19. Jan, 2016

About underwater photography contests: winning a prize or not.


Underwater photography contests are becoming increasingly  popular among professional as well as amateur shooters   For the starting amateur  it is a way of getting known in the  ever growing world  of  underwater photographers. The average quality of UW pictures  is definitely rising,  due to  better equipment,  the Internet with its many nice  examples, and  UW workshops.  And the fact that  more people now  have the  opportunity  to visit exotic diving locations, with a good chance to meet their favorite underwater subject. Shark, whale,  grouper , dolphin, school of snappers, caves, critter  ‘heavens’,  just name it. Even an encounter with the legendary great hammerhead, one of the very rare visitors of the reefs, has now become  a reality if you visit the right  place at the right time of the year.

And  let’s not forget the ‘luck factor’ in making  that ultimate shot.  If you are a regular  visitor of the Red Sea , the Bahamas or even  New Guinea  and just shoot  away on your  favorite  location. Then  definitely a day will come that the picture that appears on the screen of  your lap top will  make you gasp and shout:  YES!

 Back to competitions.  If you join a competition,  you send in some of your best shots hoping that a jury will nominate to your picture as best in the category macro, wide-angle or overall.  Gold, silver and bronze medals or even money prizes are  waiting to be handed out to the  lucky winners.  An even more  honorable  award  is that your  picture is chosen  to appear on  front page of a leading  underwater photography magazine  or – in the ultimate case-  the National Geographic magazine.

The fact that many good photographers  now compete for the prizes makes it of course more difficult to reach that  platform of honor. Which could be disappointing for the ambitious starter, who was so happy with  his or her  fine shot of  a  grouper, pterois volitans,  muray eel, or even  a shark.  Or that nice sharp macro shot of a cleaner shrimp or goby.  But  please  don’t forget:  most important  of all is your own judgment. That you are happy with your shot, that even may be as good or better than  the ones that were awarded. And of course, there are always your family, diving and non-diving buddies who will praise you,  slap  your shoulder or find your picture ‘awesome’ on face-book!