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 agree 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 January 2020.

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 10 November 2023 and the last day of registration is 29th Feb 2024 ( 11:59pm PST -Pacific Standard Time)  and last day for submission is extended to 10th March 2024

Early Birds – Register by 14th December 2023 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 14th December 2023 will be allowed to submit 10 more images – total 30 images. After 14th December 2023 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. Coral Reefs of the World: CRW-JSmith-01, CRW-JSmith-02, SEA-JSmith-01 and so forth. Images not named correctly by including category code will not be included in judging.

2. Category Codes: Animal Behaviour – AB, Black & White Prints – BW, Colour Prints , Creative Vision – CV, Fish Behaviour – FB, Music and Pictures – MAP, Emerging Photographer of the Year – OGN, Ocean & Climate Picture of the Year (NEW) – ONE, Human & Ocean – HO, Photo Journalist Award – OGP, Portfolio Award – PA, Portraits – PO, Coral Reefs of the World – CRW, Small Exotic Animals – SXA, Vision of the Sea – MOV, Black Blue Water – BLW, Open Water – OWD

3. A maximum of 5 images may be entered into the category PO, FB, AB, CRW, SXA, CV, HO, OWD, BLW. ONE

4. Colour prints category CP – a maximum of 2 images. Digital files must be entered on line and the prints sent by post to the competition PO Box address or courier to the courier address.

5. Black and White prints category BW – a maximum of 2 images. Digital files must be entered on line and the prints sent by post to the competition PO Box address or courier to the courier 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. You may request to have images for the CP or BW print categories printed on your behalf. Additional payment to cover cost for printing will apply

7a. The David Doubilet Master Portfolio Award (PA) – competitors are required to submit a series of ten (10) images. Each eligible competitor may submit a single portfolio online. 

7b.The Emerging Photographer Award (OGN) – competitors are required to submit a series of three (3) 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. Initial Submission must be sent by wetransfer or mailbigfile to picoty@ogsociety.org. We may request final file by USB drive if required to the competition PO Box. HD is preferred. A picture – screen grab or still image of the production must be submitted online. This image should be named with the file name format eg MO-JSmith-01-name of movie

9. Ocean Geographic Photo Journalist Award (OGP) – competitor must be the writer and as well as the photographer and may submit one story of between 800 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. Black and white images are only permitted in the following categories: Black & white print, Creative Vision and The Portfolio Award

12. 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 Wetransfer to picoty@ogsociety.org

13. Panoramas or stitched images are only permitted in the Creative Vision (CV), Music & Pictures (MAP) and the Coral Reefs (CRW). Must be declared in file info.

14. Entries must be digital files. Scans of transparencies and negatives are not accepted.

15. For online initial submission, all images must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high quality level (level 12 in Photoshop, Adobe (1998) colour space) and must be 1920 pixels on the longest dimension.

16. Once the organiser announces the finalists (Date to be advised) , competitors must be able to supply a high-resolution file, TIFF, 8-bit, Adobe RGB (1998) colour space at 300ppi and extended captions by (exact date to be advised)l

17. 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.

18. 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 35% 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 backscatter, 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 Conservation Picture of the Year, 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. Baiting/ feeding is not permitted. However if a picture reveals information that is important to science, please disclose the technique used.

6. Finalists will be notified by 15 April 2024 ( Date subject to change) . Finalists must submit hi res files and RAW (NEF) files with complete caption for each image – location and how the image was shot by 30 April 2024 (date subject to change). Late submission will be disqualified.

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 (28) 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 comprises 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 may (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 by (Date to be advised)

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. 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.

6. 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

Submission postal address: PO Box 2138, Carlingford Court, Carlingford, NSW 2118 Australia

Courier Address: 2A, Cary Street, Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153 Australia

Email: picoty@OGSociety.org