You’re here because you’re interested in underwater photography, right? Whether you’re a seasoned sub-aquatic photography veteran, or an aspiring beginner just starting out, we want to see YOUR photos! From April 15, 2020 until August 31, 2020 at 11:59pm, you can submit your best underwater images of marine animal behavior to our Cabilao Diving underwater photo competition.
“But what’s in it for me?” you might ask. Well, we’re offering some pretty awesome prizes that would tickle the fancies of all divers, from enthusiastic newbies, to advanced diving vets that think they’ve seen it all.
To help you understand what’s up for grabs, and the rules of the photo competition, we’ve created this blog post to explain a few things in detail, and hopefully excite you into participating!
What is Marine Animal Behavior?
We want to see the most awesome, weirdest, grossest, most beautiful, unforgettable and utterly wonderful specimens of underwater animal behavior. This can be any form of behavior, like tiny cleaner shrimps plucking the dirt from an eel’s teeth, mating mandarin fish, clownfish tending to their eggs, manta rays enjoying a bath at a cleaning station, turtles napping together, or sharks hunting.
Great examples of underwater animal behavior include cleaning, hunting, mating, flirting, playing, eating, nursing, fighting, nesting and many more awesome examples of marine behavior seen while diving. You get the picture – anything showcasing the amazing behavior of underwater critters.
Here are a few example photos of marine animal behavior taken by our instructors:
Photo Competition Rules
We have a few rules for those that want to enter our photo competition. They’re quite simple, and are there to ensure that everyone has a fair shot at winning. The rules are written on the main photo competition page, however, we have explained them in more detail below, in response to frequently asked questions.
- The photo competition is open to all photo enthusiasts aged at least 18 years and above.
While there are many amazing young underwater photographers out there, unfortunately for legal reasons we cannot accept entries from anyone under the age of 18.
- Employees of Cabilao Diving and Isla Hayahay Beach Resort including their relatives up to the second degree of affinity or consanguinity are not qualified to participate in the photo competition.
This is to ensure fairness for all contestants!
- The theme for this photo competition is ‘Marine Behavior’. Photo entries must display some form of marine animal behavior.
This means that your photos must display some form of behavior executed by an underwater marine animal. Photos that do not showcase any form of behavior are not eligible.
- All entries must match the theme, displaying underwater animal behavior in the image.
While we are sure you have some amazing photos of critters that aren’t necessarily displaying behavior, our competition theme is marine animal behavior. We chose this theme because it’s super interesting to see real behavior of underwater animals, which we want to celebrate! Therefore please only submit photos that fit this category.
- The submitted photos must be underwater photos.
Unfortunately we can’t accept photos that are taken on the surface or on land. Your images must be taken underwater, and show the animal underwater.
- Each contestant can submit up to five (5) photo entries.
Again, while we are certain that you have a library of epic underwater photos, we can’t accept them all. To to make the contest fair for all, we have chosen a reasonable maximum of five submissions per person.
- All entries must be the contestant’s own original work.
Please only submit your own photos that you took yourself. Please don’t send in anybody else’s pictures or any copyrighted material, even if it’s a friend or family member who gave you permission to do so. Your entries must be your own, taken by you.
- Photos must not include any copyrighted material, including artworks, logos or other photos
Please don’t submit any copyrighted images, because legally we cannot use them as photo competition entries. Also, please refrain from using any watermarks, logos and artwork, as again, we legally cannot use them as we are not the owners.
Also, please avoid using any images that have been commercially published, whether for news, advertising or otherwise.
- Entries must not contain watermarks, date stamps or text in the image.
This is to help preserve the quality of our entries. Text and date stamps can be quite distracting to the eye, and reduce the overall effect of the photo.
- You may use photos taken on any date. They do not have to be new.
Our photo competition is open to all of your images, no matter how old or new they are. The only constraint in terms of recycling your photos is that they must not have won any previous awards. This is to further ensure fairness for all contestants.
- Entries must not have previously won any awards.
This is to keep the competition fair for all participants. Also, it maintains freshness and originality when he winners are chosen.
- Only photos taken by digital cameras, DSLR cameras, point and shoots and all cameras in between are allowed.
To keep the contest as fair as possible for all, please avoid using video cameras to capture your shots of marine behavior.
- A “High Dynamic Range” (HDR) photo produced from multiple exposures and black & white photos are accepted.
We love HDR and black & white photos too! These are not considered to be outside the realms of what we are looking for in this competition, so feel free to get creative with these settings.
- Screenshots/stills from a video are not permitted as entries.
We are trying to capture snippets of underwater animal behavior, and while videography is awesome, it isn’t the same as photography. Please refrain from using screenshots/stills of underwater animal behavior as your entries.
- Only wide angle and macro photos are allowed.
This covers just about any typical underwater photo. Most underwater photographers either take wide angle or macro images at any given time.
- Photos taken using a fish eye lens, in addition to stitched panoramas, are not eligible for entry.
You are free to use most camera accessories, such as macro lenses, strobes, torches and wide angle lenses, but please don’t submit photos taken with fish eye lenses, nor any stitched panoramic images. While these kinds of photos can be absolutely stunning, we aren’t looking for them in this photo competition.
These kinds of images aren’t really good for capturing animal behavior, and are better for taking beautiful photos of vast underwater seascapes.
- Post-processing of the image for purposes of enhancement is permitted, however it is limited to cropping and color enhancements, including shadows and highlights only. Removal of back-scatter and particles is allowed.
