AUGUST 22-25, 2019
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  • Registration only $25
  • One low price gets you into the Competition, cocktail party and all Seminars
  • Contest hours - Fri 7AM to Sat 7PM
  • Backscatter party on Saturday night at 6PM

First time underwater shooters will enjoy our introductory seminars held on Friday. All skill levels will get inspired with our more advanced seminars held on Sunday. Come meet fellow enthusiasts and learn from our professional presenters.


You don't need to be a pro to have fun and win big in our friendly competition. You just need to get in the water this weekend. Our 32 hour photo and video competition has categories for beginner, intermediate, and advanced shooters with great prizes from our sponsors. All competition entrants must register for a full weekend pass to enter.

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  Monterey Bay images from some of our past competitors.


Monterey diving is second to none when the conditions are right. We can't control the weather, but we can help you find good dive boats, great dives, and places to stay during your visit. You'll also find all event locations at this link.


Berkley White Berkley White

Berkley White is the founder of Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo which has grown to be the largest underwater photographic equipment supplier is the USA. Since 1994, Backscatter helped develop a community of local cold water divers and has now spent years supporting a thriving tribe of international artists, film makers, and first time shooters from its locations in Monterey, California and Derry, New Hampshire in the USA. For more about Backscatter or articles on equipment and techniques, please see: Berkley's images and technical articles are regularly published in international magazines and he regularly serves a photographic judge or technical editor on publications. He is also a major promoter for educational events designed for both industry and consumer users such as the Digital Shootout and the DEMA Imaging Center. To learn more about his intensive educational events, please see: Berkley runs a limited schedule of exotic photo safaris each year. From the warm diverse waters of Indonesia to the cold adventure of Alaska, Berkley's shared adventures are always scheduled to be at the best time with the best local knowledge for image makers. For a complete schedule of events, please see his travel company:
Jim Decker Jim Decker

As the CEO of Backscatter, Jim is one of the top experts in the world on underwater photo and video equipment and shooting technique. From SLRs to compacts and handycams to broadcast video, Jim has shot video and photo systems from all the major underwater manufacturers and has been a consultant on many of the designs seen in the water today. Jim has also consulted with many professional photographers, production companies, resorts, and magazines including Mythbusters, Discovery Channel, Sport Diver Magazine, Scuba Diving Magazine, Into The Drink, National Geographic, Freshwaters Illustrated, and many more.
Jim Decker Erin Quigley

Erin Quigley is a Adobe ACE certified imaging expert specializing in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. She is an award-winning underwater photographer, and creator of, which provides resources and training specifically developed for underwater shooters. Erin leads trips and teaches workshops worldwide, and currently writes the Imaging Training column for Scuba Diving magazine.
Scott Campbell Scott Campbell

Out of reach and out of sight for many, the underwater world comes alive through the ethereal black and white images of world class freediver Scott Campbell. Campbell's breath hold skills allow him to approach marine subjects differently than photographers that rely on SCUBA. All of Scott's work is captured on a breath of air, commonly called Freediving. Scott spent 5 years competing on the US Freediving Team and set numerous records for depth and duration. He has held his breath for over seven and a half minutes and can dive to 200 feet. These skills, coupled with his photography background, produce work that is unique to the blue water environment.
Carl Miller Carl Miller

Though born in England, filmmaker Carl Miller has spent most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Believing that motion picture films can harbor magnificent influence toward creating positive change, Carl obtained a degree in film production at San Diego State University. With degree in hand, he returned to the Bay Area to work for George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic. There, he "cut his teeth" in the industry for 20 years on more than 30 major motion pictures, and quickly grew into a position as a Visual Effects Director of Photography. Carl was awarded for Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Motion Picture, by the Visual Effects Society, for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Dead Man's Chest. Concurrently, he independently created a 90 minute video about Scuba diving in Monterey, and sold thousands of copies.Carl was the Creative & Director for the $1/2 million DLP Cinema trailer, "Birth of an Image," which opened theaters all over the world. With an ongoing desire to tell cinematic stories, Carl began his personal dramatic filmmaking career with the motion picture RETALIATION, which has played at prestigious film festivals. He was involved as the Cinematographer to reshoot about 50% of George Lucas' latest film RED TAILS. Carl continues working in cinema as a Producer / Director / Cinematographer / and Writer.
Mike Bartick Mike Bartick

