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DIVE AND SHOOT: Tourism! Underwater Photo Contests! Growing SCUBA Community!

I found this Moray Eel peeping from the hard coral while shooting for an underwater segment of Born to be Wild | Dive 7000 Resort, Anilao | January 2011.

Dammit! I live in such a beautiful country! 🙂 Anna Oposa would agree.

Last week our underwater photography dive group (check us out at NUDI.PH and our more active Facebook group at FACEBOOK.NUDI.PH) got together once again for an evening of friendly competition. Yep, this happens once a month, and we all meet up, realizing that most of us have day jobs. Heh!

Photos c/o Wowie Wong

On Facebook we’re about 100+ strong. In our monthly meets, we average about 60+ diver-photographers all based in Manila composed of Filipinos and expat friends. We really found a need to build this group as a way to strengthen the bonds of the Manila diving community and become better underwater photographers. Hence the friendly competition. We are assigned themes in advance (this month was underwater marine portraits) and we go out and shoot. When we meet, the members showcase their photos and the group chooses the top 5 for both DSLR and compact camera categories. It feels great to win, but even better just participating!

I’m really happy that the group is starting to be recognized by art galleries, hotels and even national-level underwater photo competitions.

The following are two UW contests running in the next couple of weeks.

P.S. If you are a potential sponsor and would like to meet our community (thanks so far to some of our sponsors including Canon and Kodak), please drop an email to jan (at) nudi (dot) ph. NUDI is a non-profit organization.

Competition 1: Underwater Dive Safari | MAD
I first heard about this from FlairCandy but found it odd that there was no call to action whatsoever (see, it’s also here but again, nothing!). No information if this was an open competition. No info about a website to visit. Nothing else anywhere! Basically it was just a press release. Harrrumph, DOT you need to learn how to disseminate information well. FlairCandy and Lakbay Pilipinas are decent sites — would have been cool if you gave them better info!


Coincidentally, MAD About Us was at our last NUDi night together with a representative from the DOT. So, yay, information! For those unfamiliar, MAD, under Joel Uichico, is a yearly underwater photo competition where the proceeds are spent in the professionalization of dive guides around Anilao. Train them how to be good spotters. Train them how to care for the environment. Train them how to be safe. Train them to be strict! if we get world class spotters, the tourists are happier.

MAD is connected with this year’s Dive Safari: Apparently this year, the Philippine Dive Seafari 2011 is a macro photography competition, hence the tagline “Small things make a big difference.”

There are three categories:

a. compact camera without flash
b. compact camera with flash

Winning photos will actually be used to represent the Philippines in brochures and banners. If there’s one great way to market the Philippines it would be the fact that it is the center of marine biodiversity. The Philippines is being marketed specifically as a macro paradise, which is true since we have the most nudibranch species in the world! So get out of the city AND LEARN TO DIVE! 🙂

This contest happens from April 25 – May 5 2011. I’m definitely joining since I only shoot macro!

If you want to join:

Mr. Joel Uichico
Municipal Tourism Complex
Poblacion, Baclayon, Bohol
[email protected]

Competition II: SNUPS

Now this is a bit more home grown. Jovic Santos of Splash UW Imaging together with NUDI is proud to announce the first annual Splash-NUDI Underwater Photo Shootout. This will be happening in three locations:

Anilao, Batangas
May 20-24 2011

Dauin, Negros Oriental (Dumaguete)
May 27-31, 2011

Mactan, Cebu
June 3-7, 2011

The rules of the competition are on the website. It is open to divers from all over the world as the prizes are pretty hardcore: DSLR and compact housings and accessories from Hugyfot, Sea & Sea, INON, and all your favorite manufacturers. Registration is online.

N.B. The site does not yet have complete information about prizes and judges but pre-registration is now open. The contest rules are also open: this is a hardcore competition as no photo-shopping is allowed.

You can also email:

Jovic Santos
Competition Official
Splash UW Imaging | SNUPS
[email protected]

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

6 replies on “DIVE AND SHOOT: Tourism! Underwater Photo Contests! Growing SCUBA Community!”

i got goosebumps when I heard of the snups photo contest! are we ready to have our playground swamped w/ international divers? do u think it will make diving cheaper or more expensive with the demand?

Good idea- “photo dive.” The pictures are so beautifully captured. Can anyone from Mindanao( or anywhere in the phils.)join ? I would love to. =)

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