Florida Skin Divers Association

​2016 FSDA Florida State UW Photo & Video Championships

​​ Calling for Entries all Florida Underwater Photographers and Videographers! 

Enter the FSDA 2016 Florida State UW Photo & Video Contest held in conjunction with Reef Monitoring Inc. and the Guy Harvey Lionfish Safari.  Winners announced and prizes awarded on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach Florida.  www.GuysLionFishSafari.com

Enter to Compete, Win Prizes and Support Lionfish Research!

Do not have to be present at awards ceremony to win.
All participants receive a Guy Harvey Lionfish T-Shirt!

​Theme and Categories:

1) Macro Underwater Photo – Florida underwater photo where the subject is recorded as lifesize or greater. Image should be taken with a macro/super macro lens of a subject composition recorded in life size at a 1:1 or greater reproduction ratio. The subject or focal point is expected to fill as much of the frame as possible with extreme detail.​ 
2) Wide-Angle Underwater Photo - Florida underwater photo that shows a wider angle of view than the human eye (35mm focal length), including over-under shots (half in the water, half out) and close-focus wide-angle photos.  Image should depict a wide scene with subject(s) in their natural environment​.
3) Compact Underwater Photo - Florida underwater photo taken with a compact camera.  Compact cameras includes Point & Shoot cameras, GoPros and any camera with a fixed lens.  Both marco and wide-angle shots welcomed.  Compact photos can be entered in all photo categories. No DSLR, mirrorless photos can be entered in this category.  
4) Underwater Video – video submission between one (1) and four (4) minutes showing the beauty and variety of diving that Florida has to offer.  This includes scuba, free diving, cave diving in all our various Florida waters (Gulf, Atlantic, Springs, Keys, etc.) and highlighting Florida's wonderful marine life.  Video may include above and below water footage. Editing of video is allowed and expected.​
​5) Lionfish Removal Underwater Video – video submission between one (1) and four (4) minutes showing the infestation and removal of invasive Lionfish from our local Florida reefs. This can include them being speared, killed, captured, and prepared in a delicious meal.  Video may include above and below water footage. Editing of video is allowed and expected.​
Participants are allowed 1 submission per category; multiple entries per category are not permitted. 


​1.) Photos and Videos must be shot in Florida waters.  
2.) Timeframe – Photos and Videos must be taken within last year (Aug 2015-August 2016); we want to see your newest work.
3.) Entrants - Open to all virtual registrations and submissions, underwater photographers & videographers residing anywhere in world may enter; need not be present to win.
4.) Photos and Videos cannot have previously placed (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in any major contest that offered prizes of monetary value.
5.) Contest entries must be submitted by midnight Friday Aug 26th.  
6.) Single Entry fee of $35, which covers submission in all five categories.  
7.) 1st Place Winners in each category will receive trophies.  Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placement in each category. 
8.) Winners will pick from sponsored prizes based on the total combined judge’s score per winning entry.   1st Place winners will get first 5 picks, 2nd Place 6-10 picks and 3rd place 11-15 picks. 
9.) Participants do not have to be present at awards ceremony to receive prizes.  For winning participants not able to obtain prizes in person, prizes will be mailed or emailed to winner.  Any shipping costs incurred will be paid on behalf of the FSDA.
10.) Contest T-Shirts will be distributed at the Guy Harvey Lionfish Safari Captain's meeting on Friday, September 9th and at the weigh-in/awards ceremony on Sunday, September 11th. Depending on contest participation, dive shops within the Florida State may be established as remote T-Shirt distribution locations and will be announced.  For participants not able to attend any of the above locations, T-Shirts can be mailed to participants willing to pay the cost of shipping. 
11.) Please see complete list of Rules.

​Registration, Online Payment and Photo/Video Submission: 

​Contest entry fee is payable via Paypal below:
2016 FSDA Photo & Video Contest
Submittable will be used for contest submissions.  You will need to create a user account.  Once user account is created, submit your image/video for each category you want to compete in.  You can track the acceptance of your submissions also.  Please click button below to get started with your submissions:

​Contest Judges

​​We are very excited to announce this year's Contest Judges!
Amanda Cotton

Beth Barklage Watson

Michael Patrick O'Neill

Check out their bios and view their amazing images!
​A special thanks to each of them for volunteering their time and effort. 

