Contest Conditions

FIRST.- Contest Object

This contest forms part of the second edition of the Underwater Picture Festival (FIIS), to be held at the Oceanogràfic in Valencia (Spain) from 26 to 28 May 2017.
The object of this contest is to promote artistic underwater photography, and to encourage the participation of both professionals and amateurs so their works show the excellence of the marine world by a Jury awarding the best work according to the present contest conditions (referred to as “Rules” henceforth).

SECOND.- Organising Party: the Call’s Schedule

The party that is organising this contest is the AVANQUA OCEANOGRÀFIC-ÁGORA, Society, S.L. (referred to as the “Organiser” henceforth). This is the private company that presently manages the Oceanogràfic of Valencia, in collaboration with the Vancouver Aquarium, and is responsible for organising FIIS 2017.
The call’s schedule:

  • Registration period: from 10th March to 10 May 2017
  • Awards Announcement: 27 May 2017
  • Award Ceremony: Sunday 28 May at the Red Sea Auditorium of the Oceanogràfic during the FIIS 2017 Closing Ceremony

Any possible amendments made to the registration period shall be expressly indicated on the website.

THIRD.- Participants. Conditions

This is an online contest, open to everyone, for any professional or amateur who enjoys underwater photography, is aged over 16 years, and is the author of the photographs presented for this contest.

Conditions to participate:

  • Registration on the FISS website is compulsory to be nominated for awards.
    This is done by providing the data and files requested during the registration process.
  • There is no maximum limit to the number of participants allowed.
  • Registration is completely free of charge
  • Having registered, the participant shall be assumed the author of the photographs presented for the contest and holds all rights in connection with them
  • Each participant can present a maximum of three photographs. Presented photographs should not have been awarded elsewhere
  • Co-authorship shall be expressly excluded
  • No-one related occupationally to the Jury (its employees), nor its family relations up to second-degree kinship, shall be able to participate in this contest

FOURTH.- Awards

This contest offers five awards:

  • 1st Award of photography for sustainable development:
    The Oceanogràfic, as an institution committed to the natural environment and sustainability, will hold this second edition of FIIS in 2017 within the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to contribute, as a first-order tourist reference, to the dissemination of the message about the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine  resources for sustainable development. The Oceanogràfic Foundation forms part of this event by sponsoring the Contest Awards. This is an award open to all photographers with the capacity to photographically discover realities that reflect commitment to, and the sustainability principles of, oceans, seas and marine resources, and to protect biodiversity. Hence this first award shall evaluate, in addition to the assessable criteria for all photographs, the circumstances captured or reflected in the photographs which, according to the Jury’s judgement, can be considered to contribute to disseminate the message about the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • This award is endowed with two prizes:

    –          OCEANOGRÀFIC FOUNDATION: 1000€

    –          ONDINA: 1 free place on the SMY ONDINA (Dive Indonesia) cruise of the                 cruise company The Best Diving in the World, plus a 50% discount on the                  second place of the companion. (**)

  • 2nd OCEANIC Award:  The best series of 3 photos. €600 (*)and a free place in the cruise SMY OCEANIC (Dive Indonesia) of the cruise company The Best Diving in the World, plus a 50% discount in the second place Of the companion (**)
  • 3rd Award Special Mention Award for the highlighted theme JELLYFISH: €500(*)
  • 4th Award Theme of your own choice.: €300 (*).
  • 5th Award for Oceanogràfic workers, theme of your choice: 300€(*) and a weekend in “Hotel las Arenas Valencia”

* We inform participants that the value of each award shall represent personal income in accordance with the tax base amount
of the value of each award, according to Spanish law currently in force. The Organiser shall apply a tax deduction in line with this law. The Organiser shall request the award-winners documents to accredit their place of residence, including a certificate to certify it, and any other document that it considers necessary for this purpose.

(**) To enjoy the free square is an indispensable condition to go with the companion. Subject to availability of seats and validity 1 year from the awarding of the prize. See cruise conditions and features at

 FIFTH.- Characteristics of photographs for the contest

The characteristics of the photographs presented for this contest are set out below. Fulfilling these characteristics shall determine if they are to be included or excluded.