Feel free to use any photo editing program to enhance your image. Adjusting colors, lighting, exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows are all fine. Adding clarity and sharpness is also permitted, as well as removing those pesky, eye-distracting particles that show up when using flash, like sand particles, plankton and general back-scatter.
However, please don’t go over the top, as this is not a Photoshop contest.
- Photo manipulation is not permitted.
Photo enhancement and photo manipulation are very different. While we will accept entries that have been enhanced, we cannot take any photos that have been manipulated.
Examples of photo manipulation might be adding marine fauna and flora into an image, changing the color of a fish, changing the background, adding or removing critters, changing the size of creatures and many more.
- Manipulation of animals is not permitted.
We are sure that the majority of underwater photographers understand the importance of respecting marine life. It’s imperative that we do not harm, irritate or disturb the ocean-dwellers of which we take photos. That’s why we cannot accept any images that show blatant critter manipulation or disturbance.
This includes, but is not limited to, touching, moving and/or positioning the animal for a photo. Additionally, this also includes the use of apparatus that can be disturbing to our underwater friends, like mirrors.
Let’s keep the contest awesome and safe for marine critters by maintaining their safety and not harming nor disturbing them while we take photos.
Additional Remarks for Photo Competition Entries
Entries should include the photo’s metadata (ISO, aperture value, and shutter speed).
Photos must be in JPEG format with at least 300 dpi, maximum 1920 x 1080 pixels and a maximum file size of 5 MB.
Contestants must agree and comply with the rules in order to enter the competition.
By submitting your entry, you are agreeing to abide by all Cabilao Diving Underwater Photo Competition rules, and give us permission to showcase your entry on our website and social media pages. Furthermore, you agree to allow us to use your image for any purpose.
How to Submit Your Photos for the Photo Competition
To join, contestants must register as a member of Cabilao Diving before submitting their entries.
Filename and title of the photo file must be in the format “SURNAME_PHOTO TITLE”
Upon registering as a member of Cabilao Diving, contestants will be required to provide a full fame, username and valid e-mail address.
Cabilao Diving will only accept entries submitted through the online entry form. Entries submitted through other means will not be accepted and will be automatically disqualified.
Submission begins at 12:01am PST on May 1, 2020 and ends at 11:59pm PST on July 31, 2020.
Entries submitted beyond the deadline shall not be accepted.
What You Can Win!
Let’s get to the good stuff! You can see what prizes are up for grabs on our official Cabilao Diving underwater photo competition page. To explain what you can win, we will discuss in more detail what’s on offer.
First Prize: A five-day-stay for two people in a double Superior DeLuxe room. This room is fixed as part of the contest prize package, however, if you wish, you can upgrade for room for an additional fee. This prize also includes breakfast, which you select from our multiple breakfast sets on our menu.
Now here’s the best part, your stay includes three days’ worth of diving! This is comprised of the boat trip, dive guide, tanks and weights. Your dives that are included in the first prize package are limited to two dives per day, however, you may do additional dives at an extra cost. A maximum of four dives per day is possible.
Second Prize: Three days of diving for one person, which includes boat trip, dive guide, tanks and weights. Your dives that are included in the second prize package are limited to two dives per day, however, you may do additional dives at an extra cost. A maximum of four dives per day is possible.
Third Prize: One day of diving for one person, which includes the boat trip, 2 dives, dive guide, tanks and weights.
Voting, Judging and Prizes
- Online votes will determine the finalists (top 10 entries)
Your photos will be initially judged by the public via our online voting system. This is your chance to share your entries with your family and friends and social media accounts in order to maximize your votes, and your chance of winning. You can also vote for other people’s entries that you like!
Once we have our top ten photos that have gained the most votes, our judges will select our winners.
- The top 10 photos will be judged by independent judges
We will select our independent judges to choose the winning photos. They will be completely independent of all contestants and will pick the winners based on the quality of the photo, and of course, how interesting the marine animal behavior is!
- Upon photo submission, contestants grant Cabilao Diving full permission to use the photos in any digital or printed material
If your photo wins, we want to show it off and broadcast the winners of our photo contest!
- Winners will be required to come to Cabilao Diving, Pangangan Island, to claim their prizes
Your prize will be your stay and/or activities at our resort and dive center, so in order to claim and enjoy your prize, you have to come here. You can choose when to claim your prize based on our availability, so please contact us to arrange your stay if you win.
If you’re unable to claim your prize, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer it to the next runner up.
- Prizes have no cash value, exchange nor equivalent
All prizes are set, and cannot be modified or exchanged for anything else.
- Results of the competition are final and non-appeal-able
Our judges will very carefully choose the winners. Once a decision has been made, it is final, in order to make the results and judging fair to all contestants.
- Prizes are non-transferable
Each prize is only valid for the named person who won it. Prizes cannot be given to anyone else, nor transferred to another party.
- Winners must respond to us within seven (7) days after receiving confirmation of their win
We have given this time limit in order to ensure that winners acknowledge and claim their prize within a reasonable time frame, and so that runners up have a chance in the case that the original winners do not respond.
- If you do not, or are unable to claim your prize, we will select the next runner up as a winner
If the winner does not respond to us after winning within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. The new winner will be the next runner up. Furthermore, if the winner cannot or will not claim their prize, we will again offer it to the next runner up.
Have Fun and Good Luck!
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start snapping the most awesome marine behavior you can find! Scour your photo libraries for your best critter behavior photos! Have fun, good luck, and most importantly, dive safe!