2013 Image of the Year

Congratulations to Joakim Hjelm, whose photo was chosen for the 2013 GUE Image of the Year!

About the wreck:

USS Nashua (YTB774) was commissioned in 1964 in Wisconsin and was assigned to the Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines. Her duty was to provide assistance to other naval ships and craft during berthing and docking, as well as towing and waterfront fire protection. She also served as an inner-harbor patrol craft able to render assistance in emergency and disaster situations. Nashua was decommissioned in 1994 and put under custodial care of Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 1 located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and is currently used for military training The wreck itself sits upright in 70ft/21m on a sandy bottom, allowing for long bottom times in good visibility and usually low currents.

About the photo:

Shot on May 20, 2012 during a Hawaii Underwater Explorers (HUE) exploration dive, this was my first and only dive to this wreck so far. Shot with a Canon 7d, 10mm wide angle lens in a Sea & Sea housing using only ambient light at f 5.6 and 1/500 sec exposure, gave the wreck an eerie feel complimented by the precision of the ascending HUE divers. I named this photo Precision because of the visual depth of the wreck and the symmetry created by the divers and the mooring line disappearing into the sun.

Divers in this photo: Mikael Ladegård, Nick Hunsinger, and Katherine Livins.

About the photographer:

Joakim Hjelm has been diving in Hawaii since 1998 and started exploring underwater photography and videography in 2000 when he borrowed a friend’s underwater camera. Taking pictures and videos quickly became his driving force for diving, where it almost felt pointless to dive unless a camera came along to be able to share the underwater realm. Joakim enjoys traveling to any part of the world taking photos of any environment, but especially enjoys wreck and cave photography. Having travelled to numerous locations like Truk Lagoon, Fiji, Mexico, Philippines and Bahamas, Joakim has been able to create his own style of photography. Currently, Joakim lives in San Diego where low visibility and colder water create new challenges to overcome.

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