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DPG Masters Underwater Imaging Competition 2023 Judges Announced
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, November 1, 2023 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

We’re thrilled to unveil the judges for the DPG Masters Underwater Imaging Competition. This year, the illustrious panel comprises: Stephen Frink, Renee Capozzola, Scott “Gutsy” Tuason, Allison Vitsky Sallmon, Matty Smith and Amanda Cotton.

These seasoned underwater photographers will be assessing your entries in eight categories—Traditional, Macro, Wide Angle, Over-Under, Conservation, Black & White, Blackwater, and Short Film—with winners and runners-up receiving prizes worth more than $75,000 in total, include dive trips with the world’s top resorts and liveaboards, as well as the latest underwater photo and video gear. The judges will also decide on the top image overall, with the winning photographer collecting an additional cash prize of $1000.

The competition deadline—December 1st—is a month away, so make sure to start going through your images (and videos) now. We’re looking forward to seeing more of your amazing work!

Find out more about the judges below. To submit your images or videos, head over to the contest page on www.underwatercompetition.com.


Stephen Frink

  Stephen Frink is among the world’s most frequently published underwater photographers, with a career spanning four decades. He arrived in Key Largo, Florida in 1978 to open a small studio dedicated to underwater photo services, but he soon began to receive assignments to photograph and write articles for the consumer dive publications of the day. He worked as a photojournalist for Skin Diver magazine for 17 years, and then as the Director of Photography for Scuba Diving magazine. For the past 10 years, Stephen has been the publisher of Alert Diver magazine, a coffee-table collectible magazine for the members of the Divers Alert Network. Stephen teaches Masters level courses at Stephen Frink School of Underwater Digital Imaging each summer in his home waters off Key Largo and offers dive excursions emphasizing underwater photography through his travel company, WaterHouse Tours. www.stephenfrink.com

Renee Capozzola

  Renee Capozzola is an award-winning, conservation-oriented underwater photographer who specializes in wide-angle and split-level images. Her work is an intriguing combination of artistic talent honed through oil painting during her youth, a professional background in biology, and growing up by the ocean as a Southern Californian native. Her images have been awarded over 50 prestigious international accolades, including “Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021” in the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition and the “Female Fifty Fathoms Award” from Blancpain through the 2021 “Ocean Photographer of the Year.” Her work has also appeared throughout the world in leading publications, including National Geographic in print, and she serves as an Ocean Geographic Photographer-in-Residence. Renee has been featured by multiple news outlets such as CNN, USA Today, and the BBC and is also a fellow of The Explorers Club and an Ambassador for SEACAM. When she is not in the water with her camera, Renee strives to educate others about the challenges facing our oceans and the importance of conserving marine ecosystems. www.beneaththesurfaceimaging.com

Scott “Gutsy” Tuason

  Scott “Gutsy” Tuason was first handed his underwater camera at the age of 16, though he started diving before he even hit puberty. Decades later he is still a passionate photographer, and the element of doing things just at the edge characterizes how he gets his images. His photography has won various awards, notably the Palme d’Or at the Antibes festival in 2000 for his co-authored book, Anilao. His 2016 book, Blackwater/Open Blue, which encompasses images taken in the open ocean either at night or during the day, was awarded Underwater Book of the Year at the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition in 2017. His latest books are Aurora (2018) and Unlocking Tarlac (2022). www.instagram.com/gutsytuason

Allison Vitsky Sallmon

  Allison Vitsky Sallmon’s photographic work has placed in numerous international underwater photography competitions, graced the walls of the Smithsonian Institute and other museums, and been extensively published both in print and online. She is also an enthusiastic writer and frequently contributes articles on travel, photography, and conservation to North American and international dive media. A proud member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Allison is the founder and president of Dive into the Pink, a salary-free 501c3 nonprofit organization that mobilizes the dive community to raise funds for cancer research. www.avitsky.com

Matty Smith

  Matty Smith is based in Newcastle, Australia, having emigrated from the UK in 2007. He has over 25 years of photography experience, with 17 of those underwater. He is a speaker and writer on various underwater photographic techniques, but his biggest passion is teaching photography workshops in person to emerging students. He has been published by the likes of the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife magazine, Ocean Geographic, and many others. Matty has over 30 international photography awards to his name. An ambassador for Nikon Australia, he is sponsored by Aquatica Digital and is an Ocean Geographic Master Photographer. www.mattysmithphoto.com

Amanda Cotton

  Amanda Cotton has spent the last two decades working as a wildlife photographer, specializing in capturing the beauty of the underwater world. Her work has been showcased on platforms including National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, and Smithsonian magazine. Amanda’s images have ventured beyond magazines, finding their way into international dive industry advertising campaigns, where her underwater photography continues to resonate with a wide audience. Moreover, she’s been an integral part of several film productions for the TV and film industry, bringing her unique perspective and expertise to the visual storytelling of the ocean’s wonders. Her photography isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about making a positive impact on the oceans. Collaborating with organizations such as The Conservation Fund and Women Divers Hall of Fame, she’s been part of educational and outreach programs aimed at raising awareness about the challenges faced by our marine ecosystems. In 2015, Amanda had the honor of being inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame for her contributions. With a passion for the ocean and a drive to inspire change, she continues to use her work to make a difference. www.acottonphoto.com







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Nauticam Fisheye Conversion Port (FCP)
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