The WINNERS of our first ever GTS female photography competition

winners of photography competition

We first had the idea of creating a female-only photography competition months ago. But if we are totally honest we had no idea how to do it. How do we even create a competition? How do we get prizes? How do we get people to enter? It was enough to allow us to brush the idea under the carpet until all the answers somehow came into our lap.


But then we thought again. We remembered how underrepresented female photographers were, what a tough professional industry it was to get into, and how so many women we knew had amazing photos but just didn't have the platform to show them off.


So we worked tirelessly to find out how to hell we could pull off the first ever female underwater photography competition. 


And you wouldn't believe it, but it worked! It not only worked, it smashed any expectations we had out the water. We were able to secure 4 AMAZING sponsors for our main prizes - even though we had no proof it would work or we would even get anyone entering. (THANK YOU Simply Scuba, ISOTTA, Paralenz, Emperor Liveaboards for truly believing in us) as well as offering voters choices prizes from Dive Proof and the Girls that Scuba Store.


But enough of us blubbing. Let us introduce you to the WINNERS of the first ever Girls that Scuba female-only underwater photography competition. 



The winner of this category won a ISOTTA GoPro housing. The voters choice won some GTS goodies and personalised Dive Proof log book.

Winner: Joanne McGilvray

underwater comp

Judge Adrienne says:  I can see this has been taken by a beginner and it's a great subject, a wide angle and although not perfect composition the sea lion is looking at the camera and it has quite a lot of personality.  Since it is taken in very shallow water it also has quite nice light and colour which is a great example of what all new underwater photographers can achieve when starting out. 


Joanne says: Playing with a Sea Lion friend at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands

Voters choice winner: Mariele Crispino

underwater photo comp girls that scuba

Honourable mention: Corinne Klein

Corinne says: Beautiful kelp swaying in the current on a night dive off San Clemente Island, California

Wide Angle

The winner of this category won a Red Sea liveaboard trip with Emperor Divers! The voters choice won some GTS goodies and personalised Dive Proof log book.

Winner: Sophie Grisard

Judge Adrienne's comment: While there were a lot of photos of whale sharks this one I think is really special, lit only by moonlight you can just see the hull of the boat and the plankton in the water, with a little of the reflection of the shark on the surface.  The remoras on its back really seem to be moving, trying to find an attachment point to the shark, and it is so difficult to get a shot like this without losing quality in the low light.  It really makes me feel a love for the ocean and for this incredible creature. It truly is magical - as the photographer says.


Winner Sophie's caption: There is some moment in the life when you feel blessed. You are living intensely now, in this particular moment. This is exactly what was happening to me when this whale shark came and visit us during the night in the back of our boat in the Maldives. He was happily feeding on plankton in the light while I was playing with my camera to find the right setting with the ambient light. Magical !

Voters choice: Andrea Kozlovic

female photo comp

Andrea's caption: The beautiful crystal clear Bahamian waters provided the perfect back drop for these two Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. It was a sunny afternoon in Bimini, Bahamas after a storm had blown over. These two individuals were very curious and enjoyed interacting wth each other and the divers in the water! The dolphin in the foreground is named Mia and is an identified older, female dolphin. The image was very special to me as I had just started free diving, and after many obstacles, I captured this seemingly mirror-image of these beautiful dolphins.

Honourable mention: Brooke Pyke

underwater photo comp

Brooke's caption: 'Ray Of Hope' - This was one of the very first encounters I had with a Giant Oceanic Manta (Mobula birostris). The immense beauty and elegance of these animals cannot be explained by words. Nor can their shear amount of powerful presence and intelligence. It really is not often that you can encounter an animal which when you look into its eye, the animal looks back with just as much curiosity. Manta Rays have the largest brain to body ratio of any fish and it is no wonder when you have encounters such as these. And there is nothing more thrilling than having these gentle giants swoop above you as if you were not even there. Since this first encounter I have had the chance to dive many times with Manta Rays. Each encounter with them is totally unique and I would even go as far to say that they have quite complex personalities. The personalities of the Reef Manta as apposed to the Oceanic (picture here) there is quite a difference. But it must be seen to be believed. 


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Girls that Scuba Female Underwater Photography Competition

female photography competition




Girls that Scuba is all about empowering, encouraging women in all aspects of scuba diving, and it came to our attention recently that female underwater photographers were some what under represented. Of course we wanted to do something to change that, and while it may not happen straight away we'd like to encourage more GTS girls to take their photography one step further. So with the help of the Girls that Scuba first ever female-only underwater photography competition we hope to re-light your passion, improve your skills and maybe pick up a camera for the first time. We believe every photo and video has a story and we are not looking for "the best" photo or video, we are looking for the story behind it, the effort it took and the hurdles it jumped through. We are so excited to watch the creativity flow! Let's do this ladies, let's create a new community of female underwater photographers ready to spread the joy of the ocean to the world!


