Report: CMAS World Underwater Photography Championship

Practice Day

An early start saw the whole competition moving to the marina at Sur Las Galletas. The purpose of today’s event is to test both the teams and organizers procedures, ready for the actual contest that will be held over 20 and 21 September.

The rules of the event are stringent. Each morning, the contestants are issued with the memory cards that they had submitted the day before.

While being watched by a jury CMAS member, the contestant shows that there is only this card in their camera. The date is set to a random year, and the camera is sealed with a seal.

Competitors may not open their cameras unless they need a battery or lens change, in which case it must be done while being supervised by an official. Also, no images may be deleted during a day’s shooting, and each contestant is limited to a maximum of 250 images per day.

At the end of the day, each seal is broken by an official, card removed and images offloaded before the card is formatted and secured to repeat the process tomorrow.

The photographers and team captains will eventually be able to select up to five photos to the championship, again under supervision. The selected pictures are made known to the CMAS jury member. Competitors may submit a photo in each of the following categories: Fish, Close up, Theme, Wide-angle, and Wide-angle with Diver.

Each contestant can make a 90-minute dive on each of the 4 designated sites. As mentioned earlier, a new feature is an option of using in-camera editing while underwater.

Back to the day:

The competitors gathered on the jetty, and a thorough briefing was presented.

Large tables had been set up for the housings, which were soon groaning with imaging equipment.

Once completed, the process of distributing memory cards, and sealing housings commenced.

Cell phones and tablets are banned in the area around the camera gear, and Bluetooth and WiFi must be switched off on the cameras.

The organizers have provided a fleet of inflatable boats, with each one carrying a CMAS official to ensure everyone abides by the rules.

After a dive, everyone returned to the marina. While this was going on, jury chair Kay Burn Lim set out for a dive.

Ana Castillo and Kay Burn Lim

We visited a site called Yellow Mountain, which had some impressive scenery, along with a friendly cuttlefish that provided some exciting photographic challenges.

It is one of the sites that is being used for the contest, so it will be exciting to see the imagery produced.

While we were returning, the competitors set out for their second dive.

Kay and I were joined by CMAS’s Kerim Sabuncuoglu, and we headed out to a site called El Puertito. Renown for its turtles, we failed to find any (!), but found a lovely school of bream, along with lots of trumpetfish.

By the time we surfaced, the wind had picked up, giving us quite a rough ride back.

Tomorrow will be the first day of the actual contest. Wishing the teams all the very best of good luck. May your diving be safe and enjoyable, and your subjects plentiful and cooperative.

  1. Day 1: Registration and competitors’ parade
  2. Day 2: Practice Day
  3. Day 3: Competition Day 1
  4. Day 4: Competition Day 2
  5. Day 5: Final day and Awards Ceremony
  6. [Day 5: The Winners]((https://wetpixel.com/articles/report-cmas-world-underwater-photography-championship1/P5)