- All photos in the main categories must be taken underwater (split-level images are permitted as long as a part of image is underwater). Photos for the British Categories (categories 9-12) must be taken in the waters of the UK.
- Photos in the Marine Conservation Photographer Of The Year category can be taken above and below the surface.
- Categories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 & 12 are open to all photographers. Category 8 is open only to photographers who have never won an underwater photography award nor had their work published by 1st November 2019 (you must decide if you fit into this category, please do not ask the competition organisers). Category 12 is open to all photographers ONLY using a compact camera to shoot underwater photographs in British Waters.
- Categories 7 & 12 are intended for photographers who's ONLY underwater camera is of a 'compact' type at the time the image was taken.
- Upon paying the entry fee of either £15 GBP, £30 GBP or £40 GBP, photographers may enter up to 3, up to 10 or up to 20 images across the categories. Payment is via PayPal only.
- There is no fee to enter the Marine Conservation Photographer Of The Year - but there is a limit of 5 images (these are in addition to any paid-for images you may enter into the other categories)
- The deadline for entries is strictly 3rd January 2020 23:59 (GMT).
- All photos must be the work of the photographer entering.
- Images taken on a compact camera can be entered into any category.
- An image can only be entered into one category.
- Photos must not be more than three years old on the opening date of the competition (ie: must have been taken after 31st October 2016).
- Any images that have been awarded in major competitions or widely seen in publication are eligible, but are less likely to win favour with the judges.
- For simplicity, there are no restrictions on post processing. However, this is not a Photoshop contest and winning images are expected to represent reality. Black and white images are accepted in all categories.
- Cropping is permitted, but winning images must still have sufficient resolution for production of the exhibition prints. Photographers placing in the top 10 in each category will be asked to provide higher resolution files before the final results are confirmed.
- Do not watermark your picture. The judging is anonymous and images containing a photographer’s watermark will be excluded.
- The judges’ decision on all matters is final (even where their decision contravenes one of the rules above). The judges are happy to discuss their approach to judging face to face, but do not invite discussion or correspondence on specific judging decisions.
While we provide free translation facility on this website, please be aware the software can make mistakes. Please check with the organisers if something does not make sense in rules translated in this way
- The copyright of all images will remain with the photographer.
- UPY reserves the right to reproduce the best images royalty free, but only in connection with sharing the competition results and promoting the Underwater Photographer of the Year contest. Photos will always be used with credit to the photographer (e.g. "Peter Rowlands/UPY 2020 etc").
- We hope that many publications and our sponsors will showcase the results of this competition and benefit the photographers with high profile exposure for their talents.
- Our bespoke entry form will rename your files so that judging remains anonymous
- All entries must be resized to 2000 pixels in the longest dimension at 300dpi
- Images should be entered as JPG files, saved at best quality
- Colour space should ideally be Adobe 1998 RGB, however the judging will use software that can read any standard colour profile
- Please mark the boxes on the entry form if you are eligible for the British photographer and/or the Most Promising photographer awards
- Please contact us through the contact form if you have any queries
- DO NOT watermark images with your name
- Only simple, English character filenames are allowed. Please use simple names such as: wideangle1.jpg
- While we have required you to enter using your email address, we will NEVER share this with anyone outside the organisers.
- We will only contact you with regard to this competition, and for no other reason.
- At no point will we hold any payment information, which will be handled by PayPal.
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 the special awards. However, a single photographer can only take home one prize from the prize pool and as many of the fixed category prizes that they win. 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 that awards points (see below). And as all Brits can tell you: "What do points make? Points make Prizes!"
- The overall Underwater Photographer of the Year will get first pick from the prize pool (regardless of the photographer's points total).
- The photographer with the most points (in total across all categories) will get the next choice of prize from our sponsors, then the photographer with the second highest points total will get next 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 6 main international categories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) will award points for the top 10 places as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1
- The other international category (8 Up & Coming) will award less points as this category typically attract less entrants and are often dominated by relatively few photographers: 13-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
- The three main British Waters categories (9 British Waters Wide Angle, 10 British Waters Macro and 11 British Waters Living Together) will have dedicated prizes, images placing in these categories will not be awarded points that will be counted in the overall prize allocation.
- Both Compact categories (7 Compact and 12 British Waters 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).
- There are no prizes for the Marine Conservation or Underwater Photography book categories... though placed images or books will still be seen by a huge international audience when the UPY results are published!