One of the better things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unexpected photography competition.
Fourth Element - the UK-based thermal protection manufacturer - came up with the idea in April 2020 with the aim of lifting divers' spirits, whilst they remained at home during the first British Government lockdown.
The idea was simple. Take the best photo you can underwater in your bathtub. And if you don't have a bath, just get creative. A sink, bucket, water butt or just about anything that can hold water was perfectly acceptable.
The competition soon attracted some inspired entries from all over the globe. (You can find them on Instagram using the hashtag #underbathwater).
"A leopard seal playfully offers a penguin to this curious underwater photographer".
Image Credit: Nicolas Winkler Photography
Nicolas Winkler, based in Nova Scotia, Canada, credited Paul Nicklen for the inspiration of his photo for the 2020 Underbathwater Competition.
Of course, Fourth Element and the judges, Saeed Rashid and Alex Mustard had some fun with the launch of the inaugural competition.
The winning entry was from the Thai Cave Rescue diver, Mikko Paasi. At first glance, the seal pup looks as though it's exploring the ice, until you take time to realise there is more to the image.
The Finnish diver photographed his daughter's furry friend 'Kuutti' surrounded by empty softnolime containers. "I wanted to remind us of where [the seal] might belong if we don't take action soon enough to save our planet" explained Mikko.
Image Credit: Mikko Paasi
The Underbathwater competition proved so popular that Fourth Element has come up with some humourous marketing to promote the second Underbathwater 'Photographer of the Year' competiton, which closes in two days time on 28 February 2021. All that is missing from this joyous piece of daftness is a dastardly James Bond villain cat!
How do I enter?
As before, all you need to do is take your best shot underwater in your bath or some kind of water container. Get creative with whatever you can find around your home to make your scene. A set of professional-ish judges will decide the winner.
There are five categories for the 2021 competition.
Indoor Animal Behaviour category
Capture wild personalities in their natural environments
Photo Credit: 2020 entry by @Petrsimonjanicek
Self (isolation) portrait category
Share your dive selfies in the suds
Photo Credit: 2020 entry by @ellywray
Lockdown Lego category
Build the world you used to know in tiny bricks under the bubbles. (Other model sets are also welcome).
Photo Credit: 2020 entry by @tanlgewood512
Positive / Negative category
Feeling drained of colour? Get moody with black and white
Photo Credit: 2020 entry by @alexandrium_molina
Zoom In category
No meeting required, just a nice macro shot
Photo Credit: 2020 entry by @jakubjasiewski
Once you have taken your image
- Post your photo on your Instagram account
- Use the hashtag #UnderBathWater2021
- You must tag @fourthelementdive @nauticam.images @paralenz
- Mention the category you are entering in your caption: Indoor Animal Behaviour, Self (isolation) Portrait, Lockdown Lego, Positive / Negative or Zoom In
What could you win?
There are some smashing goodies up for dibs, including £1,000 worth of Fourth Element gear of your choice, a Vaquita Camera from Paralenz, and a Nauticam Super Macro Convertor from Underwater Visions.