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Organizers
DivePhotoGuide
Underwater Australasia
UW Images
Show Partner
Go Diving Show ANZ
Environmental Partner
Take 3 for the Sea
Sponsors
Master Liveaboards
Bilikiki Cruises
Blueforce
MV FeBrina and MV Oceania
Atlantis Resort
Ikelite
QYSEA
Backscatter
Scubalamp (SUPE)
OM Digital Solutions
Kraken Sports
SeaLife
Isotta
OrcaTorch
Inon
The Underwater Club
Supporting Media
Scuba Diver Mag
UWP Mag
X-Ray Mag

Underwater Awards Australasia 2024

The Underwater Awards Australasia 2024 is a new underwater imaging competition focused on the Australasian region—an industry-first three-way collaboration between the long-established Underwater Australasia, leading underwater photography and videography resource DivePhotoGuide, and underwater imaging equipment and dive gear distributor UW Images.

The competition will culminate in an exhibition at Go Diving Show ANZ in September 2024—the inaugural Australian edition of the hugely successful Go Diving Show in the UK. The prestigious judging panel comprises Tobias Friedrich, Jayne Jenkins, Brett Lobwein, Ross Long, Matty Smith and William Tan.

The prizes, worth more than A$50,000 in total, include dive trips with the world’s top resorts and liveaboards, as well as the latest underwater photo and video gear. Entrants compete for prizes in 8 categories, with the top image or video among the category winners receiving the distinction of “Best of Show.”

The competition calls for passionate underwater shooters from around the world to submit their most captivating and compelling images and videos from the Australasian region. Shooters are invited to immerse themselves in the challenge of capturing the essence of this extraordinary realm, where every frame tells a story of the delicate balance and breathtaking beauty that characterises our oceans.


SUBMISSION DEADLINE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 1ST, 2024

Winners will be revealed on UnderwaterCompetition.com and published by supporting media partners worldwide shortly thereafter. The entry fees are US$10 per image or video entered.

Categories
Important note: Entries to the competition must have been shot in the Australasian region, with the exception of the categories “Sydney,” “Australian,” and “International Waters.” For the definition of “Australasia” for the purposes of the competition, please read the Rules & Guidelines.
PHOTO
Sydney

Any image captured in the waters of Metropolitan Sydney. This area is capped by Hornsby Shire and the Northern Beaches Council in the north and the Sutherland Shire in the south. It does not include areas in Greater Sydney like the Central Coast or Shellharbour. Both underwater and split images are permitted.

Over-Under

Any image where the lower portion is underwater and the upper portion is above water. Splits, aka half-and-halfs, will be judged on the merits of the picture as a whole.

Smartphone

Any image captured with a smartphone. Both underwater and split shots are permitted, as is the use of dome ports and attachments such as wet lenses, and artificial lighting.

Environmental

Any image that embraces the Take 3 for the Sea message, promoting real actions that are helping improve the health of the oceans. Images can be taken above, in, around or under any marine or freshwater area and will be judged on how best they communicate the Take 3 for the Sea story.

Australian

Any image showcasing the beauty of Australian waters. Entries are allowed from all Australian states and internal territories. Submissions are not accepted from external territories such as Christmas Island, the Coral Sea Islands and the part of Antarctica claimed by Australia. Both underwater and split images are permitted.

International Waters

Any image shot anywhere around the world. Macro or wide angle, warm or cold water—all images captured by any camera are accepted. Both underwater and split images are permitted. Only exceptional, original images will stand a chance in this highly competitive category.

Portfolio

Any portfolio comprising six images. The portfolio may be made up of any six images (no more, no fewer), but entrants are encouraged to choose images either following a particular theme (e.g., species, location, color) or demonstrating a range of skills or interests (e.g., behaviors, environments, techniques). Both underwater and split images are permitted. For detailed instructions on submitting a portfolio entry, please see the competition Rules and Guidelines.

VIDEO
Reels Showcase

Any Instagram Reel of 90 seconds or less. At least 50% of the Instagram Reel must consist of underwater video clips. Be as creative as possible and use text, filters and audio to create a fun and entertaining multi-clip video. Note: Submission requires you to first create your Instagram Reel and share it with us, and then finish the submissions process by paying for your entry. For detailed instructions, please see the competition Rules and Guidelines.

