Shades of Colour 186 Winter 2023

Shades of Colour 186 Winter 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 / Dive Pacific magazine as a website. We will also post results here.

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 ANZAC competition is alive and well!

By Dave Moran 

It is wonderful receiving images taken across the ditch and exotic tropical diving locations!

Like any photographic completion it expands the viewer’s perspective of differing marine environments and the life that lives there. Plus, man’s discarded historical items. We see this in the winning images of this current competition.

For all of you who have taken the trouble to enter and have not received a winner’s spot do not despair! The entries this time were amazingly good. Judging the final winners was very difficult!

We received numerous octopus, wonderful turtles and loads of macro images. Wide angle took out three of the top four winning images! Good to see post-editing programs being used to improve the final image that is entered.

Honorable mention:


A014 Matt Dowse – “Hideaway Hermit Crab”
A017 James Gibbings – “Tubataha Reef 06”


N010 Carl Willis – “Turtle in Sponge”

We look forward to receiving your entries for our next competition, #187! Send submissions by: Monday 30th October 5pm. Look out for results: Friday 24 November. Full schedule for 2023 here.

This Issue’s Winners:

Advanced Category Winner:

Alex Stammers, New Zealand. ‘Predator and Prey’; Tawhiti Rahi (Poor Knights Islands), Northland, New Zealand. Nikon D800, Nauticam NA-D800 Housing, Nikon 105mm Macro Lens, INON Z-240 strobe.

Congratulations Alex Stammers.

You can find more of Alex's photography on his insta @alexstammersphoto or his website

A scorpionfish lies in wait for unsuspecting prey to get too close!

Before you read where this image was taken you already know it was taken at New Zealand’s premier diving location, Poor Knights Islands marine reserve.

Alex spends as much time there as he is able. He knows the marine seascape will offer up many photographic opportunities!

Judges’ Comments

Alex has once again set the bar high with the quality of images he entered. We love the composition of the image; it tells a story. The scorpionfish, a master of camouflage, lies motionless like a rock waiting for an opportunity to grab its next meal.

Dual Inon strobes have delivered the vibrant colours of the soft corals and highlighted the pigfish as it cruises by. The strobes have also delivered a kiss of light onto to the schooling blue maomao in the background.

The window of light from the surface is a master stroke. Alex has positioned himself and camera to include all the elements that he wanted to include in the final image.

Well done, Alex.

Alex receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$100.00

Advanced Highly Commended:

David Haintz, Australia. ‘Next Generation’; Mornington Pier, Victoria, NSW, Australia. Canon 5D MkII, 24-105mm lens, Nimar Housing, video lights – 1/200 f/6.3 ISO 400.

Congratulations, David Haintz.

You can find more of David's photography on his insta @aqua_dreaming.

David was checking out the residents living beneath Mornington Pier, which is located in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria! It must be one of David’s favourite places, because he goes there a lot!

Judges’ Comments

Mornington Pier is a popular diving destination and offers numerous opportunities of photographing marine life.

This image immediately caught our attention. What is going on here? An octopus encircling one of its eyes with a tentacle while protecting its paralarvae (young cephalopods in the stage between hatchling and sub-adult).

David used his 24-105mm lens to good effect to zoom in on what this octopus was protecting. He also cropped the image to help focus your eye on what was really going on! The LED video light has also zeroed in on the subject matter.

It’s a wonderful Natural History image – recording part of the life cycle of an octopus. Image has been cropped and backscatter removed.

Congratulations, David! David receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$75.

Novice Category Winner:

Paul Williams, New Zealand. ‘San Francisco Maru Bow Gun’; Chuuk Lagoon, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Nikon D850, Nauticam NA-D850 housing, Sigma 15mm fisheye lens – ISO 800, F7.1, 1/40.

Congratulations Paul Williams, New Zealand.

You can find more of David's photography on his insta @buoyancyturtle.

Chuuk Lagoon is well known to divers interested in diving sunken WWII shipwrecks. San Francisco Maru is resting at 62m, while the bow gun is at 45m. Tech divers/rebreather divers regard it a must-dive when visiting Chuuk Lagoon.

Judges’ Comments

At 45 meters ambient light is considerably reduced. We think Paul has gone to some effort to get this image!

Paul’s 15mm fisheye lens has enabled him to be very close to the diver, while capturing a very wide panorama of the total subject matter – a rebreather diver approaching the 75mm bow gun!

The diver’s LED lights have added that little extra magic that helps the viewer discover more interesting features that would have been lost without the lighting. In this case dual anchor chain and winch.

You will notice that there is a light behind the gun. Paul’s placed a light there emphasizing the gun’s position. A well-constructed image that has far more interest than an image of just a gun!

Adjusted white balance and colour temperature in the editing program Lightroom.

Well done, Paul.

Paul receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$75

Novice Highly Commended:

Graham McMartin, Australia. ‘The Anchor at Terrigal Haven’; Terrigal, NSW, Australia. Canon 1200D, Ikelite housing, 2 x Ikelite DS161 strobes – ISO 400, F6.3, 1/200.

Congratulations, Graham McMartin, NSW, Australia!

Anchor at Terrigal Haven, located 90km north of Sydney. This anchor is in shallow water at 13m and has been photographed numerous times.

The history of which ship it is from seems to have been lost to time?

Judges’ Comments

A quick Google of this anchor brings up many images and videos of it. Graham’s image in our opinion is one of the best!

The school of Old Wife fish surrounding the anchor gives the image life! Brilliantly lit with dual Ikelite strobes. Composition excellent! We love the angle that Graham has taken the image from. The anchor’s spade silhouette by the glistening blue of the ocean’s service.

Shutter speed of 1/200th sec has frozen the fish movement – good choice! The pro-gram Photoshop was used to remove backscatter and adjust colour balance.

Congratulations Graham.

Graham receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$50.00


Click on an image to enlarge and see photo details

Advanced category



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.