  • Photographs should be taken underwater, and be subaquatic. The so-called fifty-fifty (50%)
    types shall be permitted.
  • Photographs shall not be taken in aquariums.
  • Photographs shall not be the result of manipulating a subaquatic, marine or fresh water  setting, of feeding any species, or of harming the marine ecosystem and marine species.
  • Photographs shall not be the result of using colourings, dyes or any other product that may harm the marine ecosystem.
  • No photographs shall be included in the contest if they have been scanned from slides, negatives or printed material.
  • Photographs shall have a resolution of 300 ppp, and a size between 1500 and 3000 pixels on their larger side (preferably with SRGB colour space).
  • Some editing adjustments to photographs are permitted as follows:
    1. These adjustments include cutting up to 20% on the original photograph, adjusting levels, curves, saturation, tone, sharpness and rotating photos.
    2. Creative resources of the photograph can be used, but photographs must reflect the true situation. Editing shall not distort the photographed reality, present essential changes to the original, or add elements to or remove them from the photograph.
  • Photographs shall not include any kind of frame or form of decoration on them
  • Photographs shall not contain signatures, names, logos or watermarks of any kind, and shall be published anonymously
  • For the Organiser to make the checks that it considers necessary, the raw file of photographs shall be provided

SIXTH.- The contest participation process

The registration system shall be completed only on the website

6.1. Completing the registration form and validation

Participants should complete the whole form, designed to be completed on the website, and complete the following compulsory fields at least: name, surname(s), date of birth; gender, email, place of residence, postcode, country. Candidate shall guarantee the truthfulness and accuracy of the data that they include in the registration file.

After completing this form, and accepting its conditions, participants shall receive an email message that permits its validation as such, which shall allow them to participate in the present contest.Those participants who do not validate their registration form shall be expressly excluded from this contest, as set out in these Rules.

Each file should be identified by the work’s title. Photographs shall also be sent along with the following information: the place and a brief description of diving where the photograph was taken/some noteworthy anecdote.

The Organiser shall not be held responsible for the authorship of the photographs, and participants shall be committed to be the authors when they present them and to hold all the copyrights of their photographs.

Once participants have uploaded their photographs and completed the registration form, the Organiser shall await a reasonable period of time to request any further information or authorisation it considers necessary or convenient.

The Organiser shall, under no circumstances, be held responsible for works being lost or harmed during delivery.

6.3. Exclusion from the contest

Those contestants or photographs who/that do not completely fulfil all these Rules and characteristics shall be excluded from this contest. The participation and/or exclusion of photographs shall be communicated by email.

SEVENTH.- Contest Organisation. Organising Committee and Jury

The organisation of this contest corresponds to an Organising Committee, and the announcement corresponds to a Jury.

7.1. Composition and Tasks of the Contest Organising Committee

This Committee shall be the maximum authority in the contest, and shall have the authority to interpret the Rules, and to determine their correct application to undertake the contest by making the appropriate decisions. These decisions shall not be appealed.
The Committee’s tasks shall include:

  • a) Selecting the photographs for the contest by applying the admission and exclusion conditions set out in the Rules
  • b) Verifying the qualified photographs
  • c) Deciding about any photographs so they may no longer be considered qualified.
  • d) Making decisions that it considers necessary for the contest to operate properly
  • e) Interpreting the Rules and correctly determining their application to undertake the contest
  • f) Assisting the Jury, if and when it requires it to perform its tasks

As photographs are presented, the Organising Committee shall include in the contest the photographs that comply with the requirements set out in these Rules. All the other photographs shall be excluded. Notwithstanding, the Organising Committee reserves the right to contact contestants if it needs clarifications or requires further information to include or exclude material. Contestants shall be informed about whether their photographs have been included in or excluded from the contest.

7.2. Composition and tasks of the Jury

The Jury shall be formed by six prestigious international underwater photograph professionals who participate in FIIS 2017, a representative of the Oceanogràfic Foundation and a representative of the Organiser. One of these Jury members shall be elected the Jury Chair, who shall have the casting vote to undo any draw that results from the Jury’s votes.
The Special Mention Award on the highlighted theme JELLYFISH shall be announced by a Child Jury, formed by kids invited to the Festival. This Child Jury shall be assisted by the Jury Chair, if necessary.
The Jury’s tasks are as follows and its decisions shall not be appealed:

  • a) Evaluate the photographs.
  • b) Announce the decision made during the period set out in the Rules.

