You can enter only two images total in BIUPC

Entries can be split across any categories that you qualify for. For example, in the open category, 2 x wide-angle, or 2 x close-up, or one of each.

Restricted category camera users may enter one or both of their images in an open category.

There are two open categories for wide-angle and close-up and a restricted category for compact and action cameras only. With two additional awards for overall champion and best newcomer, this means eight awards overall:

• British & Irish underwater photography champion.
• Best open wide-angle image and runner up.
• Best open close-up image and runner up.
• Best restricted compact camera image (wide-angle or close-up) and runner up.
• Best newcomer.

Definitions for wide-angle and close-up are broad with a deliberate overlap. Each category has a code that competitors use during image naming and submission (see image uploads tab).

Wide-Angle (open category, image upload code: wide_)
Wide-angle images with any combination of: divers; flora and fauna (large animals, schools of fish, reef scenes); and man-made structures, including wrecks. Underwater scenes or specific subjects with an obvious wide angle background context (reef, open water or both).

Close-up (open category, image upload code: close_up_)
Close-up images of underwater life (flora and fauna) covering an area that is approximately a sheet of A4 paper or smaller (the precise dimensions do not matter). Any close-up image of a specific subject and, if included, its immediate background context. For example most small and medium-sized fish and all images at life size or greater magnifications.

Compact Camera (restricted category, image upload code: compact_)
Wide-angle and close-up images taken with any small-sensor compact or action camera.

The open category is for competitors of any experience level using any camera.

The restricted category is for competitors using small-sensor cameras (with or without dedicated underwater housings) that do not have lenses interchangeable with the camera body. Interchangeable wet lenses are allowed. Photographers of any experience level can enter; the restriction is on camera technology, not on photographer experience level.

The restricted category includes compact cameras and bridge cameras with small format sensors and fixed camera lenses (prime or zoom). It also includes the GoPro and equivalent range of action cameras and any other hand held or remotely-operated small-sensor camera that has been adapted for underwater use. Examples of cameras acceptable for the restricted category include the Canon Powershot S120 (compact camera), Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3 (waterproof compact camera) Panasonic Lumix FZ200 (bridge camera), GoPro Hero4 and Rioch WG-M1 (action cameras).

The open category is for cameras with any of the following features:
• Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and Compact Systems Cameras (CSC), that include lenses interchangeable with the camera body and/or medium & larger format sensors (FX, DX, APS-C, micro 4/3rds). e.g. Nikon D7100, Olympus OMD E-M1.
• Any compact camera that has a larger-format sensor, regardless of the camera's body size or lens system. e.g. Sony Cyber-Shot RX series (with so-called 1 inch sensors).

If you are not sure whether your camera qualifies for the restricted category, please use the contact form to ask.

BSoUP seeks to identify and encourage new talent in underwater photography. The Best Newcomer will be selected from all of the entries in the three main categories. The spirit of the newcomer category is somebody who is genuinely new to underwater photography, not just somebody who has not won or been placed in a significant competition. However, newcomers are eligible to be overall champion as well as best newcomer; it is the best images that will count for the overall championship, not the photographer's equipment or experience.

So newcomers must not have (for any underwater image) come first, been placed (second or third) or received an honourable mention in any national, international or other significant on line or print competition. This includes all BSoUP monthly and annual competitions, the British Wildlife Photographer Awards, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Royal Photographic Society competitions, Ireland Love Your Coast competition and any equivalent national/international competitions. Additionally, newcomers must have been creating underwater images for only the THREE YEARS prior to 26th August 2017. If in doubt, competitors should declare competition results and experience to the BSoUP competitions secretary (using the contact page on this web) and ask for a ruling before submitting entry forms. Newcomers may use any type of camera.