Prizes
7-night trip aboard the Indo Master liveaboard (one person in a classic twin occupancy cabin)

 

Master Liveaboards was founded as Worldwide Dive and Sail (WWDAS) in 2004 with a simple aim to push the boundaries of liveaboard diving. In short order, they had expanded into Siren Fleet, with liveaboard yachts dotted around Southeast Asia. On the back of this, in 2014, Galapagos Master became the first vessel to bear the current brand name, with the fleet then steadily growing across the Pacific and Caribbean. Through the last few years, there has been consolidation and Master Liveaboards now fully encompasses the Siren Fleet and Master Liveaboards vessels. They are plying the waters of Galapagos, The Bahamas, Bikini Atoll, Solomon Islands, Truk Lagoon, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Palau. The aim remains simple: to push dive industry standards and provide guests with an unsurpassed liveaboard diving experience.

7-night trip with Bilikiki Cruises to the Solomon Islands (one person in a twin-share cabin)

 

Bilikiki Cruises operates MV Bilikiki, a premier full-service luxury liveaboard dive vessel in the Solomon Islands. MV Bilikiki has 10 deluxe cabins, eight with a double bed and single bunk, and two with twin single beds and no bunk. All cabins are air conditioned and have their own en-suite. There is a large sundeck, comfortable lounge and camera area, and spacious dive deck. Her large size and a hull that was built for South Pacific seas are two main reasons why guests from around the world say that the Bilikiki is one of the most spacious and comfortable vessels that they have traveled on.

7-night trip to the Maldives with Blue Force Fleet (one person)

 

Immerse yourself in the liveaboard “Blue Force Experience”! If scuba diving is your passion and you love taking liveaboard diving trips where you are surrounded by the ocean for the entire time, your perfect choice is one of our world-class liveaboard diving cruises. With over 25 years of experience in the Red Sea and the Maldives, we can offer one of the most varied and premium proposals on the diving market.

10-night trip to Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea on MV FeBrina or MV Oceania (one person)

 

Febrina and Oceania, two iconic vessels in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) maritime landscape, symbolize the epitome of exploration and adventure in this Pacific island nation. As premier liveaboard dive boats, they offer unparalleled opportunities for divers to delve into the vibrant underwater ecosystems that thrive in PNG’s pristine waters. Febrina, with its storied history and reputation for luxury and comfort, beckons travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys to remote dive sites teeming with marine life. Meanwhile, Oceania stands as a beacon of sustainable tourism, committed to preserving the delicate balance of PNG’s marine environments while providing guests with immersive experiences that celebrate the region’s natural wonders. Together, Febrina and Oceania represent more than vessels; they serve as gateways to the wonders of PNG’s underwater realm, inviting adventurers to explore its reefs, wrecks, and diverse marine habitats in a way that fosters appreciation and stewardship for this extraordinary corner of the world.

7-night package at Atlantis Puerto Galera or Atlantis Dumaguete, Philippines

 

With small dive groups, five-star service, a dedicated camera room in each resort, and top-class cuisine, Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboards offer a great opportunity to dive Philippines’ premier destinations, Puerto Galera and Dumaguete, from their two beachfront dedicated dive resorts, as well as Apo Reef, Coron, Tubbataha, and Visayas Safari off their liveaboard Atlantis Azores. Dumaguete features dark volcanic sand, with rich macro life and excellent critter diving, while Puerto Galera boasts vivid reefs, incredible formations and rich marine life. Atlantis Azores offers divers the opportunity to explore remote locations, covering the best dive sites in a week.

Two Ikelite DS230 strobes

 

Ikelite is a leading manufacturer in the underwater photographic industry with worldwide name recognition and global distribution in over 95 countries. Its products are used by amateur and professional photographers in a variety of wet environments from swimming pools to polar ice caps and everywhere in-between.

 
Ikelite DS230 strobe
QYSEA Fifish V-EVO underwater drone kit 4K

 

Established in 2016, QYSEA is committed to delivering high-quality R&D, manufacturing, and sales of underwater robots. It has broken industrial barriers to establish a leading market position with its innovative underwater drone technology. Most importantly, QYSEA is focused on bringing the public a greater ability to connect on with the underwater world along with its inhabitants and ecosystems, as well as to generate greater awareness on various ocean-related issues and topics. At QYSEA, we have a passion for discovery in all things nature. It is our life-long goal to drive innovation, help others develop greater ocean knowledge, rebuild the marine industry, and bring the 2.0 Age of Discovery to the world. Here at QYSEA, you will find a product that will fit your profession, hobby, sport, passion for the oceans!

 
QYSEA Fifish V-EVO underwater drone
Backscatter Hybrid Flash package (strobe, batteries, charger and diffusers)

 

The world’s leading retailer of underwater imaging equipment, Backscatter has been serving underwater photographers and videographers of every skill level, from point-and-shoot to professional, for over 30 years. Headquartered in Monterey, California, Backscatter lives by the philosophy, “We dive, shoot and service everything we sell,” and has created some of the most essential gear used by underwater shooters, including the FLIP filter system for GoPro and the Mini Flash and Optical Snoot. The company also offers comprehensive gear reviews and other educational online content as well as specialized underwater photo and video trips. Every purchase from Backscatter always includes free lifetime tech support.