The competition is open from 13th September - 13th October 2018


We have created 4 categories for our female underwater photography competition.



We know there are many of you that have just started out with photography and some that are in the midst of learning. We want to encourage you to keep going and aim to improve and develop your skills, which is why we have a category just for beginners. A beginner is anyone that isn't using professional cameras (think action cameras or basic underwater housings) and isn't using high-quality editing. 





Small stuff matters too! We love seeing critters up close, and macro takes a real pro. Show us your best close up and tell us a story behind the shot or educate us on the animal you are shooting!




Wide Angle

How much can you fit in that lens? Have you been lucky enough to dive with whales, dolphins or sharks? How about a turtle in the deep or a diver just about to jump. Within this category we are encouraging you to submit portraits of divers, we love to see scuba divers about to do what they love.





We believe videos have the power to inspire and educate others like no other. Seeing a video of the underwater world can single handedly make people want to start scuba diving. Show us your creativity, add music, let us see what lies beneath.




A huge thank you to our sponsors who have offered prizes for the first ever GTS female photography competition. We truly appreciate your support of the female dive community and your belief in our projects as always!


1 prize for each category based on the judges votes.



The winner of this category will receive ISOTTA GoPro housing; this GoPro housing is a pro photographers tool for underwater endeavours. Suitable for GoPros 3 - 6 (winner will choose which). With double o-rings on every mobile and removable part, ensuring an excellent watertight seal until 200 metres. ISOTTA is one if the top camera housing providers in the world sticking out with their awesome red colour!



The winner of this category will receive a £500 Simply Scuba voucher to spend on anything you want on their online store Simply Scuba is one of the world's largest online dive shops and good friends of GTS. We visit them regularly to look at new equipment and male fun videos for you guys, take a look at their YouTube here and see if you can spot GTS founder Sarah pop up!


Wide Angle

The winner of this category will win a liveaboard trip with Emperor Divers!

You can choose any 'Reefs and Wrecks' Red Sea Liveaboard between 01/01/2019 and 30/06/2019. Guest can select a sailing based on their availability.



The winner of this category will receive a Paralenz camera - designed by divers for divers. Auto colour correction, easy to use features and no filters or housing needed, the Paralenz has become one of the most talked about dive cameras out there. We have been using the Paralenz for months now and love how amazing the footage comes out - perfect for underwater videos and photos!


Prize for each category based on voting


Dive Proof

Dive Proof log books are water proof, grease proof, tear proof, chemically resistant and most importantly, environmentally friendly. The winner of the most votes it each category will received a customised A5 Feature Log book where they can pick any photo of their choice (providing dimensions allow) to create a full page colour front cover, as well as adding their name or any text of their choosing.


Girls that Scuba

Hey, that's us! Did you know we have an online store and sell GTS merchandise and eco-friendly products? We are updating it constantly with new products and for each entry with the most votes in each category they will win (alongside a Dive Proof log book) a Girls that Scuba mask strap in any colour a GTS phone case to fit your phone, and GTS sticker.


How the winners are picked

We thought long and hard how to make this fair. We understand voting can be beneficial to bloggers, instagrammers or someone with a big online presence, but what about those talented photographers who haven't got a large following? This is why we will be picking the winners in two ways:


1. Judging based

Our 2 amazing judges will pick their favourite photo from each category and announce the winner based on their decision. These winners will win the top prizes.


2. Voting

We encourage you to get your friends and family to vote for your pictures. The entry with the most votes in each category will win a personalised waterproof log book from Dive Proof with their winning photo on the front and some awesome GTS goodies! 



underwater photography competition
Our female judges

We have selected two female judges to pick the winners from each category. Let us introduce you to them:


Adrienne Gittus Soul Water Productions

Adrienne is a photography and videographer aswell as a Girl that Tech Dives! She has supplied footage to CNN, ARD, Discovery and National Geographic. Her latest passion is CCR, recently reaching the pinnacle of technical diving with a certification to 100m. Silent diving fits perfectly with underwater filming, allowing her to get up close and personal with hard-to-capture marine life. Adrienne’s most enduring passion is the desire to use imagery to preserve our oceans, specifically, the fight to save sharks and rays in her adopted home of Indonesia.  Her most recent highly acclaimed project "A Fish Full of Dollars" is a documentary about Tanjung Luar, Indonesia’s biggest fish market, which has been screened all over the world and won awards at a number of prestigious film festivals.


Claudia Schmitt The Jetlagged

Claudia is one part of The Jetlagged action-loving filmmakers and passionate divers always on the search for adventures from the polar circle to the equator.

Claudia and her husband Hendrik consider themselves ambassadors of the sea and are fully committed to protecting the underwater world by taking pictures, shooting films and telling stories in and around the ocean, to inspire others to enjoy, explore and protect our oceans. Their documentaries have been shown on film festivals worldwide and have won international awards. 


To check out full terms and conditions please visit the "rules" section here or when you first submit an photo. 

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