Competitions

Photosub Competitions

The club organises 3 underwater photographic competitions each year.

  • The Annual Splash-in Competition takes place early in the diving season and is now called the “end to end” splash in as members are allowed to present images taken from Southend to Lands-End. It is judged by an experienced photographer but who has no experience of underwater photography.
  • The Prints & Digital Competition takes place during the annual club dinner and is judged by an experienced underwater photographer.
  • The Open Digital Images Competition takes place in November and is judged by an experienced underwater photographer.

Annual Splash-in Rules

The rules of the competition are that you may take as many images as you wish during the competition MONTH defined by the Photosub Committee. Note that images can be taken anywhere in UK or Ireland.

If you are using film, you are responsible for having it processed and converted for digital projection as slides are no longer accepted.

There is no restriction whatsoever in how you create the final images, although all images must be taken during the period of the competition. Photoshop or any other manipulation software can be used, without restriction. The entrant must be responsible for all manipulation, although guidance by club members and use of other member’s equipment can be sought.

Compliance with the above rules, including when the images are taken and how they are prepared for presentation, is based on trust.

Three images can be entered into the competition. Entries will be accepted by email to the Competition Secretary no later than the published closing date. These must be in JPEG format, no wider than 1400 pixels and no higher than 1050 pixels, and filenames should include the name of the photographer e.g. DavidDoubilet-01.jpg, DavidDoubilet-02.jpg, DavidDoubilet-03.jpg.

Only Photosub members are eligible to take part in the competition.

A guest of honour will be chosen, who will be an experienced photographer but not an underwater photographer.

The judge will select his choice for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. As well as the winner of the 1st prize receiving the Photosub Splash In trophy, which he can hold for one year, each of the three winners receives a trophy to keep. The winner of the Photosub Splash In Trophy should return the trophy prior to the next competition, with their name engraved (engraving costs will be reimbursed by the club).

Prints & Digital (Annual Dinner) Competition Rules

The Categories:

  1. (BWW) Blue Water Wide Angle Projected Images
  2. (GWW) Green Water Wide Angle Projected Images
  3. (BWM) Blue Water Macro/Close Up Projected Images
  4. (GWM) Green Water Macro/Close Up Projected Images
  5. Open Prints

The Rules:

Up to three images may be entered into each category as appropriate.

Exclusions: Photos that have previously come first, second, or third in any national or international competition cannot be used. Photos that have achieved first, second, or third in any national or international portfolio competition can be used. Entries that have come first in any Photosub competitions are not eligible.

Entries for the Projected Images categories must have been taken within the last three years.

Projected images will only be digital images. Transparencies are no longer accepted, for practical reasons, although they can be converted to digital for projection. There is no restriction whatsoever in how you create the final images. Photoshop or any other manipulation software can be used, without restriction. The entrant must be responsible for all manipulation, although guidance by club members and use of other member’s equipment can be sought.

Macro or Close-up – images taken at close range either with a macro lens or a primary lens with a supplementary close-up lens  - typically small subjects life size or larger.
Wide Angle –  images taken with a wide-angle lens (whose focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens) – main subject usually smaller than life size. Close focus wide angle images are categorised as Wide Angle.

Entries will be accepted by email to the Competition Secretary no later than the published closing date. These must be in JPEG format, no wider than 1400 pixels and no higher than 1050 pixels. Filenames should include both the photographer name and the category e.g. DavidDoubilet_BWW_1.jpg for Blue Water Wide, DavidDoubilet_GWM_3.jpg for Green Water Macro etc.

Prints must have been taken within the last three years.

Both darkroom and digital prints are acceptable, but marine life prints must fairly represent fauna and/or Flora in a natural way. This does not inhibit the presentation of fauna and/or flora in a pictorial way that is clearly not designed as a ‘natural image’

Prints should be mounted on card and can have a card mount frame. However, the total size of the print entry must be no greater than 50cm X 40cm, including the mount.

All images must have been taken underwater. Swimming pool and aquarium shots are not eligible.

The entrant must be the photographer.

The winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category receive a trophy which they keep, as well as the Photosub Annual Trophy for 1st place in each category, which they hold for one year and should be returned prior to the next competition, with their name engraved (engraving costs will be reimbursed by the club).

The guest judge’s decision is final. Should there be any contention, however, with regard to the rule regarding natural marine life print and digital images the judge will be subsequently asked to adjudicate by reviewing the original digital file or the print.

Open Digital Images Competition Rules

Entries will be accepted by email to the Competition Secretary no later than the published closing date. These must be in JPEG format, no wider than 1400 pixels and no higher than 1050 pixels,  and filenames should include the name of the photographer e.g. DavidDoubilet-01.jpg, DavidDoubilet-02.jpg, DavidDoubilet-03.jpg.

Images can be produced either digitally or from film. If you are stillusing film, you are responsible for having it processed and converted for digital projection. There is no restriction on the use of digital imaging software.

