THE LEMBEH VS GULEN SHOOTOUT 2018: EVENT ROUNDUP
It’s been two years since Lembeh Resort and Gulen Dive Resort went head to head in the most talked about underwater photography shootout in 2016 – and the 2018 rematch was just as exciting!
The two teams, based in Lembeh Resort in Indonesia and Gulen Dive Resort in Norway, pitted their underwater photography skills against each other in three rounds over six days. This year’s categories included Nudibranchs, Fish & Invertebrates and Wide Angle.
The Lembeh Strait is world famous for its abundance of rare and unusual marine life, hence the title “Critter Capital of the World”, whereas Norway is known for its wrecks, incredible visibility and staggering seascapes. The shootout truly is a clash of the titans: cold water versus tropical, north versus south of the equator, and drysuits versus wetsuits – could there be any more of a challenging event? Team leaders were world-class photo pros
Alex Mustard and Keri Wilk, with Alex heading up Team Lembeh and Keri at the helm of Team Gulen. Both pros have expert knowledge and experience in their respective locations and the teams couldn’t have been in safer hands.
The shootout truly is a clash of the titans: cold water versus tropical, north versus south of the equator and drysuits versus wetsuits
Team Lembeh took an early lead in the first round – Nudibranchs – unlike in 2016 when Team Gulen took the round with a convincing lead. Lembeh then went on to win the Fish & Invertebrates round, but due to higher voting numbers, Team Gulen managed to close the overall gap, making for an intense final round –
As it happened, Lembeh’s critters and mangroves couldn’t hold up against Gulen’s stunning collection of split images and dramatic green seascapes, which saw the latter take the last round by storm. In fact, as Gulen received such a large number of votes in the Wide Angle
round, the final count to determine the overall winner was a nail-biting affair. This was the closest shootout to date and the final overall scores were announced at 56.2 to Gulen and 58.2 to Lembeh. It couldn’t have been a closer finish but with a narrow margin, Team Lembeh was declared the overall 2018 winner.
The stunning imagery that was captured over the six days is a huge testament to the incredible marine life and dive sites of these two unique diving destinations and the phenomenal underwater photography opportunities that each has to offer.
So what does this mean for the future of the Lembeh vs Gulen Shootout? Will it return in 2020? With heavyweight, world-class pros at the helm on each side of the world, we’d love to see a sequel, and don’t the best things always come in threes?
OPPOSITE PAGE BOTTOM OPPOSITE PAGE TOPRIGHT A wide-angle shot of a diver under the forest canopy in Lembeh A wide-angle shot of a jellyfish in Gulen A silhouette of a seahorse in Lembeh