Competition rules

The full competition rules. These are regularly reviewed and may have changed since last year's competition.

Competition rules


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Points Make Prizes

The competition is open to all photographers: professionals and amateurs. A single photographer can win all the categories they enter. A single photographer, can theoretically (if they are British and have never won a contest before), win all three special awards. However, a single photographer can only take home one prize. This will not affect the published results or placings in the categories.

Each photographer will receive points for each photo that places in the top 10 of each category. And as all Brits can tell you: "What do points make? Points make Prizes!"

The overall Underwater Photographer of the Year will get the top prize, and be taken out of the prize pool. The image will not also be named as the winner of the respective category. In that category there will still be 10 winning images.

The photographer with the most points (in total across all categories) will get first choice of prize from our sponsors, the photographer with the second highest points total will get second choice, and so on until the prize fund is exhausted. This system has two advantages, first winners get to choose their prizes, so end up with prizes they really need. And second more individuals will take home prizes from the festival.

The 8 main categories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 & 10) will award points for the top 10 places as follows:

The other international category (8) will award less points as this category typically attract less entrants and are often dominated by relatively few photographers:

Both Compact categories (7 Compact and 11 British Compact) will have dedicated prizes. Therefore there will be no points awarded for any images being 'placed' in these two categories that will be counted in the overall prize allocation.

Please note that we won’t publish the results as a top 10 in each category, this is just for the points. Instead the top 10 will be published as Winner, Runner Up, Third Place, 4x highly commended (4th-7th), 3 x commended (8th-10th).