Backscatter Hybrid Flash package (including Backscatter Hybrid Flash, Nitecore Dual 21700 Battery & Dual USB Charger Package, Backscatter Hybrid Flash Flat Diffuser Package, Backscatter Hybrid Flash Dome Diffuser Package, Backscatter Hybrid Flash Ambient Blue Diffuser Package, Backscatter Hybrid Flash IR Filter)
Pair of Scubalamp (SUPE) V4K V3 video lights

 

Scubalamp (SUPE) is specialized in designing and manufacturing underwater lighting equipment. We are committed to providing high-end, precise, safe, and functional diving lights. All our new models are developed based on the feedback of professional deep-sea divers and underwater photographers around the world to ensure that all products are safe and user-friendly. Craftsmanship and attention to detail make our products the best choice for users worldwide. Scubalamp products are not only tested in a hydraulic laboratory but also under the water by a specialized deep-sea diving team. All Scubalamp models and products have been rigorously tested and confirmed reliable up to 100 meters underwater before being released to the market. Our mission is to provide the very best quality products and become the most trusted brand in the field of underwater photography equipment.

Scubalamp (SUPE) V4K V3 8,000-lumen video light
OM System Tough TG-7 camera and PT-059 underwater housing

 

OM Digital Solutions announced the change of brand name from “Olympus” to “OM System” in October 2021. “OM” represents our origin and identity, embodying the attitude of always “challenging convention and creating new things.” It is also a declaration that we will continue to evolve and take on new challenges as a new company, while respecting the history and spirit of Olympus. OM Digital Solutions is driven by the desire to “challenge ourselves to create new products that did not exist in the world and bring joy to our customers.”

 
 
OM System Tough TG-7 camera and OM System PT-059 underwater housing
Kraken Sports KS160 strobe

 

Kraken Sports originally started as a dive torch company with the aim of providing quality dive torches at great prices, with excellent customer service. The company now also produces imaging tools and photography products, including camera housings and strobes. Kraken Sports is located in London, Ontario, Canada.

 
 
Kraken Sports KS160 strobe
SeaLife SportDiver Ultra Pro 2500 Set (with Flex-Connect Single Tray and Grip)

 

SeaLife offers a wide array of popular digital underwater cameras, exciting LED lighing systems, and camera accessories. SeaLife was established in the early 1990s to offer a simple and fun way to capture undersea wildlife and underwater memories in an easy, uncomplicated way. Today, this is still the standard that SeaLife sets. SeaLife developed the world’s first commercially available underwater digital camera and is the only imaging and lighting brand that focuses entirely on diving, snorkeling and water sports. This specialized approach assures the highest degree of satisfaction with our extensive base of users. SeaLife is constantly evaluating their products to ensure that their equipment delivers the most consistent results, even in extreme and difficult conditions.

 
 
SportDiver Ultra Pro 2500 Set (with Sea Dragon 2500 Light, Flex-Connect Single Tray, Flex-Connect grip, and Sea Dragon Case)
Isotta housing for the GoPro HERO12 Black

 

Since 1967 Isotta’s family has marketed high-end equipment for underwater video, photography and lighting, starting its own production in 1980. In four decades of development, the company has always offered its customers cutting-edge signature red products that are fully manufactured in Italy. With extensive industry experience, we strive to build the highest-quality products to keep photographers around the world comfortable when shooting underwater and their cameras protected from the elements, empowering them to frame memorable moments in water.

 
Isotta GoPro HERO12 Black housing
OrcaTorch Double D710V Combo Kit or OrcaTorch D530V Macro Shooting Kit

 

OrcaTorch is a brand that specializes in designing and manufacturing high-quality dive lights for underwater enthusiasts. The brand’s name, OrcaTorch, was inspired by the orca, a powerful and intelligent marine predator, and the torch, a symbol of light and illumination. Since its inception in 2024, OrcaTorch has been dedicated to innovation and quality. OrcaTorch invests heavily in research and development to create dive lights that are not only powerful and durable but also user-friendly and easy to operate. Today, OrcaTorch is recognized as one of the leading brands in the diving industry. Its products are used by professional divers and underwater photographers around the world. OrcaTorch continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with underwater lighting technology.