​Sponsors and Prizes

​​We absolutely could not pull off this event without the tremendous  generosity of our sponsors.
Thanks to each of you for the support of diving, underwater imaging and the removal of invasive Lionfish. 
Atlantis Dive Resorts offers one of the most outstanding first class dive vacations in the world today. Experience Atlantis' resorts in Dumaguette and Puerto Galera, Philppines. Atlantis Dive Resorts is sponsoring a 7 night dive package at either Atlantis Puerto Galera or Atlantis Dumaguete!   www.atlantishotel.com
Kungkungan Bay Resort is Lembeh’s first dive resort and proud to have introduced the world to the now famous Critter/Muck Diving of “Lembeh Strait” in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.  KBR is the only Sea level Luxury Resort in the Lembeh Strait with 16 of their 17 rooms being waterfront.  Kungkungan Bay Resort sponsoring a 7 night dive package with beach front accommodations to the Critter/Muck Diving capital of the world!   www.kungkungan.com
Underwater Explorers Society located in beautiful Freeport on Grand Bahama Islands and has it all!  Swim with dolphins.  Dive with sharks.  Shop 'til you drop.  UNEXSO offers a wide variety of diving experiences for all to enjoy. UNEXSO is sponsoring a 4 night stay at Pelican Bay Hotel in a waterside suite including daily buffet breakfast and 3 days of unlimited diving package for two!  www.unexso.com
Anthony's Key Resort blends picture perfect beach life with the incredible Caribbean diving at Roatan, Honduras. Bungalows are perched above a tranquil lagoon, white sand beaches and breathtaking views greet divers in this tropic wonderland.  Anthony's Key Resort is sponsoring a 7 night all-inclusive dive or snorkel package for two!   www.anthonyskey.com
​Blackbeard's Cruises offers liveaboard scuba vacation packages to the outer Bahamas islands, along with a huge variety of diving - sharks, walls, reefs and more. Blackbeard's is sponsoring a 7 day week-long liveaboard scuba adventure!  www.blackbeard-cruises.com 
Epic Diving offers dedicated shark diving expeditions in the Bahamas with a number of key shark species. From the ubiquitous reef shark, the larger-than-life tiger shark, to the ultra rare oceanic whitetip shark and great hammerhead shark, these trips offer nonstop heart-pounding excitement. Several Nat Geo photographers dive with Epic Diving to obtain amazing shark photos & videos. Epic Diving has donated a $500 gift certificate towards one of their amazing 6 night 5 day Shark Diving & accommodations package at any of their locations! www.epicdiving.com
Aquatica is a Canadian manufacturer of fine quality aluminum housings for underwater photography. Their camera housings are available for selected  digital cameras and are part of a comprehensive system which includes a large selection of wide angle and macro ports, and accessories. Aquatica has become the housing choice of the discerning underwater photographer today. Aquatica has donated $500 worth of strobes arms from their TLC Delta 3 Line. Check out Aquatica's TLC Delta 3 Line of strobe arms.   www.aquatica.ca
​​Bay Photo offers complete pro lab services to professional photographers throughout the United States and around the world. Whether you specialize in wedding, portrait, sport, school, landscape or other style of photography, our approach is to provide you with a large variety of professional printing and photo finishing solutions to help you maximize your efficiency and excel at your business.  Bay Photo is sponsoring over $500 worth of gift certificates ($225 16x24 Acrylic Print, $180 20x30 MetalPrint, and $99 16x24 Maple Wood Print) towards the printing of your underwater photos!   www.bayphoto.com
​Blue Water Life is focused on the promoting the beauty of the amazing underwater world below.  Specializing in Underwater Photography, Scuba Dive Trips and Travel, they are dedicated to promoting Underwater Photography on the west coast of Florida and help FSDA to run various UW Photo & Video contests. Blue Water Life is sponsoring $300 towards gift certificates (3 $100 Divers Direct Gift Cards) for winners of this contestwww.bluewtrlife.com
Bigblue Dive Lights continues to be a market leader developing new underwater LED lighting products for the Recreational, Technical, and Photo/Video dive light user.  Their combination of illumination, light features, battery technology, and reliability has made Bigblue the light of choice for commercial, professional and recreational divers.   Bigblue has donated their AL250 BLUE & AL1100WP Combo Pack and 450N Head Light. www.bigbluedivelights.com
Fantasea Line is an international company that is dedicated to developing, manufacturing and marketing creative and affordable products with a special focus on water-sports, diving and underwater photography equipment.  Offering years of experience and expert advice on cameras, housings, strobes and accessories.  Fantasea Line has donated one of their newest LED lights, the very cool Radiant 1000X!  Check out the Radiant 1000X in this review. www.fantasea.com 
Ikelite is a USA based manufacturer located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since 1962, they have dedicated themselves to quality product and innovation in underwater photography and lighting.  Ikelite is sponsoring one of their PC LED flashlights!   www.ikelite.com

Please Note that Dive Trip Packages do not include Airfare.  

