GFD Underwater Photography Challenge – #2

For the second underwater photography competition we had 6 staunch competitors all keen to get cracking at the non-gentleman’s hour of 7:00am. The chosen location was the marine park at Springs beach Point Lonsdale.

The weather was… terrible. However due to the winds being offshore for the entire duration and the preceding days of northerlies the visibility was actually quite good. Probably worst case of 5 and best 15+ metres.

As you can see conditions looked quite reasonable.

However it was chilly and we were all suffering and amused at ourselves for even turning up at the beginning.

Naturally somebody had to forget crucial equipment. Here’s Nam fashioning a weight belt made from gaffa tape. Impressive work!

Finally we got to the water at around 7:30am. If you look closely there’s actually a 7th competitor who Richard is giving some solid advice too regarding the rules of the competition.

  • Rule 1: You must wear appropriate clothing
  • Rule 2:  Please bring a camera 🙂


We were all actually put to shame by a dozen or so people simply swimming in the water for the fun of it – what’s that all about? Is it possible that a wet suit is not mandatory in the water at all times??

The lady above was calling Richard an overdressed wussy as you can see below:

It was interesting to see that the camera of choice was the trusty GoPro.  However one “fancy pants” camera was on show and took a bunch of quality photos.

Here is the wielder of this magnificent camera and some other characters who turned up…

During the competition the conditions changed from breezy to extremely windy, rainy to complete downpour and just repeated continually.  The diving though was largely unaffected – underwater it was actually quite peaceful and a nicer alternative to being battered by the wild weather on the surface.

Here’s Russell enjoying the serenity.

On average 8 species were photographed and submitted for reviewing & scoring which is typical for this area. There were actually quite a few fish about.  These photography events are a great way to learn more fish species as taking a good photo is actually harder than simply spearing a fish.


  1. Gerard 12 species – 1455
  2. Richard 9 species  – 1065
  3. Luke 9 species – 1045
  4. Nam 8 species – 955
  5. Hayden 8 species – 930
  6. Russell 5 species – 575

You may be wondering how we score a fish that’s been submitted? Firstly, is the fish identifiable? We then overlay some concentric rings over the photo and from this judge how centered is it.

If the fish is identifiable full points are allocated from the GFD Underwater Photography species list.

Each ring represents a further points. This is based on where the bulk of the fish resides.

  • Center ring 15 points
  • Middle ring 10 points
  • Outer ring 5 points

The GFD president (Hayden) kindly made his house available for the after dive bbq which was significantly more comfy then spending further time outside getting blown around by the wind and freezing.

It was a great event with everybody demonstrating some terrific camera skills.

Here’s some of the fish that were seen:




One Reply to “GFD Underwater Photography Challenge – #2”

  1. Excellent write up Gerard ! Your story telling skills match your diving/photography abilities. Congratulations on your win – Richard

    Actually Gerard, I got hammered twice!

    Lady : You know, there are mermaids out there.

    Me : Excellent – can’t wait to see that !

    Lady : Yeah, we call ourselves the Morning Mermaids of Point Lonsdale.

    Me : Yeah, I knew that…..

    Woeful comeback I know, but hey, I was under pressure. Couldn’t wait to get in the water after that ….. lol 🙂

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