1) There will be a yellow/red card system for rule infractions:

a)Dive Marshals or event organizers have the right to issue yellow cards. This is a warning system. Yellow cards result in the relevant day’s submission of photography being disallowed.  Judges may also report rule infractions to marshals or event organizers, which could result in yellow cards. For serious infractions of the events rules organizers can issue red cards resulting in the immediate disqualification of the photographer from the entire competition.

b)Buddy divers can make reports to DM’s or event organizers regarding yellow/red cards

c)Offenders will have the right to appeal card violations within 24hrs of receiving the warning

2) Entry:

a)Each entrant needs to submit 5 to 10 original underwater photographs taken by themselves.

b)Each entrant needs to show proof of published work and/or placements in any underwater photography contests.

c)Each entrant needs to show a copy of a dive certification.

d)Each entrant needs to have up to date medical certificate showing that they are fit to dive.

e)Each entrant needs to have their own underwater photography equipment.

f)  Each entrant needs to submit a photo of themselves.

g)Each entrant needs to sign a limited rights agreement allowing RDTL to use their images for the promotion of Timor-Leste.

3) Each entrant needs to sign an indemnity form provided by the organisers

a) Each entrant needs to have dive/evacuation insurance.

4) Dive safety;

a)Divers must dive conservatively at all times.  Dive safety is the number one concern during this event.  Some of the dive sites are somewhat remote, conditions can change suddenly and first aid can be far away.

b)Each dive site will have a dive marshal and without exception, divers are only allowed to dive at a particular site if and when it is deemed safe by the resident dive marshal.

c)During the course of the event, divers are allow only to dive at event dive sites.  Each site will have a dive kiosk with a dive marshal.

d)Each contestant must dive with a buddy provided by the contest organizers

e)Each diver must have a safety sausage and whistle during every dive.

f) Each diver must have a functioning dive computer.

g)Divers are asked to respect the marine environment.

h)No more then 3 dives per day

i) Maximum dive time is 90 minutes per dive.

j) Must have dive and evacuation insurance.

k)        Decompression dives are not permitted.

l)  No alcohol at dive sites

m)No diving deeper then 35 meters or max permitted by dive rating.

5) Conservation and Photography Rules

Conservation Rules established by EPIC®. Marine life should never be stressed or endangered for the sake of a photo. Conservation rules will apply to all entries, and decisions will be final. Entries suspected of exhibiting the following behavior will be disqualified:

Marine animals should never be stressed or endangered for the sake of a photo. Entries will first be screened by our judges. Entries exhibiting the following behavior will be placed out of contest.

a)Divers visibly damaging the environment (e.g. gear dragging or kicking up sand).

b)Animals with signs of stress (e.g. puffed puffers, inking octopus, animals in nets, cages or hooked on a line).

c) Animals moved to an unnatural environment or risky location.

d) Animals being fed artificial food from divers No feeding fish .

e) Delicate marine life being touched (e.g. coral polyps, seahorse tails). Marine life interaction has been (and always will be) good u/w photo subject matter but only when the marine life is not endangered e.g. holding a turtle.

f) Divers need to exhibit good buoyancy control to protect the marine environment and to minimize silt. Suggestions on weighting and trim techniques will be offered by the staff.  

g) Photo contest staff and judges are not allowed to enter the contest.

h)Photographers can only submit photos taken by themselves, taken during the contest dates at the contest sites.

i)  Images may be optimized (i.e. adjusted while maintaining the integrity of the image), but not altered such that an image does not reflect the actual subject matter. Photographers can only perform basic toning, cropping and minimal spotting of images.

j) Acceptable Photoshop actions are: Rotate, Crop, Sharpen, Clone (from minimal removal of back scatter and sensor dust only), Curves or levels, Saturate (up to 10%).

k)Contestants are limited to 10 entries per category.

l) All entries must be original RAW’s as well as high resolution toned and corrected JPEG’s submitted to event center.

m)All entries must include IPTC data including date and time of capture, photographers copyright info, camera model etc (Please use xmp provided by event organizers)

n)To assure freedom of artistic expression, participants are not restricted to make of cameras; lenses; lighting or other equipment.

o)On the evidence of software analysis, any photograph that is discovered to have been falsified or substantially altered will also be disqualified.


i. Ownership and copyright of all entries remain with the photographer. RDTL reserves the right to publish entered photos without compensation for promotional purposes only, including, but not limited to publication on RDTL websites, in brochures and/or books, for future contest promotion.

ii.All photographs used by RDTL for the promotion of Timor-Leste must include the photographers copyright information.