Up to three images can be entered. There is no restriction on where images are taken; they can be blue water, green water or even in a swimming pool.

Photos that have previously come first, second, or third in any national or international competition cannot be used. Photos that have achieved first, second, or third in any national or international portfolio competition can be used. Entries that have come first in any Photosub competitions are not eligible.

The original image must have been taken within the last three years.

The Competition Secretary will select the judge or judges to assess the images and select the winning images. The judge’s decision is final.

The judge will select his choice for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The overall winner receives a trophy which he keeps as well as the Photosub Digital Images Trophy which he holds for one year. The winner should return the trophy prior to the next competition, with their name engraved (engraving costs will be reimbursed by the club).

Competition Notification

The Competition Secretary will send out a reminder email with the closing date for entries for each competition. Entrants must provide appropriate images by the publicised date.

Winning images for all competitions will be notified by email and on the Photosub website and all entries will be projected at the Photosub meeting followed by the announcement of the results of the competition.

Recent Posts

Photosub Open Digital Images Competition 2017

Club members met on Saturday 18th November for the annual Open Digital Competition. The evening was hosted at Joss’s home in London and was attended by 25 members. After the usual socialising and excellent food (thanks to Joss’s usual culinary high standard), 39 images were projected. The winners had been pre-judged by Nick More. Nick has had a number of successes in recent underwater photographic competitions and produces high impact images. Unfortunately Nick could not attend but provided a set of notes which were read out at the meeting. Our thanks go to Nick for taking time to judge the competition.

Thank-you very much for asking me to judge the Photosub ‘Open Digital Images’ Competition 2017. I took the task seriously and judged according to my tastes in UW imaging. I was looking for technical excellence, of course, along with artistic merit, composition and overall ‘feel’ and impact of the entries. I revisited the images on 3 occasions, on 3 different days & I viewed the images on a large, high quality screen. I then made a shortlist and deliberated for long periods before deciding on the 3 placings, one highly commended,  as well as three commended images (in no particular order!) I wish I could have picked joint winners as it turned out I was torn between a wide-angle shot and a macro shot. Tough choice!

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The results were as follows:

1st Place: Shoaling striped catfish by Pash Baker

Catfish

Block busting frame filler. Eyes, stripes & whiskers. A common subject & composition but orchestrated very well. Good depth of field & even lighting allowing amazing eye contact from most if not all the catfish. Impressive!! – Just take a minute to look at each individual fish! A similar (not as good as) picture by David Doubilet recently garnered over 500,000 ‘likes’ on the Nat Geo Instagram feed. This was my favourite macro shot and & my favourite shot of the competition. A deserved winner.

2nd Place: Blue Spotted Ray by Mario Vitalini

Open2017-JMario_Vitalini_3

I loved the technique to ‘spot-light’ this beautiful blue-spotted stingray to really allow it to take centre stage. The distant blue gives real depth and atmosphere to the picture, although I found the background a little dark. This is a shot that shows real technique & patience to approach a potentially very skittish creature. In fact, its wing tip, upturned suggests it’s just about to take flight. On deliberation, this was the best of the wide-angle shots and a very, very, very close runner-up.

3rd Place: Seahorse by Martyn Guess

Open2017-JMGuess1

Back-lit thorny sea-horse. The snooted back-lighting shows off of this iconic critters shape & texture as well as its stunning yellow colour against a black background. Very clever technique to eliminate the messy substrate they normally reside in & allowing the subject too really ‘pop’ in the frame. This image is simple in appearance but graphically very strong with it being instantly recognisable, the only slight detraction is that it’s turning ever so slightly away from the camera.

Highly Commended

Blue Shark by Jane Morgan

Open2017-JANEMORGAN03

An intimate portrait of a Blue Shark showing great detail of its eye, teeth and ampullae of lorenzini. Lovely oily surface and a hint of green water complete the shot.

Commended

Ribbon Eel by Sue Guess

Open2017-JSue Guess image 1

Snoot-lit Ribbon eel. This shows great technique to isolate this charismatic critter from it often very distracting background. Good focus & timing to catch the peak of the action moment with its mouth open.

Blue Shark by Martyn Guess

Open2017-Jmguessphotosub 2017

Blue sharks are one of my favourite subjects. This is obviously shot in sunnier climes than Cornwall due to the presence of pilot fish. These really add to the shot. I love the almost metallic sheen of the shark against beautiful blue water and the surface gives perspective and along with the position of the animal within the frame, makes the shot.

Giant Moray Eel by Mario Vitalini

Open2017-JMario_Vitalini_2

Superbly controlled, selective lighting on this head-on portrait of a moray eel really makes it appear as if it’s jumping off the screen. Good eye contact and gnarly texture make this a very engaging, it not slightly terrifying portrait. I love the dark chasm of its mouth agape with a hint of its vicious teeth on show. The author has turned an everyday animal found on most red-sea dive sites into an interesting and dramatic character, suitable for any horror movie. Excellent.

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