Underwater photographers and videographers looking to pitch their work against others on the international stage have been invited to enter the DPG/Wetpixel Masters Underwater Imaging Competition 2021, which opened for entry yesterday (31 August).
“The contest celebrates the splendour of the oceans, the skill of the entrants and the intricate and challenging art of underwater imaging,” say organisers DivePhotoGuide (DGP) and Wetpixel.
What they describe as “the World Championship of international underwater imagery events” is open to photographers and videographers at all levels, from novice to professional. “The selected winners are the world’s best underwater shooters, judged by an all-star panel.”
There are five photo categories: Macro Traditional, Macro Unrestricted, Wide Angle Traditional, Wide Angle Unrestricted and Black and White, “unrestricted” categories allowing for digital manipulation of images. The single video category is for films of no more than five minutes, with at least half of the footage shot under water.
Before coronavirus Masters prizes could total US $55,000, but eye-watering prizes are not on the table this year. The organisers say that instead they aim to “give back” to dive industry sponsors who have supported previous competitions over the years.
“The global pandemic continues to adversely impact dive travel and underwater imaging brands, so it is our turn to help them in their time of crisis,” say DPG and Wetpixel.
Instead of offering sponsor-donated prizes, it will award category winners a modest cash prize of $250 and the overall Best of Show winner an additional $750, while continuing to promote sponsors and donate 15% of entry proceeds to marine-conservation charities.
Winning images will appear on the website and also in DIVER magazine.