Cavers snap up the media spotlight in national competition

The underground river in Akiyoshi-do. The blue colour of the water is natural, being lit with an underwater flash. © Chris Howes.

Two cavers have snapped up some of the spotlight in a national writing and photography competition.

Descent editor Chris Howes won the photography category and Chris Scaife was highly commended in the technical feature category in the annual contest run by the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

It was a sixth award for Descent editor Chris, who admits: “I’d rather be behind a camera and not in front of it!”

Scallops in Kagekiyo-do. © Chris Howes.

The judges said of his Japanese karst portfolio: “Once again Chris Howes is the very well-deserved winner. He has a clear theme, powerful imagery, great use of lighting and models with the bonus that these are scenes that you don’t see every day. His imagery is visually arresting, fresh, impactful, powerful and achieves great story-telling. We particularly liked the use of the macro shot showing invertebrate life of a cave.”

The venomous cave centipede (Thereuopoda clunifera) eating its prey, a cave cricket (Diestrammena apicalis) in Kanekiyo-ana. © Chris Howes.

Chris Scaife was highly commended in the technical feature category, published in Descent issue 272, for his piece on the Petzl Boreo caving helmet and Duo S light.

Chris Scaife wearing the Petzl Boreo helmet and Duo S light. © Carolina Smith de la Fuente.

He says: “I’m obviously very pleased with this. It’s great to see caving recognised in national outdoor awards and I hope this helps in some way to boost the profile of our favourite sport.”

The OWPG includes writers, photographers, bloggers, podcasters, illustrators, editors, vloggers and filmmakers. It’s the only UK-based association of media professionals working largely or entirely on outdoor subjects. The photography award was sponsored by Conway (Bloomsbury Publishing) and judged by Ashley Cooper and Nori Jemil, both professional photographers. Cicerone sponsored the technical feature category, which was judged by Carlton Reid and Elizabeth Multon.

Details of all the 2020 winners may be found here.