Mike was raised in sunny Southern California just a short distance from the shores of the Pacific Ocean. An avid diver and marine wildlife enthusiast, he turned to photography to capture and share some of his diving experiences with others. His first underwater camera was borrowed from a buddy to take on one of the frequent family trips to Hawaii. Needless to say he has never returned that camera and from that trip forward he was hooked. His obsession for photographing critters has taken him all over the world and while he admits to loving the warm waters of the tropics his first love will always be the frigid California waters. Mike's work is featured in magazines, text books, calendars and more and can be found worldwide. He is a small animal expert that frequently leads groups of photographers into Asia to seek out that special critter.
Ron Watkins Ron Watkins

Ron Watkins is a professional photographer, writer, explorer, trip leader and photography instructor specializing in underwater and topside nature photography. Through his imagery, Ron is committed to raising awareness of the challenges facing our fragile ecosystems and threatened marine life in hopes of promoting conservation.

Ron has been an accomplished award-winning photographer for over 15 years and most recently he has been recognized internationally by winning the prestigious Underwater Photographer of the Year, Our World Underwater, World Shootout Team and Ocean Art photography competitions. His imagery and stories have been featured in print and online publications including Ocean Geographic, Alert Diver, Scuba Diving, Scuba Diver Ocean Planet, Underwater Photography Guide, Dive Photo Guide, Unterwasser and Scuba magazine in the UK. You may also find his work displayed in commercial advertising, non-profit organizations, national aquariums, science centers, libraries, schools, businesses, as well as private collections.

To learn more about Ron's work, visit
Russ Sanoian Russ Sanoian

Russ Sanoian is the product manager at Backscatter and a freelance underwater and nature videographer based in Monterey, California. Russ has extensive use with most of the current manufacturers video and still housings being offered in todays market.

Russ has been diving closed circuit rebreathers and underwater scooters for the last 10 years and entered the industry as a lead technical sales person with Light & Motion. Russ joined Backscatter as product manager where he constantly evaluates the latest camera technology and blends imaging techniques with the art of technical diving. Russ is well known in the diving industry as a great educator and mentor of new photographers and technical divers and is always available for imaging and technical support.

Russ's film credits include PBS expeditions to the Andrea Doria, CBC "The Nature of Things", DPTV "Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes", BBC "Life" series and "Million Dollar Otters", Local Television shows and several projects in the cenotes of Mexico and freshwater caves in Florida.
Joel Penner Joel Penner

Joel is the founder of Newmediasoup, LLC, a multimedia and event coverage company. He also provides multimedia projects for Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo and is a part of their digital media team. Joel was an early adopter of the use of DSLR cameras for shooting high definition underwater video and currently shoots 4K Ultra High Definition video as part of his business. He is also an active product tester for Backscatter assisting with underwater video camera testing and video editing for new products. His images have been published in various magazines, such as, Scuba Diver TTL, Scuba Diver Ocean Planet, Scuba Diving and Sport Diver. Along with his wife Jennifer, they have authored many published articles on techniques to improve underwater imaging for GoPro cameras and DSLRs, and are regular presenters at scuba diving trade shows.

Chuck Davis Chuck Davis

From the freezing climes of Antarctica and Greenland to the heat and humidity of the Amazon, Chuck Davis has worked as a specialist in marine and underwater photography and cinematography. His motion picture filming credits include work on several IMAX films, including RING OF FIRE (underwater lava scenes), WHALES, THE GREATEST PLACES, AMAZING JOURNEYS, SEARCH FOR THE GREAT SHARKS, and two Academy Award-nominated IMAX films, ALASKA: SPIRIT OF THE WILD and THE LIVING SEA(underwater/marine scenes of Monterey Bay).

Jennifer Penner Jennifer Penner

Jen's foray-turned-passion for underwater photography started as a participant at the Digital Shootout in 2008 (ask her some time about her first nightly image critiques). She quickly retired her all-auto point&shoot camera for a DSLR, and now would be in the water everyday with her camera if possible. Her images have been published in various magazines, such as, Scuba Diver TTL, Scuba Diver Ocean Planet, Scuba Diving and Sport Diver. Along with her husband Joel, they have authored many published articles on techniques to improve underwater imaging for GoPro cameras and DSLRs, and are regular presenters at scuba diving trade shows. When not in her ocean office, she attends to their multimedia company, Newmediasoup, LLC.

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