A FRIENDLY fish and a docile turtle helped two local photographers win big at the Cairns Underwater Photo Competition on the weekend.
Although Port Douglas-based photographer Chris Hamilton won “best in show”, it was his model, Morty the Maori wrasse, who was the real star.
Morty is pretty used to people and particularly Chris, who has been taking underwater photos for more than five years.
“Morty’s a resident at Turtle Bay, which is just off Agincourt 2D,” Chris said.
“I must have over 1000 photographs of him.
“I took this one about six months ago at Turtle Bay.
“It was very shallow water, right under the boat.”
Chris, who works for Oak Beach Productions and takes photos on Poseidon, said it was an honour to win the award.
“The judges were all professional photographers, so it was on honour they chose me,” he said.
Jai Miller’s photo of a turtle at Low Isles took out the junior category.
At nine years of age, Jai has been taking photos for as long as he can remember. “I took this photo last month,” Jai said. “It was about eight o’clock in the morning, “I found this turtle over at the Clam Gardens at Low Isles, next to Woody.
“I had to duck-dive about five metres to get the shot. I managed to get two photos. He didn’t move.”
Jai, whose father is professional underwater photographer Dave Miller, said he was excited to win the prize, a camera and underwater housing of his own.
“Dad taught me two main things about photography,” he said.
“It’s about the light and the angles.”
Spectacular: Chris Hamilton’s winning image and (inset) Jai Miller’s top shot