Pixels 2023

For our PIXELS competition, members can submit an image to the theme which is then judged externally where a gold, silver or bronze can be awarded. At the end of the year, the overall winner is announced.

The themes for the 2023 competition are:

MonthThemeTheme Definition
JanuaryBlack backgroundThis technique is to focus on achieving a black background in order to make the subject pop.

This can be achieved using strobe light combined with a high shutter speed / small aperture and distant background. Alternatively snoots or inward lighting techniques could also be used.
MarchMonochromeThe monochrome image is to display a single colour or different shades of a single colour.

How about changing your camera settings so you see the image in mono as you take it!
MayCreative lightingThe image should demonstrate the use of creative lighting.

Lots of options with effects created using strobes, video lights or a focus/dive torch. How about using snoots, or coloured light, or inward lighting? Or practice using continuous lighting, off-camera or back lighting?
JulyBokehThe aim for this technique is to achieve a sharp subject with a blurry background.

Bokeh is a Japanese term to define the aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus areas of an image.
Play with shallow depth of field to generate out of focus backgrounds, but remember to reduce the power settings on your strobes at the same time, and /or ISO.

Alternatively consider using a longer lens i.e. 100mm macro compared to a 60mm macro if you can.
SeptemberSilhouettesThe secret to a good silhouette is to switch off your strobes, shoot up, expose for the water and leave the subject in shadow.

You can also do silhouettes on macro subjects by leaving the strobes on and position them to back light the subject.
NovemberLong exposureThere are a number of techniques to be practiced here. The aim is to show movement in the image through lowering your shutter speed to less than 1/15 sec.

See if you are able to adjust the timing of the strobe flash using rear curtain sync, or try panning, zooming, dragging and spins with long exposure to create movement of the subject.

The above themes have been prepared making reference to Alex Mustard’s book ‘Underwater Photography Masterclass’.

As we advertise the theme each month we will provide some links to YouTube videos or articles for further reference/information on each of the techniques.

The PIXELS Competition has its own set of rules, download and read the 2023 Pixels Rules.

Entries must also meet the WAUPS Competition Rules and Image Size Guidelines which can be viewed here.