OrcaTorch Double D710V Combo Kit OrcaTorch D530V Macro Shooting Kit
Inon S-220 strobe (with Strobe Dome Filter S [SOFT] and Strobe Dome Filter [ND])

 

Inon, a renowned underwater photography brand hailing from Japan, has carved a niche for itself in the realm of aquatic imaging with its unparalleled innovation and dedication to excellence. With roots deeply embedded in the rich maritime culture of Japan, Inon has emerged as a leading force in the underwater photography industry, captivating enthusiasts and professionals alike with its cutting-edge equipment and advanced technology. From compact cameras to sophisticated lighting systems and accessories, Inon’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of underwater imaging has earned it a reputation for delivering exceptional quality and performance in the most challenging aquatic environments. With a legacy built on precision engineering and a relentless pursuit of perfection, Inon continues to inspire photographers worldwide to explore the depths and capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the underwater world.

 
 
Inon S-220 strobe (with included dome diffusers)
One-year membership to The Underwater Club online underwater photography school and club

 

The Underwater Club is the first online underwater photography school and club, with members in 12 countries. The self-paced courses include 40 modules, 46 quizzes and over 16 hours of video-based tuition, covering beginner and advanced photographic skills. Monthly online meetings alternate between expert masterclasses and photo critiques sessions, where club members get feedback on their images. These continue on the private club forums, where resident photo pro Nicolas Remy is available to answer member questions, provide feedback on their images, and offer guidance for entering competitions.

 
One-year membership to The Underwater Club includes access to 12 webinars and past webinar recordings, as well as photo coach support on the club forums
Judges
Brett Lobwein

Brett Lobwein is a passionate and environmentally-minded photographer based in Sydney, Australia. Whether shooting silky sharks in Cuba, pengiuns in Antarctica, polar bears in the Arctic, orcas in Norway or seals in Narooma, Brett is always sure to represent marine life in their natural element, without demonising or sensationalising an animal to gain attention to an image for the wrong reasons. He is a proud Sony Digital Imaging Advocate, Ambassador for Isotta Underwater Housings, Member of the Explorers Club, and Member of the Ocean Artists Society. His images have won numerous international photography awards and have been published worldwide.

Jayne Jenkins

Jayne Jenkins was born and raised in Wales, and learned to dive in the chilly waters along the rugged Welsh coastline before moving to Australia in 1973. She has been actively involved in many facets of the diving industry for over four decades. Jayne is a regular editorial contributor to Scuba Diver Australia and New Zealand, and her underwater images have won her many awards. A proud Fellow International of the Explorers Club, Jayne is one of only three Australians to be inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Jayne has been a judge for numerous photo competitions, including the Photo Competition for World Oceans Day organised by the United Nations.

Matty Smith

Matty Smith is based in Newcastle, Australia, having emigrated from the UK in 2007. He has over 25 years of photography experience, with 17 of those underwater. He is a speaker and writer on various photographic techniques, but his biggest passion is teaching photography workshops in person to emerging students. He has been published by the likes of the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife magazine, Ocean Geographic, and many others. Matty has over 30 international awards to his name. An ambassador for Nikon Australia, he is sponsored by Aquatica Digital and is an Ocean Geographic Master Photographer.

Ross Long

Ross Long is a multi-award-winning ocean, travel and lifestyle photographer and writer based in Byron Bay, Australia. Ross is a tenacious visionary with big ideas and a passionate artist and conservationist who truly loves his work. He is always creating, forever a student, and brimming with wanderlust. His purpose is to evoke emotion and inspire people to set out on their own adventures. He has worked with various tourist boards and high-profile brands, including Tourism Australia and GoPro.

Tobias Friedrich

Tobias Friedrich first started taking pictures underwater with a DSLR in 2007. He is based in Wiesbaden, Germany, conveniently close to Frankfurt Airport, a major hub that facilitates his international travels for assignments around the globe. His images have been published in prestigious magazines and newspapers around the world, and numerous underwater photography competitions have honored his work, resulting in over 50 accolades, including 30 first-place awards. Notably, he was crowned “Underwater Photographer of the Year” in the prestigious UPY competition in 2018 and named “German Photographer of the Year” in the World Shootout contest in 2019.

William Tan

William Tan has been fascinated with the creatures of the sea since childhood. While studying at the Johns Hopkins University (USA), much of his spare time was spent gazing at the extensive marine collection of the nearby National Aquarium in Baltimore. A violinist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, William earned his scuba diving certification in 1994. Thereafter, without his prized antique Italian violin, he travels extensively between concert seasons throughout the Pacific region photographing marine life for scientific institutions, camera and housing manufacturers, tourism organizations, dive magazines and resorts.