The petition itself, whilst having arisen from the above events, is about the bigger picture. Much more interesting than the number of people signing up are the comments and debates that are happening and it seems to be evolving in a direction for the greater good.
I’ve had three reputable resorts in key macro hot spots say how useful such posts are to help them show their guides that not everyone wants them to move subjects around. I find that most heartening.
For sure, it’s a small cause when compared to current coral bleaching concerns, plastics and polluants in the oceans, and unsustainable overfishing, but it is a valid one.
I’ve started a change.org petition with which to gather momentum for change in UW photo ethics which we intend to circulate to spheres of influence such as competition organisers, dive centres and dive magazines. Feel free to sign up or ignore, no need to troll but your opinions are very welcome.
I am in the very unenviable situation to have to write the following and I am well aware of the potential fact that it may make me look like the world’s worst loser however, I have been left with no choice as substantiated evidence from a not insignificant group of people has been provided and has consequently been ignored and stonewalled by the organiser of the World Shootout (http://worldshootout.org/).
Following the result of the World Shootout (http://worldshootout.org/), I have written what I consider to be a well researched and measured email to the organiser as some of the jury decisions, including the likelihood of subject herding in the macro category, were in breach of the published competition guidelines. An image in another category was discovered to have been taken outside of the time frame required for the competition and the country group portfolios did but with one exception adhere to the judging criteria of a common thread running through them (the winning sets picking up major prizes did not adhere to the rules).
Regarding the issue of subject herding in the macro category, I was also told by the organiser that ‘crab’ and ‘nudibranch’ experts at a prestigious university had been consulted who had attested to the winning image displaying natural behaviour. The university does not appear to have a department for such specialism, certainly not a research centre, and the organiser has been unwilling to provide me with any information as to who these experts are or any proof of their statement. The jury panel has also remained largely anonymous. I have offered strong and compelling evidence to engage in a debate and this has effectively been completely ignored.
When pressed as to how some of the above issues would be addressed, the reply received was that “For 2016 competition we will take in consideration in the rules more tools for the jury team” suggesting an awareness that the jury team for 2015 was not equipped for the task required, yet the organiser is letting the results stand.
The organiser equally saw it appropriate to swap the prizes at the last minute after the judging had taken place, which demonstrates further lack of ethics.
I have requested to return my prize as I do not want to support what I consider to be an unethical competition but this has also not been acknowledged. I have asked for a refund of my entry fee as the rules and guidelines seem moot, again this has been ignored.
I do not deny the frustration felt around these points but I feel compelled to write the above as a service to the UW community as a whole. If you are approached to be a sponsor for this competition or you are considering being an entrant, I think it is important that you are made aware of the above. If anyone would like to be copied into the full conversation, please feel free to ask me.
Again, it is with huge regret that I have to publish this and I welcome the organiser to comment here or in private to address some of the issues and evidence I have presented him with. I also would welcome debate from any other member of our underwater community. I don’t want to be spending time with this regrettable situation but I also have a strong sense of justice which is not being respected.
Hi Nick. I’d be a little wary of the G7X if I were you, it does not behave like most other compacts so needs some consideration. If you are thinking of going wide angle, the G7X is particular in that its lens is shorter when at its widest. The result of this is that if you screw a wide angle lens to the front of the standard port, you are left with a large air gap between the camera lens and the port glass with a result that the corners of the image become very soft and out of focus with heavy vignetting around the borders of the image. The alternative is to zoom in which then means you lose much of the benefit of the wide angle lens.
Nauticam have overcome this issue by offering interchangeable ports for this camera, a shorter port for wide angle and a longer port for macro. When you have the short port installed, you cannot zoom in beyond about 40mm as the lens extends and hits the glass. This does mean that you lose flexibility that you would normally expect with a compact camera but you do end up with good image quality for both wide angle and macro. As far as I’m aware, other manufacturers do not offer a similar solution.
We have sent a setup to a French magazine, Chercheurs d’Eau, who are currently running tests with the Nauticam, Isotta, Recsea and Ikelite housings for G7X with a variety of wide angle lenses so this will be worth watching.
If you are looking for flexibility to change from wide to macro underwater, I’d still personally think the Sony RX100 Mk2 is the winning choice for underwater. This camera though does not perform well underwater for white balancing and the flash recycle time tends to be longer than the Canon.