7.3 The Jury’s Evaluation

The Jury shall take into account the following technical and artistic aspects to announce the awards: matching the theme being awarded, correct exposure, artificial lighting, natural light, balanced lights, composition, focusing on points of interest, handling the species and its environment, pollution (suspension), and the diversity of the collection and creativity. The Jury reserves the right to declare that one award or more is/are void, if it considers it appropriate to do so.
The Jury shall announce the award-winners on 27 May 2017, or on an alternative date set by the Jury if it has its reasons to do so.

7.4. Jury’s announcement of award-winners

The award-winners shall be published on the web and be communicated to the award-winners by email/telephone. Should any award-winner not wish to accept their award, they should communicate this decision to the Organiser so that it passes on to the next qualified contestant that the Jury decided.

EIGHTH. – Rights of the contest photographs

8.1- Author rights

Any award-winning or non-award-winning photographs used shall always indicate the author’s name visibly. Candidates shall indicate and guarantee that they are the only author of all the rights of the photographs presented in the call. Moreover, it shall be the candidates’ responsibility to obtain authorisation from anyone who appears in the photograph/s, for the activity these photographs are to undergo, unless the photograph/s was/were taken in a public place, as legally established, and shall assume any claim made due to personal image copyrights. In accordance with “copyright” regulations, the Organiser considers that the works presented to a third party might have. By participating in the Festival, the authors are committed to guarantee the Organiser that they are exempt of any demand that may be presented against them for any “possible” rights. The Organiser shall not be charged for any responsibility regarding any plea or litigation.

8.2- Awarded photographs

The series of awarded photographs shall be owned and used by the Organiser, and shall form part of this institution’s photograph collection. For this purpose, the authors of the awarded photographs shall confer the institution the rights to exploit the awarded works. Thus the award-winners in the present contest shall transfer the intellectual property of the photograph/s awarded for promotional and advertising purposes to the Oceanogràfic for them to be reproduced, distributed, communicated publicly and transformed, non- exclusively, and with no territorial limits anywhere in the world or on any type of format or means, including the Internet and social networks, from the date that the contest commences, and completely free of charge.

8.3. Participants’ photographs

In order to carry out the promotional and dissemination activities of FIIS 2017 in general, or those of this contest in particular, and should the Organiser require them, all the the Festival shall be exempt from all artistic copyright/intellectual property, or of any other type that participants reproduce, distribute, publicly communicate and transform presented works. Transferring these rights shall allow the Organiser to technically transform the works, as and when required, to adapt their format, image or appearance on the Internet, or for any other technology susceptible to being assigned to the Internet, and to reproduce works in the physical formats considered appropriate. Transferring the rights of the works shall be limited only to the present contest and to their possible subsequent display.

NINTH- Displaying works.

The participating photographs shall be constantly displayed in the Oceanogràfic’s Red Sea Auditorium from 26 to 28 May 2017, which are the dates on which FIIS 2017 will be held. An audiovisual loop-type setup with the best selected photographs shall be constantly on display between the Festival’s sections and activities. The award-winning photographs shall be on display in a photograph display on the Oceanogràfic’s premises from 27 May to the end of 2017. On Sunday 28 May 2017 at the Oceanogràfic’s Red Sea Auditorium, the Award Ceremony shall take place with a display of the finalist and award-winning works. Candidates shall provide their consent for their names to appear on the Oceanogràfic’s printed or digital informative and promotional materials.

TENTH.‐ Personal Data Protection

In accordance with Spanish Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 December, on Personal Data Protection, we inform that any personal data collected in the registration form on the web, facilitated by the people who wish to participate in the contest, shall be included in a personal data file, created by the Organiser, which is responsible for it. Participation in the present contest implies providing express consent to allow the facilitated personal data to be processed. These data shall be used exclusively to correctly manage participation and comply with what these Rules set out. Participants are informed that they can reverse the consent they provided at any time, without having to justify their decision. The Organiser also informs participants that reversing their consent to participate in the contest shall imply not being able to continue to participate in it. Participants can exercise their rights to access, rectify, cancel and oppose their personal data, in accordance with the law currently in force, by writing to: Avanqua Oceanogràfic-Agora SL, C/Eduardo Primo Yúfera (Científic), nº 1B. 46013. Valencia. Spain/España. Participants are also committed to communicate to the Organiser any modification to their personal data so they remain up-to-date at all times and do not contain mistakes.

ELEVENTH‐ Accepting these Rules

By merely participating in this call, candidates accept all these Rules, and the Organiser’s criterion, as to solving any matter or controversial issue that stems from it.

Valencia, 18 January 2017