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Is this image borderline for competitions


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#1 Kelpfish

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:22 AM

I am posting this image to spark a discussion on images that borderline photo competition rules. I have never entered this nor do I intend to enter it in any competition, but I will admit that it borderlines competition rules because it is kind of an aquarium/confined water image. I actually planned this shot over three days, then huffed my camera gear and wetsuit over some cliffs at Laguna Beach to a beautiful area of tide pools and reefs. I was actually fully submerged in a "natural" environment, but I wasn't free swimming as most competition rules require. The dark area at the top portion of the picture is actually the surface of the top of the water (still as Hell, I was). My wife is distorted but our plan worked. She brought a yellow and blue jacket to give contrast to the image (as we planned). The yellow one worked better so that's what we went with. The anemones were right near the surface and the rest of the pool was just reef, so I didn't squash any animals during this endeavor. But the question is: Would it be ethical to enter this in a competition?

I think it'd be fun to see other images that you think border the rules and an explanation as to why. Any takers?

By the way, this is the third time I posted this. The other two times someone hacked Wetpixel and the posts were lost. Bastards.

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#2 kriptap

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:59 AM

I think the image is cool and I would enter it, it's about water so I would try it in the right competition, just look at this that won the BSOUP comp last month, it's the first image:

BSOUP COMP

Personally I think the imge that Alex entered of the Lion Fish was the best and should have won, but that's just my 2 cents, also remember this one from our own picture of the week, it's 2 dead fish! if that can win a competiton then your's has to stand a chance:

POW COMP

You never know what people or judges like or don't, so enter it when you find the right time.

#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:04 AM

Funnily enough, my favourite was Patrick's shot - and I was there so could vote for it. I think subject matter is always important in underwater photography competitions. Big and exciting is always good.

I was speaking to Laurent Ballesta at last year's Antibes festival and he said to me that one reason he thinks he always does so well in that competition is that his portfolio always contains a couple of big or exciting subjects that the judges have never seen before. Personally I think it is because he is the best underwater photographer in the world!

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#4 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 07:20 AM

I see no problem with it. I've seen competiton winning entries that were shot in surge zones and less than 2 feet of water...

I've actually been planning some shots very similar to the one you've just posted. I should just get out and do it rather than sitting around saying hmmmm.
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#5 John Bantin

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:19 AM

You never know what people or judges like or don't, so enter it when you find the right time.



I have sat on a few panels of judges and I am constantly amazed at what differing tastes people have. I would not have any clue as to what any of the other judges were thinking of and no doubt they thought the same about me! Sometimes you actually find yourself fighting to include the shot you think is clearly the best to get it included among the runners-up or even to get it included at all!

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#6 synthetic

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 12:42 PM

My mating great white shark image keeps getting disqualified in competitions. :blink:

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#7 randapex

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 01:14 PM

Hi Joe,

That's an interesting image for sure. Although you didn't ask for critique as such, my first reaction was, if you had hand held a strobe above the water to fill in the shadows and make you wife brighter, that would be kinda cool. But, you didn't ask so, disgregard that. :blink:

I'm totally fine with that image as being an "underwater" photo. IF the rules specified that all the photos must have been taken while on scuba, and you don't say exactly if you were or not, but if you weren't the comp rules would answer the question. But I see White shark images, dolphin images, winning competitions and the shots were not taken on scuba. At least as I define it. Snorkeling or using a hooka line is not scuba. But that's the definition that some contests use. Others don't. I seem to recall a similar setting winning BOS at Epic a few years ago.

Oh, and I really like the shot. You're planning paid off in a unique photo.

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#8 yahsemtough

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 01:34 PM

I see no problem as long as you were submerged for the shot. That being subject to each competitions rules but, if you were standing in knee deep water with only the camera underwater maybe not. I seem to recall some contests not allowing Pole Cam shots now and that would be somewhat similiar if you were not submerged.

I like the shot and recall the one Rand mentions also. Well done.

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#9 synthetic

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 02:52 PM

Yeah, cool shot by the way. The only shots I know have been disqualified is when the wildlife has been messed with – no feeding starfish to the Harliquin shrimp to get the shot.
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#10 critidoc

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 02:06 AM

My mating great white shark image keeps getting disqualified in competitions. :blink:

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Not the best cloning job on the second shark. Probably disqualified as a doctored photo.
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#11 Kelpfish

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 04:46 AM

Hi Rand,

I am always open to critique, so no issue with me if you wanna lend your expertise. I look at my own 'good pics' and always ask myself how I can do better. Advice is actually appreciated, at least that's my personal desire...moderators may see it differently depending on thread intent. Nonetheless, with the sun behind her, your comment makes total sense, and given the shallow depth, I could have easily done that.

And Jeff, that's a great, rare shot, I'll admit. :) ;) :blink: :D
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