Terms & Conditions

Competition Terms

  1. The Ocean Geographic Pictures of the Year Competition (“the Competition”) is positioned as the most influential underwater photography competition with awards chosen by some of the world’s most celebrated ocean-image makers .
  2. By encouraging innovation and creativity, the competition aims to raise and set new standards in underwater imagery.
  3. The competition aims to attract entries from professional, amateur and young photographers worldwide.
  4. The competition aims to promote the splendour and conservation of our ocean environment.
  5. The Competition is owned and organised by OceanNEnvironment Ltd (ONE) and Ocean Geographic Society (OGS), publisher of Ocean Geographic (OG).
  6. The competition encourages innovative composition and originality for all submission.

Terms of Entry

  1. Each entrant must read, understand and agreed to participate to Competition Terms.
  2. By submitting an entry, the entrant agrees to the Competition Terms, rules, guidelines, and warrants that their entry complies with the competition’s requirements.
  3. Any entry that fails to comply with the Competition Terms & Conditions will be disqualified.
  4. No refunds or allowances will be made in such instances and any prize will be forfeited.
  5. The decision of the organiser on all matters relating to the Competition is final and binding. There will be no negotiation.

Enter the Competition

  1. Pictures for this completion must be captured after 1.1.2017
  2. The participant must ensure that at time of entry, his/her submission must not be a first place winner of any category in any competitions.
  3. The competition opens for submissions on 21st Oct 2018 and the last day of submission is 15 February 2019, 8pm Eastern Standard Time, Australia.
  4. Definitions of NEW UNDERWATER Photographer (Category 12): This category is specifically for amateur and novice photographers who do not want to compete with more established photographers. Ultimately the final decision to compete in this category is up to the photographer, however, we have established some basic guidelines and restrictions. At time of entry, the photographer: 1. has been shooting underwater less than 5 years 2. has never placed (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in a major competition 3. has never won more than $200 (value) in a photo competition 4. Has never licensed an image for more than $200.
  5. All competitors will receive a one-year Ocean Geographic E edition with benefits valued at A$20
  6. Competitors must register at www.ogpicoty.com A one-time non-refundable registration fee of USD$50.00 is required from each adult entrant allowing them to submit up to twenty (20)* images, two prints and two videos. Payment must be made online using PAYPAL or a credit card (via paypal).
  7. Once payment has been received, entrants will be directed to a submission page and will need to follow instructions to upload images/video for the Competition.
  8. The organiser will be NOT be responsible for emails that do not arrive due to an entrant’s email security settings or restrictions placed by their Internet Service Provider. Entrants must ensure that their settings accept emails from info@OGSociety.org and picoty@OGSociety.org
  9. Early Birds – Register by 20th November 2018 will allow you to submit 10 more images ( no extra charge) – total 30 images


  1. Each competitor may submit a maximum of twenty (20) images into the Competition – except for Early Birds – Registered by 20th November 2018 will be allowed to submit 10 more images – total 30 images. After 20th November entry may be upgraded to enter a further 10 images ( payment required)  Each picture must be renamed to the following manner: category code – competitor first name initial, complete last name – image number in the category. Eg. PO-JSmith-01, PO-JSmith-02, SEA-JSmith-01 and so forth. Images not named correctly by including category code may not be included in judging.
  2. Category Codes: Animal Behaviour – AB, Black & White Prints – BW, Colour Prints – CP, Compact Camera – COM, Creative Vision – CV, Fish Behaviour – FB, Music and Pictures – MAP, New Photographer – OGN, ONE OCEAN Video or Slide Show – ONE, People & Seascapes – PEO, Photo Journalist Award – OGP, Portfolio Award – PA, Portraits – PO, Seascapes – SEA, Small Exotic Animals – SXA, Vision of the Sea – movie  VA or VB
  3. A maximum of 5 images may be entered into the category PO, FB, AB, SEA, SXA, CV, PEO,
  4. Colour prints category CP – a maximum of 2 images. Digital files must be entered on line and the prints sent to the competition PO Box address
  5. Black and White prints category BW – a maximum of 2 images. Digital files must be entered on line and the prints sent to the competition PO Box address.   Size for print submissions: Best size is A3+ or A3.  A3 + papers are: 13″x19″ or 329x483mm Regular A3: 11.7″x16.5″ or 297x420mm
  6. ONE Ocean Video – competitor may submit only 1 video or slide show up of up to 5 mins in H264, mov or avi format. Submission may be sent by We Transfer or YouSendit to picoty@OGSociety.org . HD is preferred. A picture – screen grab or still image of the video or slide show must be submitted on line.
  7. The Portfolio Award – competitors are required to submit a series of ten (10) images. Each eligible competitor may submit a single portfolio online
  8. Vision of the Sea video – each competitor may enter one feature length movie – (more than 20 mins) and one Short Movie (less than 20 mins) mins in H264, mov or avi format. Submission must be sent by DVD or USB drive to the competition PO Box. HD is preferred. A picture – screen grab or still image of the production must be submitted online.
  9. Ocean Geographic Photo Journalist Award – competitor must be the writer and as well as the photographer and may submit one story of up to 1500 words – upload text and up to 10 images online
  10. Images from aquariums, oceanariums and parks are not permitted. For all other categories, images must be captured underwater from the coastal area, lakes or open ocean or lakes.
  11. Novice Photographer category: This category is specifically for amateur and novice photographers who do not want to compete with more established photographers. Ultimately the final decision to compete in this category is yours, however, we have established some basic guidelines and restrictions. 1. Have been shooting underwater for less than 5 years 2. Never placed (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in a major photography competition 3. Never won more than $200 (value) in a photo competition 4. Never licensed an image for more than $200.
  12. Black and white images are only permitted in the following categories: Black & white print, Creative Vision and The Portfolio Award
  13. Music & Pictures (MAP) category – submission must be submitted as a WAV, H264, MP4 video file comprising of at least 25 pictures slideshow with music.  Submission by Wetranster to picoty@ogsociety.org
  14. Panoramas or stitched images are only permitted in the Creative Vision (CV), ONEOCEAN video or slideshow movie (Music & Pictures MAP) and the Seascapes (SEA). Must be declared in file info.
  15. Entries must be digital files. Scans of transparencies and negatives are not accepted.
  16. For online initial submission, all images must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high quality level (eg 12 in Photoshop, Adobe (1998) colour space) and must be 1920 pixels on the longest dimension.
  17. Once the organiser announces the finalists in mid-February, competitors must be able to supply a high resolution file, TIFF, 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) colour space at 300ppi and extended captions.
  18. At submission of the TIFF files, competitor must also supply camera RAW file or original JPEG. Image Exif data must remain intact in jpeg, tiff and RAW submission.
  19. Digital processing is permitted but the final image must remain truthful to the original occurrence. The image must not misinterpret the reality of the ocean. Editing limited to cropping (no more than 25% of the original image), levels, contrast adjustment and sharpening; The RAW/original files of the images must also be included in final submission. The judges will refer to the original or RAW files for verification. The following digital adjustments are permitted: removal of sensor dust spots, saturation (in moderation), sharpening in moderation, neutral density gradient in moderation and removing lens vignetting. The following is strictly prohibited: composite or sandwich shots, and removal of animals, plants, people and distractions.

