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Dive Photo Guide

Sixth Annual World Oceans Day Photo Contest: Rules & Guidelines

Please read these contest rules carefully before entering.



  • Entries must be saved in JPG format and should be sized to be between 2,000 and 6,000 pixels in the longest dimension. Please limit your images to a maximum file size of 5,000KB (5MB). Images will be viewed on a large monitor and should be in the AdobeRGB 1998 or sRGB color space.
  • Please do not include any watermark or borders on your images. These elements will detract from the image’s impact. It’s not that we don't want you to protect your images; it’s just hard to appreciate an image with a watermark over it. (We will keep the display of winning images consistent, and when your image is displayed, it will be clearly labeled as your image.)
  • The same image can only be entered into one category.

Note: Entrants should retain high-resolution and RAW files, if applicable, of their submissions. In the event your submission is selected as a finalist or winner, you will be asked to submit a high-resolution image for printing and display, and, if applicable, a RAW image to check if adjustments made to the image comply with the rules.



  • Before entering the contest, you'll need to register first. If you are a returning user, you’ll need to login first.
  • Once you are registered, go to your Profile page and click on the “My Galleries” tab. You can the create a new gallery just for your contest entries, or if you already have galleries, add your contest entries to one of your existing galleries.
  • After adding your contest entries to your gallery, return to the Contest Submission Page, choose a category (by clicking on the appropriate thumbnail), and select the image(s) from your gallery or use the uploader. Entered images are shown as thumbnails under “My Entries” below.
  • You can add/remove your entries at any time before the deadline by returning to any category submission page. To remove an entry, click on the thumbnail. Once you have finished entering your images, you can simply close the window—your entries will be saved. 



  • The contest is open to entrants of all skill levels.
  • Photo contest staff and judges are not allowed to enter the contest.
  • Each individual can only win one prize or prize package.
  • Winners will be announced on June 7, 2019 in New York, on the occasion of the marking of World Oceans Day at the UN, and published on www.unworldoceansday.org and DPG shortly afterwards.
  • Entries may have been taken from any camera, digital or film (as scanned slides).
  • All entries must be submitted by April 30, 2019 at 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Conservation rules will be strictly observed. Flora and fauna should never be stressed or endangered for the sake of a photo. Entries suspected of involving the following behavior will be disqualified:

  • Photographers visibly damaging the environment (e.g., gear dragging or kicking up sand, divers exhibiting poor buoyancy control)
  • Animals with signs of stress (e.g,. puffed puffers, inking octopus)
  • Animals moved to an unnatural environment or risky location
  • Marine life being touched or placed (e.g., nudibranchs, coral polyps, seahorse tails)

Images that have won or placed in photo contests with winning entries announced before March 1, 2019 may not be submitted. Any single image that was part of a portfolio, but did not place as a single image, is eligible to be entered. A winning image is defined as follows:

  • Any image that has placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a major photography contest (to be determined subjectively by judges)
  • Any image that has placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in any photo of the year-type contest. Photos of the day, week, or month are eligible

Photographers retain all copyrights to their images. The organizers of World Oceans Day Photo Contest retain the right to publish the contest entries in any format to congratulate or feature the winners and their respective images, and to promote future World Oceans Day events, as well as for awareness-raising purposes for the work of the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. Winning images will be included in a press release for third party websites and publications in the context of congratulating and/or featuring the winners and winning images, and to promote future World Oceans Day events. Winning images can be used by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations and their partners to promote awareness, preservation and conservation. Strict guidelines requiring photo credit and specific one-time press release usage are issued along with the press release.

Note on photo manipulation

Post processing images is allowed. This includes global adjustments to exposure, contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, and tone. Minor cleaning of images is permitted, including the removal of backscatter, dust and scratches. HDR, panoramas, focus stacking or other techniques that involve using multiple images taken at the same time and place are also allowed.

Adding, removing or moving animals, people, plants or other objects is not allowed. For example, moving a fish, removing a reef element or adding a glow to a divers torch is not acceptable.

While digital manipulation is permitted, please keep in mind this not a Photoshop competition. All images should accurately represent the subject matter and nature. Images that appear to be overly processed may be disqualified at the judges’ discretion.


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