Contest Rules


The Small Exotic Animals (SEA) Philippines is a nationwide competition, which will kick-off on April 13, 2018 and end on May 7, 2018. There are two (2) ways to join in the competition, which will be in either locations on-site or online submission. Participants will be given a total of four (4) days for each leg of the competition.


  1. Pre-registration shall be done through or by personally submitting the registration form at Splash Underwater Imaging, Inc.

Splash Underwater Imaging, Inc.

Level B, Store # 2003 Shoppesville Arcade,

Greenhills Shopping Center,

San Juan City, Metro Manila

New Phone Number: +632 7249803

NOTE: Only cash payments are accepted for personal registration.  Online registration is through Pay-Pal or direct payment thru bank deposit; deposit slips must be sent thru email, on or before March 15, 2018 to avail of the early bird special fee.

  1. A SPECIAL FEE (non-refundable) of PHP 2, 350.00 or USD 45.00 will be paid for each leg by the EARLY REGISTRANT. Cut-off date for early registration is on March 15, 2018 at 11:59pm (GMT+8). NO EXCEPTIONS. Registrations completed after cut-off date will pay the regular fee; see next paragraph.
  1. The REGULAR FEE is PHP 2,850.00 or USD 55.00 for each leg of the competition. A total of four (4) photos, representing each category, will be allowed to be submitted by the participant for the collected fee. If complete, the four photos will be automatically considered as an entry for the Portfolio category. Additional photo entries for any category are welcome and are subject to a fee of PHP 625.00 or USD 12.00 each. If a participant wishes to submit more than one (1) portfolio, fees will apply; photos must be identified which will belong in the 1st or 2nd portfolio and onwards.

NOTE: Same fees apply to ONLINE participants. All fees are non-refundable.

  1. If a participant wishes to join another leg of the competition, one must pay for each leg separately.

NOTE: For those who will participate via ONLINE submission, requesting/rescheduling to a different leg in the competition is not allowed once registration is finalized. Failure to participate in assigned leg will result to a void entry.



If an individual wishes to participate in the competition via ONLINE submission, below are the rules:

  1. Participants will receive a confirmation email a week after their registration containing their individual contest details (name, batch, class, category, and payment status). This will serve as their I.D. for tracking purposes throughout the duration of the competition.

NOTE: If the participant is yet to pay for the competition, they have until March 30, 2018 to complete the payment for them to be able to participate in the competition. An email will be sent again a week after confirming their payment and participation. If payments are made after the cut-off date on March 30, 2018, participant is only allowed to join the ON-SITE competition.

  1. Photo(s) must ONLY be taken anywhere within the Philippines, and on any of the following competition dates:
  • 1st Leg: April 13 – 16, 2018
  • 2nd Leg: April 20 – 23, 2018
  • 3rd Leg: April 27 – 30, 2018
  • 4th Leg: May 4 – 7, 2018
  1. Camera/memory card must be formatted to the date assigned to the participant. Assigned date will be sent via email BEFORE the start of the competition.

NOTE: Participants are required to format their camera/memory card on the same day that they will receive their assigned date and must send a picture of their formatted camera/memory card via email on the same day; failure to do so will result to the disqualification of the participant from the competition.

  1. Participants must indicate what camera unit they will be using for the competition and must provide the following documents, which are to be sent to along with their registration information.

Philippine Guests (Tourists) – Proof of stay must be provided in the form of airline tickets + dive pro confirmation.

Expat – Proof of residency must be provided in the form of proof of billing (receipts) + dive pro confirmation.

Locals – For Filipino residents who wish to participate in the competition via online. Proof of residency must be provided in the form of government-issued IDs (SSS ID, driver’s license or voter’s ID) and supporting documents (NBI clearance or proof of billing is also accepted).

NOTE: The participant must provide the proofs before the competition starts in order to validate the pictures they have taken. Failure to submit the required documents will result to an automatic disqualification.

  1. Each participant will be assigned a folder in Dropbox; Dropbox link will be sent via email the day before the participant’s chosen date. When submitting entries, folder should contain both RAW and JPEG files. The folder will only be accessible to the participant on their chosen competition date and will automatically close on the last day of their chosen date at 12:00 (GMT+8).

NOTE: Participants are REQUIRED to submit the RAW files of their pictures.

If an individual wishes to join the competition via ON-SITE, below are the rules:

  1. Photo(s) must ONLY be taken within the indicated competition dates.
  1. Participants must present themselves with their digital camera + media card, to be used for the competition, on the following dates from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • April 20 – 23, 2018 at Dumaguete
  • April 27 – 30, 2018 at Anilao
  • May 4 – 7, 2018 TBA

NOTE: The participant must bring at least one (1) valid I.D. and proof of payment for verification purposes. Only the registered participant is allowed to join in the competition, substitutes are not allowed to participate and will be immediately disqualified from the competition. Submission of entries must be done by the participant themselves.

  1. Essential guidelines will be given at the kick-off locations the day before your chosen shoot out dates.
  1. All entries must be saved in a Flash Drive (USB) with the proper file names and format.
  1. Entries must be submitted on or before 5:00 p.m. on the last competition day of the chosen location.





