Alptekin Baloğlu won the Gold Medal in Fish Category in the 10th International World Underwater Photography Championship, held in Estartit of Spain in 2005..
..and became the first Turkish photographer to have the Turkish flag rised.
Baloğlu had won the first degree in the in UFBAY (National Underwater Photography Championship) in 2005, Saroz and deserved his place in the National team of Turkey for the 10th International World Underwater Photography Championship with Asım Dumlu who had the 2nd degree in the same elective competition. Sponsored by the Tepe Nautilus Shopping Mall, in spite of all that had caused some hindrances, the team narrowly reached the competition site, a tourism town, Estartit, well-known with its underwater beauties of Southern Spain.
By the end of the first dive of the competition, Baloğlu was about to surface when he saw a shoal of grey mullet in the shallow depth. He made his mind on that very moment that the photograph to take had been there. Baloğlu tells the rest:
“We had decided to surface after leaving the cavern. From 15 meters we were slowly descending when I saw the same shoal of grey mullet I had seen before the dive. They were feeding in the surface shade. I rapidly acted and signaled Birkan to stay away.
My camera was equipped with a 105 mm. macro lens. I positioned the tandem flash lights suitable for wide angle posing and because the window appeared bright turned them down semi power and selected the instant 1/125 with aperture value of 13. I was practically prompt to shoot then and scanned the scenery for the apt frame I intended.
I realized at that very moment horribly that the bubbles I produced as I breathed into the water would have rushed up and disturbed the serene shoal. I felt obliged to hold breath until I shot. Grey mullets, moved back and front, mouths open sweeping the planktonic prey. I had exercised all summer long in my private pool for the application of surface reflection and now it was high time I had used the experience. Consciously I posed 8 frames of my 36 roller, pacing then down and saving the rest for the next dive. I signaled Birkan again that I was done and surfaced back safe and sound. This is the story of the photograph, out of other 50 photographers, that brought me the gold medal
Baloğlu exhibited the photographs he took in the championship in Tepe Nautilus Shopping Mall, the sponsoring company, after his cheerful return to the homeland.