Important Rules

  1. Do not submit identical or similar images into more than one Category.
  2. Images from aquariums, oceanariums or animals in captivity of any form are not permitted.
  3. Except for ONEOCEAN video slideshow or video, Portfolio, Ocean Geographic Photo Journalist categories images of restrained animals, captive animals and animal models are not permitted.
  4. Competitors should be mindful of protecting the ocean environment and heedful not to injure or cause distress to any animals or destroy their habitats in the attempt to procure the picture.
  5. Finalists must supply complete caption for the image – location and how the image was shot upon request.

Copyright and Reproduction

  1. Entries must be the original work of the competitor.
  2. Competitor must be the sole owner or have secured written permission for any video footage and music used in their submission.
  3. The copyright for all work submitted to the Competition remain with the copyright holder who will be credited in accordance with the competition’s guidelines (eg ©competitor’s name).
  4. By entering the Competition, the competitor grants to Ocean Geographic a non-exclusive irrevocable license to reproduce, publish and communicate to the public by any means and exhibit their awarded work(s) and copies of their awarded work(s) in all media throughout the world in relation to the Competition and the Exhibition including the following: Ocean Geographic magazines, any other magazine featuring the competition winners, facebook, instagram and OG associated websites.
  5. Winning imageries will be used by the organiser for promotion of the competition for a period of thirty (30) months from announcements and thereafter the organiser will archive the work for future reference.
  6. Non-winning pictures will be removed from data file immediately after the announcement of the winners.
  7. Proof of electronic submission is not proof of receipt by the Owners.


  1. Preliminary Judging committee are comprised of Ocean Geographic editorial board and invited guests. This judging committee may move pictures between categories as appropriate in order to reward the strongest picture.
  2. The final round is judged by Honouree Judges – see judges biographies.
  3. Ocean Geographic will appoint photographic and creative experts to manage the competition.
  4. All entries will be judged anonymously: only caption information will be relayed by photographic officer in each session.
  5. Awarded images in each Category will (subject to Rule 6 below) comprise of an Award of Outstanding Achievement, Runner-up, High Commended and Special Mention. The Merit of Excellence may be awarded in some categories
  6. In the instance that any single Category is without a picture of sufficient merit to win the award, the organiser / judges reserves the right not to nominate an Award of Outstanding Achievement or Runner-up winner.
  7. Judging Ethics – judges may be called upon to recuse themselves from voting if the judge happens to know the author or were associated in any way with the creation of that image or production.
  8. If the judging committee suspects that digital editing standards have been breached, the committee holds sole digression to disqualify the entry.

Competition prizes

  1. Competitors who have awarded image(s) will be notified in March 2019
  2. Commemorative certificates may be awarded for each category.
  3. In addition, holiday prizes, equipment and cash may be part of the prize package.
  4. All winners will be published in Ocean Geographic magazine or at www.ogsociety.org.
  5. The category winner will each receive an Ocean Geographic one-year premier membership valued at A$100.
  6. All competitors agree that if their picture is awarded, they will participate in related promotions and allow the use of their winning images for purpose of advertising, promotion and publicity for the Competition and Exhibition without additional compensation.
  7. All competitors agree that if their winning picture is commissioned for commercial and merchandising purposes, their permission will be sought, and terms and conditions agreed in advance.

Organiser Details

  1. Submission postal address: PO Box 2138, Carlingford Court, Carlingford, NSW 2118 Australia
  2. Courier Address: 2A, Cary Street, Baulkam Hills, NSW 2153 Australia
  3. Email: picoty@OGSociety.org