoted to the advanced category for the CFT Vincent O’Brien Underwater Competition title being held in my home town of Limerick this year where i’ll be pitted against my dive buddy and good friend Mike Orth (2019 Champion), who has taught me nearly everything about Scuba Diving. March 7th & 8th 2020 will tell us more about this story, & I simply cannot wait.