Nautilus Underwater Photocomp 2017; Competing is Fun!

Written by jannemieke

20 April 2017

Dear Underwater Photographers,

It is time again to send in your best photos for our annual Nautilus Photocompetition 2017.!

Cairns Scuba Club has a yearly photo competition. This competition has been running for around 10 years now. It has been a runaway success among the members and it has increased the profile of the club to the outside world considerably. Phil Woodhead has been the great organiser all this time.

The competition works very simple. Every member can participate. Do you have one or more under water shots you are really happy with, don’t hesitate, go for it. Now, you might be a bit intimidated by the very high quality of the winning photos of other years. I know I am. Are your shots good enough to compete? My answer is: if you are really happy with your shot, send it it in. But as a beginner, how can I win a price? Yes, you can. Unlike in sports, where there are just a few players at the top winning everything and a beginner will never stand a chance, you can just have that lucky shot. You can make that amazing picture, because 2 fishes and a shrimp happen to smile at you in your compact camera at the same time!

One of the fun things in competing in the photo comp is getting better at taking pictures. You will hone your skills for next year. Through the years I have seen many of our members improve their picture taking. As a competitor you get a nice print of your favourite shots and you get to show them to everybody on the competition night. And they will be in next year’s Nautilus calendar.

Taking pictures on your dives has a great spin off. First of all, you get nice pictures. But it also improves your diving skills, striving to a perfect buoyancy to take a picture of that small critter. And taking pictures makes you look out better and see more. You can’t help to become a better underwater naturalist. Through photography you not only hone your skills as a underwater photographer. But you become an over all better diver.

What about Photoshop? Already in the earliest day of photography, photographers used some after processing to improve the raw results of their camera. This is called retouching. Now we have digital pictures and Photoshop, Lightroom and many other programs that do more or less the same. Every shot can improve with some [editing] after processing. Every year we organise a FREE Photoshop and Lightroom WORKSHOP where Phil teaches you the basics and also more advanced possibilities.

FREE Photoshop/Lightroom workshop is on Wednesday 19 April from 7pm to 9pm.

Every year there are questions whether the rules of the photo comp should not be changed. For instance, in a way that newcomers have a better chance to win a prize. Some members have just started to dive, others have many thousands of dives upon their sleeves. Also, some of our members enter the water with many thousands dollars of camera equipment with at least two flashlights, while others take a point and shoot camera. That is why there are 2 basic categories: SLR camera and Compact Camera. In both categories pictures are classified as Macro, Portrait or Wide Angle. Further there is an open category called Behaviour, which can be shot by any camera and can be macro, portrait or wide angle.

And by the way: the judging is not done by members (apart from the member’s choice) but by a fiercely independent panel of judges who only see the pictures, anonymously numbered.

For this year, long story short: $20 to compete with 1 to 12 pictures. Closing date 31st May 2017. Competition night on 28th of June @ 7pm – Nautilus SCUBA Club Underwater Photo Competition at the CAIRNS COLONIAL CLUB (in stead of our club meeting in June).

The competition forms have been send to you by email.  If you can’t find them, you can download them here:

Nautilus Scuba Club 2017 underwater photo comp form rules

Nautilus Scuba Club underwater photo comp entry form 2017-1

Happy shooting!


President Nautilus Scuba Club




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