Kona Underwater Shootout Rules
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Kona Shootout


The Kona Shootout is open to amateur or professional photographers aged 18 and over.  The photographers must be present at the opening ceremony at 18:00 on May 18th and submit entries by 15:30 May 20th.  The contest consists of 8 categories:

-Wide Angle




-SeaLife cameras

-Natural Light


-Black Water


  1. Upon planning your trip, please make sure you have internet access by the close of the competition as submissions will be via a shared Dropbox link.

  2. Final images can be submitted until May 20, 2018.  The uploading process should only take a short while, but please make sure it is completed ahead of time to avoid last-minute problems.

  3. Participants must read the “Rules and Regulations” section prior to registering to the competition.  Upon submitting the registration form and submitting images to the competition, participants confirm their agreement with these rules and regulations.

Shootout Rules

  1. Competition dates are from May 18 to May 20th, 2018

  2. Competition registration must be completed prior to the start of the competition at on May 18 at 18:00.  Participants must attend the welcoming ceremony or make arrangements with event staff ahead of time.

  3. The final deadline for submitting images to the different categories is Sunday May 20, 2018 at 15:30.

  4. All Kona Shootout winners will be announced at a winning ceremony that will take place on Monday, May 21, 2018.  Location of ceremony TBA

  5. Only photos taken between May 18th and May 20th will be accepted for the competition.

  6. Only 3 images are allowed per contestant per category. Images may be submitted to 1 category only.

  7. Submitted images may be taken during day or night

  8. Submitted images must be taken either underwater or half and half (split-shot).

  9. Images should be submitted in jpeg format and be at least 1500 pixels in the longest dimension.  Minor enhancements of photos using imaging software, such as color and contrast enhancements, are permitted.  Image editing that alters the main content of the photo, such as moving, removing objects and/or implanting foreign elements is not permitted. The organizers and the judges have the authority to determine whether a photo has been manipulated according to their judgment. A good rule of thumb is the judges should not be surprised that the resulting image came from the original. The decision of the jury to disqualify a photo or a photographer is final and undisputable.

  10. Images submitted in the SeaLife category must have been taken on a SeaLife brand camera. Images submitted to the Natural Light category can not utilize any artificial light source in the making of the image.  Blackwater images should be taken on a pelagic night dive. Images submitted to the “Compact” category should be taken on a camera with a fixed or non-interchangeable lens.

  11. Images featuring a model as the main subject belong in the models category.

  12. If you have won a grand prize in a previous Kona Shootout, you are excluded from competing.

  13. Videos must be in a format that can be played using Quicktime.  Videos may be no more than 5 minutes long (less is more). At least 65% of the video must have been shot underwater.  

  14. Watermarks and other identifying marks on the photos and video are not permitted.

  15. Competition organizers will take the upmost care in handling digital files submitted to the competition.  However, competition organizers will not be held responsible for any loss of the submitted material at the time of uploading imaged through the upload process or at the time of the competition itself.  Participants are obligated to follow conservation regulations and to share respect for the underwater world during the process of taking images, wherever they might be diving. Be advised that any damage to the underwater world, including disruption of the natural habitat of creatures, provocation through touching, feeding or annoying, is prohibited and will disqualify the images or the photographer.

  16. It is not appropriate to contact the judges with contest-related problems such as technical issues during the competition.

  17. Semi-finalists may be asked for RAW files to ensure that the image complies with image and category requirements.

  18. Images submitted to the competition should be uploaded through the provided Dropbox link into the folder with your name on it.  Images should be uploaded in JPEG format only and must not exceed 1 MB.

  19. The production is entitled to disqualify a participant who acts against the rules, displays undue conduct, has caused harm to another participant, or acted in any way that is contradictory to the spirit of the competition, as well as any other reason that the production team deems fit. The decision to remove a participant from the competition is final, undisputable, and does not entitle the participant to receive compensation or refund of any kind.

  20. Submitted photos must be taken by the registrant.  It is absolutely forbidden to make any kind of barters between photographers and to submit photos in one’s own name but which another photographer has taken.  The competition is conducted individually and rules of ethics must be adhered to.


Images should be free from issues with focus, exposure, or other technical faults. They will then be ranked by equal parts creativity, originality, and aesthetics. The top 10 images in each category will be ranked on a score from 1-10, 10 being the best. The image to score the most overall points will receive the grand prize.

The judges will be announced soon.  The judge’s decisions are final in all aspects of the competition and may not be challenged.


  1. Prizes published online may vary

  2. Prizes are awarded to the winners in person.

  3. Prizes do not include shipment and potential import tax fees in the respective home countries of the participants.

Use of Photographs

  1. By enrolling in the competition, participants agree that the submitted photos and videos in all categories may be used or reproduced for the media coverage of this event and for the promotion of future competitions in all media channels including TV, internet, written publications and more.

  2. Competition organizers reserve the right to make use of images and videos submitted to the competition for the purpose of publishing a competition album, calendars, and any other use that promotes future competitions or found useful by the production.

  3. Submitted materials shall indefinitely remain in the producers’ archives without the requirement of further permission for usage.

  4. Photo credits will be given to the photographer whenever applicable.

  5. Submission of materials and participation in the competition entails an automatic acceptance of all the above.

  6. Use of images as described above will require no additional written or verbal permissions from the photographer

I hereby declare that I’m the rightful owner of all the copyrights to the aforementioned image.  This image was produced by me, and I own the rights to sell, distribute, rent, or broadcast it in any way or form, including private and commercial use, anywhere in the world.  I declare that I will be liable for any damage, loss, or expense that will result of using these materials according to my aforementioned declaration.

Participants are responsible for their own safety and for the proper use of their diving and photography equipment. Divers must dive within the limits of their own dive certification level and according to the local diving regulations (remember to bring your dive certification and diving insurance along). Competition organizers and sponsors do not accept responsibility for the safety of participants during their diving activity, nor do they accept responsibility for any damage to personal equipment that may occur as a result of diving activities. Dive Safely!

Signing the official competition registration form states the photographer’s agreement to the rules stated above.