SoCal Shootout 2014

2014 SoCal Shootout!

Sept 12-14th, 2014

More Information Coming Soon!

Join all of Southern California's underwater photographers in a weekend-long photography extravaganza. Dive anywhere in Southern California and submit your photos from the weekend for a chance to win some amazing prizes!

Register Today!




  • Over $15,000 in Prizes!
  • Register & take photos anywhere underwater in Southern California on Sept. 12th, 13th & 14th to enter

If you want to be in the middle of the action, sign up for our 2-day charter aboard the Peace ($359). This trip travels to several of the best islands for photographing a variety of SoCal Marine life including Santa Barbara Island, Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. Call (310) 633-5052 or email to purchase your ticket!

Other SoCal Shootout Trips Include:

  • TBD

Photo & Video Categories

  • Wide-Angle
  • Macro
  • Behavior
  • Portrait
  • Compact Wide-Angle
  • Compact Macro
  • Compact Behavior
  • Compact Portrait
  • Video

Mirrorless camera shooters must enter in the 1st four categories, not any compact camera categories.

Fantastic Prizes - over $15,000 in value!

Please check out the great prizes offered by our sponsors. 



2013 SoCal Shootout Platinum Sponsors


WananavuWananavu is a true Fijian experience - offering an island paradise experience with mainland convenience. From beginners to experienced divers, there is something for everyone at Wananavu. Wananavu is sponsoring 5 nights' accommodations for two people in best room category available, plus 3 days of 2 tank diving, all meals, and Nadi Airport transfers.

Rocio Del Mar
Experience the Sea of Cortez and Socorro Islands (aka the Revillagigedos Archipielago) and explore fantastic areas while diving with giant mantra rays, sharks, large yellow fin tuna and wahoo, dolphins, whale sharks and humpback whales. All this from the comfort of the Rocio Del Mar. Rocio Del Mar is sponsoring a trip to the Sea of Cortez with option to pay for an upgrade to a Socorro Islands trip.

Crystal Blue is a dive resort built by underwater photographers for underwater photographers, and even has a dedicated camera room. Located in Anilao, Philippines, Crystal Blue takes divers to some of the best macro and muck diving locations in the world.  Crystal Blue is sponsoring a 7 day stay.


The Maluku Divers Resort in Laha is one of the must visit locations in any diver’s Indonesian dive list. The only dedicated dive resort in Ambon, the facility was built specifically with divers in mind and boasts the most unique and comfortable accommodations in the whole of Maluku. Maluku Divers Resort is sponsoring a 4-night package that includes 12 dives.


Club Cantamar Beach Resort & Marina offers excellent diving just north of La Paz in the Sea of Cortez. Comfortable rooms and epic ocean views wait for divers after snorkeling with whale sharks, diving with sea lions and exploring the best dives sites in the La Paz area.  Club Cantamar is sponsoring a week-long stay with 5 days of diving.


Oceanic builds innovative and reliable scuba products, from state-of-the-art dive computers to BCs to masks and fins. Underwater photographers demand a lot from their equipment to get the perfect shot and Oceanic continues to live up to the challenge. Oceanic is sponsoring a brand new OCi dive computer.


Bluewater PhotoBluewater Photo is the premier online and retail shop for underwater photography gear as well as international photo trips. Offering years of experience and expert advice on cameras, housings, strobes and accessories, Bluewater Photo is known for excellent customer service during and after sale.  Bluewater Photo is sponsoring some great prizes for underwater photographers!



2013 SoCal Shootout Premier Sponsors

 Sea & SeaSea & Sea is one of the best known names in underwater imaging equipment, offering high-quality DSLR housings, strobes and much more.  Sea & Sea is sponsoring a YS-01 strobe!



I-DiveSite produces the innovative I-Torch dive, video and focus lights. With a wide range of lights featuring white, red and even UV beams, I-Torch lights are a favorite of many underwater photographers and videographers. I-DiveSite is sponsoring a Venusian III video light!


Channel Islands Dive Adventures

Channel Islands Dive Adventures (CIDA) organizes fun dive trips to the best dive sites in SoCal and beyond. CIDA is sponsoring 3 local boat trip spots!




Ikelite has a long history of making strobes, dive lights, underwater housings for DSLR and compact cameras and much more for photographers worldwide since 1962. They're famous for their commitment to excellent customer service. Ikelite is sponsoring a $250 gift certificate!



GoPro produces the world's most versatile cameras that can mount everywhere. The Hero 3 Black camera records incredible HD video and has become a favorite of many divers. GoPro is sponsoring a Hero 3 video camera!



ThinkTANK PhotoThinkTank Photo is a leader in creating great products for photographers. They specialize in camera bags, travel bags, belts, covers and more. ThinkTank is sponsoring a CityWalker 20 camera bag for a SoCal Shootout winner!



