News / Middle East

Models Mix with Fish in Red Sea Photo Contest

A model (L) enters the water before an underwater photo shoot in the Red Sea in the resort city of Eilat Oct. 23, 2013.
A model (L) enters the water before an underwater photo shoot in the Red Sea in the resort city of Eilat Oct. 23, 2013.
Reuters
A gust of air ruffled her white wedding dress before Hagar Cohen dived into the Red Sea, high heels sparkling in the sun as she disappeared beneath the waves.
 
Minutes later the 33-year-old Israeli diving instructor, moonlighting as a model, was posing on a sunken missile ship 20 m (60 feet) below the surface of the Gulf of Eilat - for an underwater photo competition.
 
Italian photographer Giordano Cipriani shot Cohen for about 30 minutes, directing her in sign language as the wedding gown floated freely about her as it never would on land.
 
A model opens her mouth to breathe from a scuba tank as Israeli photographer Johannes Felten (L) takes pictures during an underwater photo shoot in the Red Sea in the resort city of Eilat, Oct. 22, 2013.
A model opens her mouth to breathe from a scuba tank as Israeli photographer Johannes Felten (L) takes pictures during an underwater photo shoot in the Red Sea in the resort city of Eilat, Oct. 22, 2013.
Cipriani's wet-suited mother was on hand to administer gulps of air from her scuba tank to Cohen so she wouldn't expire.
 
The shipwreck was a popular location at this year's Eilat Red Sea World of Underwater Images, where about 80 amateur and professional photographers competed in what they say is the world's biggest underwater photo “shootout”.
 
Most photographers combed the seabed day and night for exotic aquatic life. A handful entered the “Fish and Fashion” category, in which the “photographer can make use of nudity, fashion and styling elements upon his choice”.
 
Underwater photography, for most, is an expensive hobby. A camera with a waterproof casing can be bought for several hundred dollars. But high-end systems, with multiple lenses and flashes extending out like crab's legs, cost up to $40,000. And that does not include the scuba gear.
 
“When I first decided to take it to the next level, I had to sell my motorcycle to buy the equipment,” said Cipriani, 39, who works as a travel photographer.
 
It was his first time at the Eilat event, where the first place prize of $10,000 is pretty much as good as it gets.
 
“But even a win can cost them money,” said David Pilosof, who has been running the competition for eight years. The cost of equipment and travel all adds up. “They come because they have been bitten by a bug. It is a passion.”
 
Pictures can be in color or black-and-white but none can be edited even slightly without incurring disqualification.
 
Zimbabwe-born Richard Carey has competed for several years and in 2010 won a prize with a picture of two octopi mating.
 
“There is still the excitement, the adrenalin, the moment you see something special, and you just hope you can get your camera there in time,” he said.

An assistant escorts a model as she dives to a location of an underwater photo shoot in the Red Sea in the resort city of Eilat, Oct. 23, 2013.
An assistant escorts a model as she dives to a location of an underwater photo shoot in the Red Sea in the resort city of Eilat, Oct. 23, 2013.
Coral refuge
 
Eilat does not appear in most top-10 lists of must-dive locations in the world, but it is still popular, largely due to its variety of fish and the easy access to its reefs.
 
Its corals are special for another reason. They can, unlike many others that are turning white and dying, tolerate unusually large rises in temperature, a study published last month found.
 
The corals that settled thousands of years ago in the northern Red Sea had to pass through a narrow strait to the south that acted as a thermal barrier, ensuring they are more resistant to temperature increases.
 
“It's a coral refuge,” said Amatzia Genin, a professor of ecology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who co-published the findings in the journal Global Change Biology. Corals in this area could live for 100 years after others die, he said.
 
Israeli photographer Johannes Felten said the coral was the perfect background for fashion shoots. He wanted as much help as possible on land - he brought a model and stylist - because underwater currents are disruptive and lighting is elusive.
 
Also there is the cold. His model wore only a skirt and bikini top.
 
Felten said he did not care that his equipment cost far more than the winning purse.
 
“You can't put a price tag on a hobby like this, on a passion,” he said.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Helga from: Germany
October 29, 2013 7:57 AM
yeah sure... somehow islamic terrorists are absent from the "shoot"... the Red Sea used to be a paradise... when it was in Israel's hands... now its just another deformed Islamic filth.

I know... I have been there...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid