Tutukaka Coast Winter Festival Photography Competition August 2014

Tutukaka Coast, New Zealand


Update 2014-08-31: Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. For those wishing to improve their skills were are considering more UWP workshops if there is sufficient demand. Drop us a line if you're interested.

General Judging Comments

The selection and placement of images invoked much critical discussion among the three judges. It was invaluable having input from experienced underwater photographers who have also judged competitions in the past. Our methodology involved an initial step of personally ranking finalists in each category between one and five (best). We then entered into negotiation in terms of the merits of each image. The second phase was artistically valuable as it broadened the perspective of all three judges to an image’s qualities. In many cases we stuck to our initial individual scorings; but in some we were won round by argument. In all cases democracy prevailed in final selection. A final note on selection: judging is a subjective process with selection conforming to underlying criteria. In my case these general criteria included:

• Originality;
• Technical Excellence;
• Composition; 
• Overall Impact (WOW FACTOR); 

and finally the question - 

• Would I hang this on my wall?

As a general comment: many of the competitors could benefit from post processing skill advancement in Lightroom or similar. This would have given several of the images entered a more competitive edge. Taking note of the complete (edge to edge) composition of the image and ensuring there is a clear subject.

If you entered and would like feedback on your individual entries, do contact me and I would be happy to respond.





The whole month of August is the duration of the competition – from midnight on the 1st August with a deadline at 12pm on the 28th August.

Range: photos taken from the Ngunguru Community Hall to the toilets in Sandy Bay. North Reef, Lizzy Reef, and Poor Knights Islands

There will be SEVEN Categories within the event, that can be entered – at least three places per category – but dependent on the number of entries, allowing for two Highly Commended or Up & Coming places.

1. Macro
2. Wide angle
3. Portfolio - max 5 images
4. Free dive category
5. Wrecks
6. Coastal Topside
7. People's Choice

There will be two main prizes – selected by the Judges overall and also by the People.

1. Best of Show
2. People’s Choice

For the first SIX categories there are some ground rules….
Must have been taken in the month of August, digital only, must have time and date in file name.
Must be own work.
The boundary area for taking photos is from the Ngunguru Community Hall, to the toilets in Sandy Bay. Off shore includes North Reef, Lizzy Reef, and Poor Knights Islands.
Caption, location and description to accompany each entry, as well as Camera make and model included in the file name.
One entry per category.
Deadline 12:00pm on the 28th August.
Winners announced on 30th Beer Fest night.

For the People’s Choice entries, the categories are open, limitless, and have no rules!

Entry is via the Facebook app, or by using the hashtag in Instagram or Twitter which is #GoodTimesTutukaka

Use of #GoodTimesTutukaka qualifies entry, and images are automatically uploaded to the TutukakaCoastWinterFest page, and from there you can vote for your favourite image. Voting is open, from August 1st, and commences as soon as the image is online. Photos have to be taken within the Competition Boundaries, and August time frame.

The image with the most votes by midnight on the 31st August is the People’s Choice winner!

Time Frame:
August 1st – Competition Opens
August 28th noon – Entries close – Judging commences
August 29th noon – Judging finishes
August 29th – People’s Choice opens – including digital display at venues for the evening.
August 30th 6pm – Winners announced.

Images will remain the property of the photographer, but may be used for promotional purposes. The entries will be posted on Facebook.

1. Images should be in good taste with respect for the environment (no harming of wildlife).
2. Images must be taken underwater (either fully or at least partially submerged) with a digital camera, except in the Coastal Topside section.
3. Images with watermarks cannot be judged. Remember that the judges are judging blind so putting your name on an image effectively disqualifies you.
4. You must own the copyright and must have taken the image you submit.
5. You may edit or enhance your images with a view to improving their quality while maintaining a natural appeal; any manipulation should be noted in your comments.
6. Uploaded photos should be of highest quality minimum 1024 pixels in the longest dimension. Larger images will be resized and we recommend keeping file sizes less than 1.5MB to reduce problems when uploading. For winning images we may request a higher quality version for print.
7. We have the right to request the RAW / unedited image if required.
9. If you have any queries or need to alter an entry, email

10. You can upload a maximum of one photo per Category, but you may enter every Category. The Portfolio Category can have up to a maximum of 5 images in its category.
11. Please complete your contact details accurately so we may contact you if you win.
12. Permission to publish your entry on the Tutukaka Coast Promotions website and Facebook page in relation to the competition is assumed but no entry will be sold or used for purposes outside of the competition and its future promotion without the express permission of the entrant.
13. Entry fee is $10 per entry, payable to TCP, with reference to category entry and photographer’s name.