WatershotWatershot creates underwater housings and lighting and has become wildly popular for their iPhone housings. Watershot is sponsoring an iPhone 4 or 5 PRO housing!



UltralightUltralight is the leading maker of arms, trays and clamps for the underwater photography community - making only high quality products built to last. Ultralight is sponsoring a $125 gift certificate!


Truth AquaticsTruth Aquatics is California's premier liveaboard fleet, catering to divers and ocean enthusiasts with a variety of Channel Islands adventure trips. The fleet includes the Truth, Vision & Conception boats. Truth Aquatics is sponsoring 2x boat passes!


Marissa Charters


Marissa Charters is based in San Diego, offering trips for everyone from beginner diver to advanced tech dive groups. 6-14 divers on the boat for a personal experience! Marissa Charters is sponsoring 2x boat passes!


Peace ScubaThe Peace dive boat offers diving excursions in the Channel Islands for scuba divers and freedivers. The Peace accomodates photographers well and even has a charging station. The Peace is hosting Bluewater Photo's 2-day trip during the Shootout. The Peace is sponsoring 2x boat passes for a Shootout winner and dive buddy!


Cal Boat DivingCal Boat Diving runs the Spectre dive boat based in Ventura Harbor. The Spectre is a spacious boat visiting the Channel Islands, complete with jacuzzi and Captain Ted's famous lunch BBQ. Cal Boat Diving is sponsoring 2x weekday boat passes for a Shootout winner and dive buddy!

Selky Charters

Selky Charters is a 6-pack boat out of Seal Beach specializing in trips to Catalina and the oil rigs. Quick channel crossings and the small group size ensures every diver will have an excellent day. Selky Charters is sponsoring 1x boat pass for a Shootout winner!







Shootout Judges

The judges for 2014 will be professional photographer Mark Strickland, Bluewater Photo owner Scott Gietler and a 3rd judge TBD.



This is a virtual contest, but submissions must have been taken on September 13th, 14th or 15th, 2013, anywhere south of Point Conception, CA and north of the Mexico border - including the Channel Islands.  Diving by boat or beach is allowed, although we encourage you to get a seat on your local boat.

Registration will be open throughout the contest. We will be sending an official email to all registered participants the evening of September 12, 2013 with instructions on setting camera date to a point in the future. Changing the camera's date will allow us to verify that photos have been taken during the Shootout timeframe. Photographers who register in the hours after the official email is sent out will receive the information as soon as we can process their registration, but this may be several hours.

All photo and video entries will be due by 11:59pm on Monday, September 16th, 2013.

  • We pledge to run this contest ethical and with integrity.  Judges will not know whose photos or videos they are judging.
  • You retain copyright to your photos, and photos will only be used by us when promoting the contest or the winners.
  • Please use our upload (ftp) form to submit your photo and video files in the appropriate formats, and for each entry chose one of our 9 categories.
  • Photo Format & Editing:  JPEG format, at least 2500 pixels at the longest length.   Only global changes are allowed as editing.  This includes exposure, white balance, saturation, contrast and clarity.  No cropping, backscatter removal, cloning, or any local adjustments are allowed.  RAW files will be required from all winners to verify date and editing rules.
  • Video Format & Editing:  Format must be .mp4, .mov, .m4v or wmv.  Each video must be a maximum of :60s in length and can be comprised of no more than 3 clips with no transitions, titles, music, etc.  Color level and start/end point adjustment is ok.  Original formats will be required from all winners to verify date and editing rules that aren't carried over while reformatting.
  • Photos & video must be taken underwater. Split shots ok.
  • All photos & video must have been taken in the ocean on September 13, 14, or 15, 2013 south of Point Conception and north of the Mexican border or will be automatically disqualified.
  • Photos or video taken as a result of harassment to marine life that could be harmful to the subject may be disqualified at the judges' discretion
  • We encourage safe diving and cannot predict diving conditions in Southern California at the time of the contest.  Please use your dive training and common sense to dive safely and avoid injury.  Bluewater Photo is exempt from all liability whatsoever for any personal injury, property damage or wrongful death of divers registered for the contest.
  • Have fun diving in Southern California!


Instructions & Entry Fees

  • $40 USD to enter up to 8 images, up to 3 per category
  • $40 USD for up to 3 video entries
  • Mix-and-match is ok.  1 video = 3 photo entries (i.e. you can enter 1 video and 5 photo entries)
  • Enter photos via our upload form, JPEG format, at least 2500 pixels at the longest length. RAW files will be required from all winners
  • Enter videos via our upload (ftp) form, .mov or .m4v or .wmv format.
  • Please send any questions to
  • Payment must be made via PayPal to  Please note that PayPal accepts all credit cards - it's easy! Simply click on the "Buy Now" button below.  We'll confirm your entry via email within 24 hours and will send updates as we get closer to the Shootout.



View the 2012 Winners

View the 2011 Winners


Getting excited to shoot? We hope so.