H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta
As a keen amatuer photographer, who has captured many beautiful landscapes and portraits during his visits to the districts (rural areas) of Timor-Leste, the President anticipates many great results from the competition.
Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine covering a wide range of subjects and stories.
After three decades of exploring the world’s oceans, Skerry continues to pursue stories that will increase awareness about the sea. “The oceans are in trouble. There are some serious problems out there that I believe are not clear to many people. My hope is to continually find new ways of creating images and stories that both celebrate the sea yet also highlight environmental problems. Photography can be a powerful instrument for change.”
Daniel J. Groshong, a native of Oregon, has been working as a professional photographer since 1986, covering some of the biggest news stories, from Asia to Africa and Latin America. His photographs have appeared in hundreds of magazines around the world, from Paris Match to Penthouse.
A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, where he earned his B.A. in Fine Arts, Groshong began his professional career as a photographer for the environmental group Greenpeace. He then went on to cover major news events, including the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville France, the World Expo in Seville, the Summer Olympics in Barcelona Spain, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Super Bowl, and three Academy Awards.
Groshong is also the founder of The Hummingfish Foundation (THF), which is a Hong Kong registered tax-exempt charity organization (application approval pending) designed to help add value to the earth's unspoiled natural environments, by helping in the promotion of sustainable community-based nature and cultural tourism.
Wayne Lovell came to Timor-Leste in 2000 to open what is now the country’s longest-established dive centre. A native of London, United Kingdom, he was a TV and photo journalist for 20 years, covering a range of stories including the siege of Sarajevo, the fall of the Berlin wall, and conflicts in Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, Congo, Kurdistan and Kosovo. His photographs have been published in many international newspapers, Time and Newsweek, whilst his video has been aired on major networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, ITN and Channel 7 Australia. He was a Senior News Producer for Reuters Television and was part of the SBS team that won a Walkley Award for their coverage of the Timor-Leste 2007 Presidential Elections.
He is an enthusiastic supporter of marine conservation and worked with the scientific mission from Charles Darwin University on their marine survey of the coastal areas of the Nino Konis Santana National Park. He pioneered many of the dive sites featured in the Underwater Photo Competition and has done more that 5,000 dives in Timor-Leste. A keen underwater photographer, he has a particular love for the rare and unusual critters to be found in these waters, especially nudibranchs. He is also dedicated to promoting the active involvement of Timorese youth in the development of the country’s dive tourism industry.
Jonathan Meur is the editor of Asian Diver and features editor of ScubaDiver AustralAsia, two of the region’s most well established dive publications. Jonathan started diving in his native Mauritius Island 10 years ago and now regularly selects the photos that make it into the magazines.
German born Jürgen Freund is a full-time international freelance nature photographer specialising in the marine environment. He has travelled extensively and taken many acclaimed pictures which have been published in numerous international magazines. Lured by the challenge of marine wildlife photography, he acquired an underwater camera even before learning how to scuba dive. Currently based in Far North Queensland, Australia with his wife Stella, Jürgen works closely with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) providing photographs for many of its conservation campaigns. For 17 straight months, Jürgen & Stella were on a WWF Coral Triangle Photographic Expedition which finished in Timor Leste last August.