There are few better ways to improve your photography than absorbing inspiration from underwater imagery like the winners in this issue. While contests can occasionally bring out the worst in photographers, most of the time they have a positive impact. Competitions celebrate and encourage excellence, allow us to gauge our progress, and provide an independent assessment of greater value than social media likes. Successes massage our ego, and can lead to life-changing opportunities.
TIP 1 WHAT TO SHOOT
The most popular subjects for underwater photography are living creatures; any decent photo competition wants to promote the right kind of approach with wildlife. Do not take photos that involve stressing or moving animals. Common transgressions that judges disqualify are benthic species floating in the water column or creatures picked up and plonked on unnatural backgrounds. Even if judges let something slip through, you can suffer being named and shamed by your peers when the results are out. The message is simple—go about your photography in the right way.
Competition photos exist to wow people. These are usually photos with immediate impact: strong compositional shapes, clean backgrounds, rich colors and powerful contrast. Most contests demand RAW files for checking the validity of your entries, so make sure you are not wasting your time shooting JPGs.
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Readers Choice: Best Destinations For Photography
Species diversity, ideal in-water conditions and weird wonders earn these destinations top honors
In It To Win It
Competition can help you improve your shots
Breathing air from a tank isn’t the only way to explore beneath the waves.
Underwater, it’s vital to remember what’s really important
A Studio In Your Hand
Video can bring non-divers into the underwater action
Underwater photography – Do No Harm
Tips for being an ethical underwater photographer
Ask Dan – Decompression sickness
How can I reduce my risk of decompression sickness?
A smorgasbord of wrecks and reefs ensures you’ l l never run out of photo ops in these warm waters
Sea Hero: JOHN WELLER
How one photographer’s mission to save the Ross Sea is bringing the planet together
16 TH ANNUAL PHOTO COMPETITION: OUR SPONSORS
What’s a contest without prizes? These generous donors—whose ranks include avid shooters like you—help make photographers’ dreams come true.
The Evolution Of Freediving
Tracing the journey of our relationship with the sea, through the ages and around the world.
Montblanc's First-Ever Diving Watch
After exploring the heights of the world, Montblanc CEO Nicholas Baretzki is plumbing its depths. August-Man catches up with the adventurous chief during the launch of the brand’s first-ever diving watch
La búsqueda de una buceadora por conocer las historias de quienes se perdieron en los barcos esclavistas revela el lado humano de una época trágica y la ayuda a conectar con la rica historia de su familia.
Deep Blue Dive Offbeat Scuba Spots
From Ireland to Japan, these unexplored diving destinations might be worth taking the plunge for
Ready, Set, Dive
Outdoor swimming is the lockdown trend that is here to stay. Rosie Paterson takes a closer look at some of her favourite London ponds and pools
Dive Slate: Stay Safe On Board
When preparing for a dive, safety is at the top of the list – checking gear, learning potential site hazards and discussing procedures with your divemaster or buddy.
From The Medical Line: Diving After DCS
DAN medical information specaialists and researchers answer your dive medicine questions
The Making Of A World Record-Breaking Diver
Descending more than 300 metres into the depths of the ocean may sound like a daunting prospect to even the most seasoned diver. But to one man, it was just another a challenge that he set for himself to see how far he was able to push the envelope.
Beyond The Homestead
There is nothing better than deflating the tyres, hitting the dirt and feeling like you are the only person on this planet – googs track offers just that.
Discovering The Wrecks Of The Philippines
The Philippines is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. With more than 7,600 islands, the country is a diver’s playground, catering to divers of all skill levels. It is also home to some of the most exciting wrecks, some of which can even be dived by beginners. Join us as we reveal the mysteries of three of the country’s best wreck dive sites.