​​Detailed Rules:  

​1.) Photos and Videos must be shot in Florida waters.   
2.) Timeframe – Photos and Videos must be taken within last year (Aug 2015-August 2016); we want to see your newest work.
​3.) Entrants - Open to all virtual registrations and submissions, underwater photographers & videographers residing anywhere in world may enter; need not be present to win.
4.) Photos and Videos cannot have previously placed (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in any major contest that offered prizes of monetary value.
5.) Contest entries must be submitted by midnight Friday Aug 26th.  
6.) ​Photos and videos must be taken underwater and be of original/natural subject matter (no props) in a natural underwater environment.​ No photos/videos will be accepted if taken in artificial environments such as aquariums, tanks, or man made ponds. 
7.) ​Photo images and video showing any disrespect for the environment or marine animals, or showing animals viewed in an un-natural environment, location or grouping will not be considered for judging.  Spearing and removal of Lionfish is allowed for the Lionfish Removal Underwater Video Category.
8.) Contest submissions must not contain watermarks or other image/video logos representing the photographer. 
9.) All entries must be the original work belonging solely to the entrant submitting the image or video.
10.) Contestants with winning images and videos agree to allow FSDA to publish their images and videos on FSDA website, FSDA Facebook page, and other FSDA media promotions.  Credit will be given to the photographer/videographer.  All rights remain with the photographer/videographer.  Any images displayed online will be watermarked.

​​Rules specific to Photo Categories:  

​1.) FSDA photography contestants may submit images taken with any medium.  All images must be submitted digitally.   Images derived from original film or digital files will be judged on an equal basis.
2.) ​Digital images submitted for contests are allowed to have only minor computer adjustments.  Only minor cropping, color adjustments, backscatter removal and sharpening are allowed.  No extreme computer manipulation, removing items or adding items to the image are allowed. 
  • Global adjustments (color temperature, brightness, contrast, saturation, tonal adjustments, minor sharpening) are allowed and refer to the type of adjustments that you could do in a RAW conversion, such tasteful and minor adjustments to brightness, color tone, sharpening, saturation, and contrast (this does not need to be actually done in a RAW conversion). “Tasteful and minor” refers to being conservative in your approach. The judges are likely to subtract points from an image which is overly manipulated. This is a photo contest – not an editing or manipulation contest. Use good judgement.
  • Black & white conversion is allowed.
  • Minor cropping is allowed, but limited to cropping off no more than 15% of the original image.
  • ​Aside from sensor/dust spot removal and very limited backscatter removal, nothing should be added to or removed from the photo. Do not use vignettes, masks, background blurring, selective dodging/burning, cloning fish or objects into/out of the image, etc.
  • ​Photos must originate as a single image. No composting, stitching, or layering is permitted. In-camera photo merges/double-exposures are allowed, but it must be done as intended sequential shots using camera software rather than in post-production. In this case, a single raw file showing the in-camera double-exposure will be requested by the judges.
3.) Video stills or "frame grabs" may not be submitted in the photo categories.  
4.) ​File specifications for the digital images submitted are:
  • JPEG images only  
  • 1400 pixels at the longest length 
  • File size should not be greater than 3MB
  • Do not put your name, a watermark, or a copyright symbol on the image itself.  This is so the judges may remain unbiased while scoring images. 
5.) ​Photos images will be judged by impartial judges based on the following: 
a) Composition - subject, background, creativity, overall arrangement
b) Technical execution - proper focus, exposure, lighting angles, etc.
c) Degree of Difficulty - shooting moving subjects, subjects requiring time/patience, adverse diving conditions, etc.
d) Viewer impact - overall emotional appeal/interest

​​Rules specific to Video Categories:  

​1.) Underwater videos should be at least one minute in length and not greater than four minutes in length. 
2.) ​Videos may contain the videographer’s own still images but video may not be comprised more than 1/4 length of still images. 3/4 of the video must consist of an underwater environment. Video may contain topside images and video relating to the story of the video. 
3.) Do not add your name or watermark to the video entry, so the entries can be judged anonymously.  If you are a winner, you may optionally submit an identical entry for publication & promotion with a watermark or credits. 
4.) Videos will be judged by impartial judges based on the following: 
a) Technical merit – focus, stability
b) Composition - subject, creativity and overall arrangement
c) Editing – flow of story, transitions, title creations
d) Viewer impact - overall emotional appeal