  1. Open Class: YYYY_<CATEGORY>_open_<YOUR NAME>_<LEG>.jpg
  2. Compact Class: YYYY_<CATEGORY>_compact_<YOUR NAME>_<LEG>.jpg
  3. Beginner Class: YYYY_<CATEGORY>_beginner_<YOUR NAME>_<LEG>.jpg

Example: 2018_MACRO_open_JOE BLACK_ 1stLEG.jpg


  2. Compact Class: YYYY_<CATEGORY>_compact_<YOUR NAME>_<REGISTERED LOCATION>.jpg
  3. Beginner Class: YYYY_<CATEGORY>_beginner_<YOUR NAME>_<REGISTERED LOCATION>.jpg

Example: 2018_MACRO_open_JOE BLACK_ BATANGAS.jpg


All entries submitted must be in JPEG format with accompanying RAW files. In the event the camera used does not have RAW format, the ORIGINAL CAMERA file will be sufficient but must have been taken in highest resolution possible on JPEG format.  Other forms of file formats will not be accepted.

NOTE: Participants are to STRICTLY follow the stated formats above when submitting their entries.



Competition Classes

  1. Open Class – this will be comprised of participants with a Digital SLR or Micro Four Thirds and Mirrorless cameras or similar equipment such as the Sony NEX, A series, Olympus Pen Series, Canon EOS M 1 or 2 and Nikon V1/J1 series.NOTE:  A participant who submits an entry in Open Class cannot downgrade to the Compact Class the following year.
  2. Compact Class – this will be comprised of participants with Pro-sumer or compact cameras with or without an underwater light or strobe. Digital cameras in this category have non-replaceable lenses attached to the camera.
  3. Beginner – this will be comprised of participants with point & shoot compact cameras without any artificial external underwater light or strobe (NOTE: Internal flash ONLY). Registrants may move up to one Class voluntarily.


  1. Macro/Close-Up – Photos taken of subjects with a macro lens (narrower than 35mm) or close-up lens. NO CROPPING is allowed on any part of the photo.
  2. Marine Animal Behavior – Photos taken of unique marine life behavior underwater portrayed in macro, wide angle or Close Focus Wide Angle (CFWA).
  3. Nudibranch Portrait – a portrait shot of any nudibranch underwater. A portrait shot should focus on one (1) subject only.
  4. Wide Angle – Wide angle shots taken with at least a normal lens (35mm) or wider angle lens. This may include over-under shots.
  5. Splash Photographer of the Year – this is a portfolio competition where all four (4) categories stated above must be submitted. One (1) missing category will disqualify the portfolio entry. The participant may submit multiple portfolio entries, in effect, having multiple entries for each category. Additional fees will apply.



The competition is open to all amateur photographers, both local and foreign (tourists or expats). The intent of this competition is to give exposure and credibility to amateurs. Industry professionals are INELIGIBLE to participate in the competition; the following are considered to be industry professionals:

  1. REGULARLY teaching underwater photography courses
  1. CONSISTENTLY contributing works on print or on-line to any diving or non-diving magazine or media are ineligible to join.

When in doubt, please simply ask for confirmation.




1. Marine life should never be stressed or endangered for the sake of a photo. Entries exhibiting any of the following behavior will be disqualified, but not limited to:

  • Divers visibly damaging (e.g. gear dragging or kicking up sand) the environment
  • Animals with signs of stress (e.g. puffed puffers, inking octopus)
  • Animals moved to an unnatural environment or risky location
  • Animals being fed artificial food from divers
  • Marine life being touched (e.g. coral polyps, seahorse tails)
  • Divers exhibiting poor buoyancy control

2. Image manipulation (e.g. cropping, color correct) in any software will NOT BE ALLOWED for this competition. Conversions of RAW files will be a direct conversion to JPEG only without the use of in-camera software converter. For cameras without RAW capability, there will be no conversion required.

3. Entries submitted beyond/past their deadlines will NOT be acknowledged in the competition.




In submitting an entry, the participant, as owner of the photograph, grants Small Exotic Animals (SEA) and Splash Underwater Imaging, Inc, the right to use his entry or entries no more than two (2) years from Awarding Ceremonies for promotion of the competition in printed, slide show, video, and webpage formats, and for non-profit educational purposes.  Copyright will be retained by the participant and recognition will be given. Model releases will be the responsibility of the person retaining copyright.




Any registrant may challenge a submitted entry for violating any of the competition rules, provided he has sufficient proof of such violation, by notifying the competition officials within forty-eight (48) hours from the last competition day in each location. The owner of the entry challenged will be notified immediately by email or by phone, followed by mail, to allow him the opportunity to (1) to present all reasonable evidence to prove that the allegation is not true, or (2) withdraw the entry. If an entry is withdrawn, the winning position goes to the next participant having the closest points to the challenged entry or portfolio. The participant proven to have violated any of the competition rules will be banned from any future competitions that will be implemented by the SEA organizers or accredited clubs or organizations.


Winning photos may be selected from on-site or online entries; there will be NO SEPARATE SET OF WINNERS.


Open Class:

  • Best Macro/Close-Up: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Marine Animal Behavior: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Nudibranch Portrait: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Wide Angle: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Splash Photographer of the Year (Open): 1st place | 2nd place | 3rd place


Compact Class:

  • Best Macro/Close-Up: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Marine Animal Behavior: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Nudibranch Portrait: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Wide Angle: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Splash Photographer of the Year (Compact): 1st place | 2nd place | 3rd place


Beginner Class:

  • Best Macro/Close-Up: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Marine Animal Behavior: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Nudibranch Portrait: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Best Wide Angle: 1st place | 2nd place
  • Splash Photographer of the Year (Beginner): 1st place | 2nd place | 3rd place



Proceed to REGISTRATION PAGE here.