Wetpixel.com has won one of the most prestigious awards in the underwater photograpy and videography community: the underwater web site of the year award at the Antibes Juan-Les-Pins 30th Festival Mondial de L'Image Sous-Marine (30th World Festival of Underwater Images). The awards ceremony last night here in the South of France was not unlike a small version of the Academy Awards, and the two-hour ceremony honored winners for underwater web sites, books, images, and films.
Obviously, the entire ceremony was in French, and even though Andi and Lars have a slight grasp of the language, we sat in the audience futilely trying to figure out what was going on. In fact, we didn't even really know when the web site award was going to be announced; we heard something about web sites, but then someone else was called up to the stage (who ended up being the presenter, I believe). Suddenly, I heard, "Eric Cheng, Wetpixel.com!" and while walking up to receive my golden fin trophy, I was vaguely aware of some words being said in French. Actually, I was only vaguely aware of just about everything because the entire event was a bit surreal. I've never accepted an award in front of an audience so large -- and never in a country where I cannot understand the language. :) But it was very exciting, and it shows that the community is starting to accept the inevitable transition from film to digital imaging.
By the way, it was really nice to have met the Digideep boys and Aline and Laura. I spent the extended weekend with them, and I must thank them profusely for their wonderful company. I'll write more in an explicit Antibes report soon.