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X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
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David 'Pilo' Pilosof on the upcoming Eilat Red Sea photo event

Lars Brinkmann from German Unterwasser speaks to Pilo about the current situation in Israel.
Credit:   Unterwasser
David 'Pilo' Pilosof
 |  Eilat Red Sea Photo event    |   08-20-2014
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Lars Brinkmann:
Pilo, for several years now, you have organized the Eilat Red Sea underwater photography competition -- the highest remunerated contest of its kind in the world. With the next one, you will celebrate its tenth year and the competition will take place September 7-13. But up until a few days ago, Israel was under fire by Hamas rockets from the Gaza Strip – did you ever think about cancelling the event?

David Pilosof: No thought about cancelling the event ever crossed my mind. Unfortunately, we’ve already gained some experience with these operations and wars, knowing that it’s always a matter of a few days, followed by a calm and quiet period. In this case especially, Eilat is out of the missile-range, so everyone attending the event will be safe and sound. Also, as you see in the news, it seems like a cease-fire is just around the corner, so it will be much more relaxed once the event takes place.

Lars Brinkmann And what about postponing?

David Pilosof: Postponing the event means carrying it out only next year. This year is especially festive, as Eilat Red Sea is celebrating a decade of success, so it’s important for us all to be there and enjoy these festive celebrations.

Lars Brinkmann: What do you think about the participation of non-Israeli photographers? Will they come or will most of them prefer to stay at home?

David Pilosof: I’m fully aware of how the situation looks on the news and therefore I’m taking into consideration the possibility of some cancellations. At some point, I began to think that most of the participants this year will be Israeli. However, so far I’ve received the final confirmation of many photographers arriving from abroad, so after all, there’s a good chance the 10th anniversary of the competition will end up being just as festive as I imagined it to be.

Ever since it was first initiated, Eilat Red Sea’s vision was to provide underwater photographers with the recognition they fully deserve. The event was always about awarding these talented and hard-working photographers with incredibly valuable prizes. Up until now, we’ve awarded photographers with prizes worth more than 1 million dollars, while $200,000 were awarded in cash.

The way I see it, Eilat Red Sea is a production which has provided underwater photographers from all over the world with an extraordinary stage during the past years. As a sign of solidarity, I personally invite all divers and photographers to join us this September, so we can all keep the flame of the diving industry burning even in difficult times.

Lars Brinkmann: On Wednesday, the 23rd of July, some airlines cancelled their flights to Tel Aviv for 24 or 36 hours. Are you afraid, this could happen again?

David Pilosof: Despite the unfortunate events on the border, flying to Israel and visiting here is perfectly safe. Perhaps the best evidence of this involves Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York who eradicated crime from its streets. As soon as the airlines began cancelling flights, Bloomberg came out with a public statement saying that there’s absolutely no danger in flying to Israel and encouraged American citizens to stick to their original vacation plans. To support his confident statement, he himself boarded the first flight to Tel Aviv.

Lars Brinkmann: Please give me your opinion: Is it dangerous to travel to Israel and especially to Eilat – at the moment and in September?

David Pilosof: Frankly speaking and without degrading anyone’s feelings or fears, it’s as dangerous as being attacked by a shark in Eilat.

Lars Brinkmann: Let’s move away from politics: Why should a photographer take part in the live shoot-out of the Eilat Red Sea photo contest in these times? What are the attractions and prices awaiting participants?

David Pilosof: First and most important, the Eilat Red Sea photo competition is distinguished by exceptional valuable prizes awarded to the winners, including huge cash prizes, diving vacations in dreamy destinations, underwater photo equipment, scuba gear and more. First prize in the main category is a $5,000-worth Subal Housing, courtesy of Subal!

It’s also an opportunity to take an exciting one-week break from your daily routine in the crystal clear water of the Red Sea. This week is all about meeting interesting and creative people, diving in one of the best locations in the world, photographing colorful fish and pretty models, partying all night long and perhaps even winning some valuable prizes.

This year, we’re hosting the Underwater Photography Global Championship, in which photographers from the same country team up and compete against other teams, originating from different countries. The judging phase will be carried out live on stage during the winning ceremony, which takes place on September 13th in Eilat. First prize is a $3,000 check, sponsored by PADI.

For all competition categories and prizes, see the video listed below.

Photographers attending the competition this year will also take part in one of the most magnificent dives ever carried out, introducing a new Guinness world record. In an operation, which will be a first in the world, hundreds of divers, 26 diving instructors, 32 production members and 12 professional photographers, will all be diving together at the Satil wreck in Eilat, Israel.

Using a sophisticated technological setup, the dive will be broadcast live on YouTube Live, enabling millions of viewers, online surfers and smart phone owners from all over the world, to take part in this extraordinary event. Together, we’ll be breaking a new Guinness world record of the largest audience for a live-streamed underwater event. See the short video below introducing the challenging setup.

Lars, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity and to address a question to you as well. As the editor of the most popular dive magazine in Germany, Unterwasser, and as someone who has already visited Israel and Eilat specifically several times before, will you be arriving this September to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Eilat Red Sea? Do you have any hesitations about flying to Tel-Aviv? How do you feel about spending a week in Eilat?

Primary source ► Eilat Red Sea Photo event
| Image of |
Primary source ► Eilat Red Sea Photo event
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