Shades of Colour 184 - Summer/Autumn 2023

Shades of Colour 184 - Summer/Autumn 2023


Shades of Colour is an underwater photo competition which we've been running for years in Dive Pacific magazine. Enter and you might have your image published in the magazine, as well as win Sea Tech vouchers!

The New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA) are creating a new look for Dive New Zealand magazine in the form of an interactive website which is due to be launched shortly. We will continue posting results on the Sea Tech website in the meantime.

All images are copyright the photographer and used by permission. Please contact us if you wish to use any of these images and we can put you in touch with them.

Our competition schedule can be found here. We are currently taking entries for the next comp.

The Aussies jump in with some impressive images!

By Dave Moran

We often mention the benefits of learning how to edit/improve your images by using editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

Two winning photographers from Australia, Matt Dowse & Graham McMartin used Photoshop to edit their images to a standard that they were happy with to enter this fun competition.

I believe all photographers these days need to embrace the digital technology available to further improve their images.

When Matt Dowse used Photoshop to edit his image, his objective was to make the image pop. He advised the following regarding using Photoshop: White balanced, levelled and backscatter removed (spot healing brush), then converted image to black and white. We think he achieved the result he was looking for.

We encourage you all to consider putting in the time to learn these editing programs!

Thanks again for entering this fun competition.

We look forward to receiving your entries for our next competition, #185! Send submissions by: Monday 1st May 5pm. Look out for results: Friday 26 May.

Full schedule for 2023 here.

This Issue’s Winners:

Advanced Category Winner:

Tony Burt, New Zealand. ‘Things to do in Mexico’; Banco Chinchorro. Sony RX100 MkVI, Nauticam NA-RX100VI housing – 1/200 f/4 ISO 125.

Congratulations Tony Burt, New Zealand.

While in Mexico at Banco Chinchorro (the largest atoll in the Northern Hemisphere and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) thirty miles out from Xcalak, Tony got up close and personal with some of the local wildlife!

By baiting crocodiles with lionfish (an invasive species), the crocodiles are lured out of the mangroves where you snorkel with them!

Judges’ Comments

We love images that have that, "Hang on a minute, let’s look at that again!" quality to them.

Not long ago, it was thought to be crazy to get in the water with a crocodile or alligator. But it seems if conditions are suitable, like good visibility, divers are prepared to take a leap of faith!

It doesn’t get more personal than this image of an alligator posing for its picture to be taken!

Depth of field is a little compromised, shooting with an f-stop of f4, but with the abundance of sunlight and the shallow water, the alligator’s facial features (including its teeth) and its underbelly have been lit very well.

The sunbeams penetrating the surface of the water also adds that touch of magic to the overall image.

Well done, Tony.

Tony receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$100.00

Advanced Highly Commended:

Matt Dowse, NSW, Australia. ‘BW Morwong’; Fly Point, Nelson Bay, NSW, Australia. Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 17-70mm lens, Ikelite housing, 2x Ikelite DS161 Strobes – 1/100 f/11 ISO 100.

Congratulations Matt Dowse, NSW, Australia.

Judges’ Comments

We think Matt most likely dives Fly Point quite a lot. Fly Point is within the Fly Point – Corrie Island Sanctuary Zone – a protected aquatic sanctuary that offers some of the best shore diving and snorkeling in the State of NSW, Australia. Part of Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, Fly Point is probably similar to Goat Island Marine Reserve here in New Zealand.

This image lures the viewer in to explore how many morwong are there in the vast expanse of blackness. To achieve this, Matt used Adobe Photoshop (see intro for details). The result has added that magical wow-factor to the image!

Strobe lighting is spot on, freezing the fish’s movements in the blackness. Composition and sharp focus is also impressive.

A good result, Matt.

Matt receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$75.

Novice Category Winner:

Graham McMartin, NSW, Australia. ‘Eastern Blue Groper’; Looking Glass Isle, Broughton Island, NSW, Australia. Canon EOS 1200D, Ikelite housing, 2x Ikelite DS161 strobes – 1/200 f/7.1 ISO 400.

Congratulations, Graham McMartin, NSW, Australia.

Judges’ Comments

Graham was diving Looking Glass Isle just off Broughton Island, NSW, Australia when he snapped this image.

Blue groper were almost exterminated in NSW water in the ‘60s when spearfishing was what most divers did. Total protection was established in 1969. Currently the limit is two fish caught on line only.

They are a photographer’s dream as they are an inquisitive fish, which is obvious in this photo!

Wonderful action image. It reminds us of a jet plane doing a quick manoeuver, flaps down as it banks into a sudden turn!

Lips slightly out of focus with the f7.1 setting. The prime f-stop to extend the depth of field is f22. But when photographing a fast-moving fish it’s not all that easy, right?!

Twin strobes have done an excellent job adding extra “life” to the image.

Well done, Graham.

Graham receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$75

Novice Highly Commended:

Wendy Smith, New Zealand. ‘Baby Blue Eyes’; HMNZS Canterbury, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Olympus Tough TG-6, Olympus PT-059 housing, X-Adventurer Ring Light.

Congratulations Wendy Smith, New Zealand.

Judges’ Comments

Wendy named this image “baby blue eyes”!

She spotted this shy baby eel on the wreck HMNZS Canterbury in Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

She has done well as it’s her first time using an X-Adventurer RL3000 Ring Light fitted to her Olympus housing for the Olympus Tough TG-6 camera. This camera is renowned for its close-up/macro photography!

We love the eel’s cheeky grin and questioning eye!

The ring light has done a good job of softly lighting up a subject at a very close distance from the camera lens.

Some post-editing could have improved the image. I.e., some cropping of the right-hand side of the image. We are sure Wendy will be looking into that side of her photography – she’s just starting out so the world is her oyster!

Congratulation Wendy we look forward to receiving further entries as your underwater photography skill develop!

Wendy receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$50.00


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