Shades of Colour 187 - Summer 2024

Shades of Colour 187 - Summer 2024


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.

Camera options open to all

By Dave Moran

Here at Sea Tech we have been discussing how can we make this fun competition be on a more even playing field for entrants. We decided to separate those with Point & Shoot from those who are using cameras which allow you to change the lens being used (DSLR/MIL).

Some of you may say that many of the images taken by Point & Shoot are better than those take with a more sophisticated camera! This is often true.

We want to encourage those new to the challenges of underwater photography to have a go, not be thinking, “How can I compete with a diver using an SLR or a fancy mirrorless camera with a lens worth $1000.00?!”

We hope you agree that this change will result in more people entering the competition and encourage them to learn the finer points of achieving amazing images.

We look forward to receiving your inspiring images.


A note on prizes:

The prize vouchers are now split evenly between categories:

Interchangeable Lens Camera category winner NZ$100 Sea Tech voucher
Interchangeable Lens Camera category highly commended NZ$50 Sea Tech voucher
Point & Shoot Camera category winner NZ$100 Sea Tech voucher
Point & Shoot Camera category highly commended NZ$50 Sea Tech voucher

A note on watermarks:

We know that some of your would be more comfortable with us displaying watermarked version of your pics on our site. That's completely understandable. We're happy to comply with this - but please, send us two versions: one without a watermark for judging (we like it to be anonymous). Please keep watermarks subtle.

This Issue’s Winners:

Interchangeable Lens (IL) Camera Category Winner:

Brett Sutton, New Zealand. ‘Tie Dye Bronze’; Tie Dye Arch, Poor Knights Islands / Tawhiti Rahi, Northland, New Zealand. Sony A7 IV, Nauticam Housing, 2 x Sea&Sea YS D-1 strobes – ISO 160, F9, 1/250.

Congratulations, Brett Sutton.

The Poor Knights marine reserve delivers again!

Judges’ Comments

Tie Dye Arch is in the 'Pinnacles' group which is part of the Poor Knights Marine Reserve. The Arch has delivered numerous images of large stingrays that glide on the currents that flow through it.

It was Brett’s lucky day to be photographing in the Arch when this bronze whaler shark was passing through! Great job on the lighting: we love the 'kiss' of the dual strobes. Just enough to bring out the stunning bronze colouring of this commonly-photographed shark. 

Framing the shark against the shimmering ocean surface adds further detail and drama. The setting of the focal length of the lens of F9 provides enough depth of field to capture in detail the surrounding fish life. The dual strobe’s burst of light has also put “life” into the school of Koheru.

Opportunity presented itself and Brett was able to snap off this winning image.

Congratulations! Brett receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$100.00

IL Camera Highly Commended: 

Tony Burt, New Zealand. ‘Nude Jockey.’ Lembeh Straight, Indonesia. Sony A1, Nauticam Housing, Sea&Sea strobes – ISO 100, F14, 1/250.Congratulations, David Haintz.

Congratulations, Tony Burt.

Tony was back at his favourite muck diving location, Lembeh Straight, Indonesia, which is renowned for its macro photography subjects.

Judges’ Comments

Wow, this is an incredible Natural History image of tiny Emperor shrimp in a symbiotic relationship with a nudibranch.

Excellent central framing of the shrimp’s head against its white tail, framing the shrimp’s head and helping it stand out. This draws your attention into the centre of the image and draws your focus to this miniature shrimp!

It’s so easy to overexpose a subject such as this. Tony has skillfully adjusted his lighting, f-stop setting (F14) and shutter speed at 250/sec, ISO100 to not overcook the image!

A lot of patience was required to obtain this image.

Well, done Tony. Tony receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$50.

Point & Shoot Camera Category Winner: 

Judy Ormandy, New Zealand. ‘Hooded Nudibranchs.’ Hoodi Nudi Bay, Vancouver Island, Canada. Olympus Tough TG-6, Nauticam housing, video lights – ISO 100, F2.8, 1/160.

Congratulations, Judy Ormandy, New Zealand.

Judy was diving Hoodi Nudi Bay, Vancouver Island, Canada when she took this winning image with her Olympus Tough TG-6 Point & Shoot camera!

It’s definitely an interesting diving spot, in the whimsically named “God’s Pocket”.

Judges’ Comments

The hooded nudibranch is an interesting nudibranch. It looks like a jellyfish, but is actually a sea slug, characterised by an imposing hood which is lined with inward-facing, short tentacles. They catch their prey using a similar method to the Venus flytrap and typically cling to seaweed as in Judy’s image.

The image is perfectly framed with the LED video light bringing out the full colour range of the nudibranch and its host seaweed.

The focus is sharp, clearly showing nudibranch’s tentacles highlighted by the sun-lit surface of the water.

Well spotted Judy. Judy receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$100

Point & Shoot Camera Highly Commended:

Matt Dowse, Australia. ‘It must be bed time.’ Halifax, Nelson Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Canon Powershot SX1, Ikelite housing, 2 x Ikelite DS161 – ISO 80, F8, 1/200.

Congratulations Matt Dowse.

Matt was diving off Halifax Park, Nelson Bay, NSW, Australia. He enjoys photographing Maori Rockcod as they seem relaxed with divers close by.

Judges’ Comments

It is great seeing some of the post-editing tools that are available to photographers being used!

Matt advised that he used editing in Photoshop to remove the back scatter, white-balance, level and used the unsharp mask to increase edge contrast/sharpness.

The image is beautifully lit by the dual Ikelite strobes which highlight the yellow tips of the fishes fins, gill plate etc. Focus is very sharp, eye is nice and clear.  

Congratulation Matt on restrained but successful use of post-editing tools.

Matt receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$50.00


Click on an image to enlarge and see photo details

IL Camera Category

Point & Shoot Camera Category


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