Well we’ve all been caught up in the whole Car-L phenomenon for the past couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about all of the other exciting projects we’ve had going on lately…  Not least of which was our Travel Photography Awards 2013 Prize Winner Dana Allen’s trip to Tahiti with Chris.

I touched base with Dana recently to hear how their adventure went, and to see some of the amazing photos he captured on his journey around French Polynesia. Having traveled from Zimbabwe to meet up with Chris in New Zealand before continuing on to Tahiti, I know Dana was probably suffering from some fairly hefty jetlag on arrival in the islands. In his own words, he was “Exactly half way around the globe from (his) home!”

But that didn’t stop him from enjoying the trip, saying he was “excited and honored to be selected to travel to such an iconic destination, and with such a fantastic photographer”. On arrival in Tahiti Chris and Dana enjoyed a night at the Manava Suite Resort before continuing straight on to Bora Bora. “Flying into Bora Bora was really exciting, it is an amazing view of the island and the reef as you land, it really takes your breath away with the intense colours and scenic beauty.” High praise from someone who travels fairly regularly himself throughout Africa (and further afield). Prior to his trip to Tahiti Dana was in the Congo photographing gorillas, you can see some of the images from that trip on Dana’s blog page here.

From Bora Bora they travelled on to Taha’a Island – added to the itinerary last minute due to changeable weather at their scheduled location in Tikihau. Taha’a was definitely one of the highlights of their trip says Dana, “Gliding through the reef and being able to capture the amazing beauty of the underwater world there was definitely one of my favourite photo opportunities.”

It was here they swam and snorkeled with stingray, black tipped reef sharks, large moray eels and hundreds of tiny reef fish. All providing the perfect opportunity for Dana to test his new underwater equipment from AquaTech, part of his prize package as Grand Prize Winner. (You can see more of Dana’s shots at the bottom of this post).

“I had done a bit of underwater shooting in the past but it was very informal and with pretty simple equipment. It was exciting to use the new AquaTech housing with my D4 and to work with Chris to achieve the optimum settings and techniques to get great results”. We think he definitely achieved that, as you can see in the fantastic images he has shared with us! (View them below).

Last stop was Moorea where they spent their days swimming and paddleboarding with more sharks and rays and exploring the amazing landscapes of this region. Their tour ended with a fantastic meal on the final night hosted by the wonderful teams at Tourisme Tahiti and Air Tahiti Nui who had put this amazing travel package together for us.

The end result? A great time had by both, some great new images and some memorable new experiences to share. Says Dana “It was really great to work with Chris, learning and sharing ideas and techniques and just making great images”.

Thanks to all of our fantastic sponsors who donated their incredible prizes for the 2013 awards: Tahiti Tourisme, Air Tahiti Nui, Nikon New Zealand, HP, AquaTech**, Lowepro and Lexar.

**If you fancy a bit of underwater photography yourself and want to get your hands on an underwater housing – or any other gear – from AquaTech, make sure you use our Promo Code when ordering to get 5% off the retail price.  Just enter this code (all lowercase) when you make your online order – aquatech cm2013 – happy shopping!!

Watch for our announcement when the 2014 Awards open early in the New Year. It could be you next time!

All images copyright Dana Allen.
Underwater photos captured using an AquaTech sport housing for D4, Nikon D4 camera and Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 lens.

All images copyright Dana Allen.
Underwater photos captured using an AquaTech sport housing for D4, Nikon D4 camera and Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 lens.

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