Shades of Colour Autumn 2022 (issue 180)

Shades of Colour Autumn 2022 (issue 180)


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

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.

Experimentation and having a go!

By Dave Moran

Once again, we received some excellent entries. We apologize for the delay in the results being published. 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, and we'll update you on the progress of the site.


Check out Alex Stammers’ winning image in the Advanced Category. Alex read up on techniques for creating motion blur. The winning image below is one of numerous images taken.

We encourage you all to experiment with how you take a picture to hopefully create an image that has that special 'hang on let’s look at that again’ spark. It has an artistic aspect to it!


The challenge of shooting a successful half-n-half image is one that many photographers take on. It can be a painful process! The process can be shortened via a quick Google search (or read our helpful blog post here!) You’re only a click away from helpful articles or YouTube videos on how best to setup your camera to at least achieve a reasonable image. We encourage you to have a go – it can be a mixture of a lot of fun and frustration as well as very rewarding!

The following is from the Ikelite's 'Photo School'.

Be critical of your composition

It may seem obvious to you, but make sure the subject of your photo is obvious to the judges as well. Don’t be afraid to crop your photo a little bit to emphasize your subject properly and balance negative space.

This Issue’s Winners:

Advanced Category Winner:

Congratulations Alex Stammers, Whangaparaoa, New Zealand.

One of Alex’s happy places to dive is the Poor Knights where a photographer is guaranteed to have many opportunities to photograph marine life. This winning image was taken in the aptly named Blue Maomao Arch.

Alex receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$100.00

Judges’ Comments:

Alex loves to experiment! Using a slow shutter speed, he spun the camera, while taking the image, to create a whirlpool effect. The Sigma 15mm fisheye lens is a big advantage in being able to obtain this image. This lens allowed Alex to be very close to the blue maomao and still have a good depth of field.

Well done, Alex.

Advanced Highly Commended:

Congratulations Dan Westerkamp, New Zealand.

Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf just north of Auckland is a playground for many Aucklanders. The surrounding waters offer numerous varieties of diving landscapes; either in the sheltered harbours, or in the open ocean off shore.

A diver can usually find a suitable dive site either on the east or west coast of the island.
It looks like Dan snapped this picture of a jellyfish when off the coast of the Island. Maybe he was looking for better visibility than what was on offer closer to shore or in the various harbours of the island?

Dan receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$75.00

Judges’ Comments:

The magic for the judges in this half and half image is the reflection of the jellyfish under the surface of the water. The bright sunlight above would have been the key factor in producing this reflection. We believe Dan used minimum strobe lighting from below (a kiss of light) to bring the base of the Jellyfish alive with colour. We noted he set the camera shutter speed at 1/160 which would have contributed in achieving this kiss of light.

Dan was using a Tokina 10-17mm wide-angle lens which is a wonderful tool for obtaining such an image. The picture could have been improved, in our opinion, if the right-hand side had been cropped back to where the water surface and the sky start to be out of focus. This would remove that ‘dead’ water space on the right.

Novice Category Winner:

Congratulations, Judy Ormandy, Wellington, New Zealand.

If you’re into photographing little critters, diving off a mussel farm guarantees you will find some interesting subjects. The Mahanga Bay Mussel Farm, Wellington, is where Judy spotted this grand-daddy mussel with all his colourful anemone mates enjoying a feed in the flowing current.

This is the second time Judy has won the Novice Category, so she now is automatically moved into competing in the Advanced Category when next she enters the competition. Well done, Judy!

Note: For safety reasons, never dive near a mussel farm when the mussels are being harvested.

Judy receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$75.00

Judges’ Comment:

This image has that ‘wow’ factor we often mention in this fun competition. Nature is wonderful: We can count ten Anemones hitchhiking a higher position off the seabed to obtain a better water flow – very smart!

Stunning detail and beautifully lit.

Well, done Judy.

Novice Highly Commended:

Congratulations Alexandre Dolphin, Auckland New Zealand.

Alexandre was exploring the waters off the coast of the Rodney District which is in the northernmost part of Auckland region when he spotted this big belly seahorse. Divers love finding seahorses, they are so cute and photogenic!

Alexandre receives a Sea Tech Gift Voucher for NZ$50.00

Judges’ Comments

Good on you, Alexandre, for your using a post-production editing program to improve the seahorse image. It is not perfect which we assume you know.

Looks like the image may have been magnified to a point where it is starting to lose its sharpness. Using a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second is very slow when using flash.
We suggest when shooting flash use a minimum of 1/60th to obtain better results.

We look forward to receiving your next entry.


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.