USOA Visuals Best of 2023
USOA Visuals Best of 2023
USOA Visuals Best of 2023
The Underwater Society of America is hosting its first ever photo competition. Join USOA to submit your best work from 2023 to be seen by our panel of judges and win cash prizes!
45 USD

USOA Best of 2023 Rules and Terms and Conditions

Eligibility, registration, and fees

  1. Entry is open to any United States Citizen who is a registered member or soon to be member of the Underwater Society of America for 2024. Individuals under 18 years old must have their entry submitted by a legal guardian.

  2. Entry into the USOA Best of 2023 contest includes a one-year USOA membership. Once contestants are registered on Picter, a code will be provided to waive the registration fee on

  3. Registration and initial entry fee to the competition is $45. One entry includes 15 images for the singles categories and 5-10 for the project category.

  4. Underwater Society of America reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify and eliminate any entry for any reason, including but not limited to, because the entry does not comply with these Contest Terms and Conditions.

Image Submission

  1. Images must be submitted on the Picter USOA Best of 2023 contest page. Submissions elsewhere will not be eligible. 

  2. Images will need to be submitted in JPEG format. Image size must not exceed 1500 pixels on the long edge.

  3. Each entry purchased will include 15 total images to be distributed among the 5 categories as the contestant chooses.

  4. Once entries are made, they cannot be edited.

Image creation and editing.

  1. All photos must be taken underwater (split-level images are permitted as long as a part of image is underwater).

  2. All photos must be the work of the photographer entering.

  3. All photos must have been made in the year 2023. 

  4. Images must represent reality. The content of a photograph must not be altered by adding, rearranging, reversing, distorting or removing people and/or objects from within the frame. There are two exceptions:

(i) Cropping that removes extraneous details is permitted;

(ii) Removing sensor dust or scratches on scans of negatives is permitted.

  1. In camera multiple exposure, panorama, and exposure composite images will be accepted, but are subject to judges discretion whether they show an excessive level of manipulation.

  2. Color grading is permitted as long as it is not in a manner that processed colors significantly diverge from natural colors. 

  3. Changes in density, contrast, color and/or saturation levels that significantly alter content by obscuring or eliminating information in the photograph are not permitted.

Use of AI and authenticity of imagery

  1. Use of artificial intelligence to create imagery is strictly prohibited. This includes generative fill and content aware fill. 

  2. Any contestant suspected of entering AI imagery will be asked to provide proof of authenticity of their image. This proof can include RAW files, original files with detailed metadata, or analog negatives. 

  3. All winning images will be subject to verification before being announced.

  4. Any contestant found violating these rules will be disqualified. 


  1. All images must be made with the safety of subjects and respect for the environment as priority. 

  2. Any contestant suspected of endangering human subjects, harming or harassing wildlife or wild environments, or participating in illegal activities will be disqualified. 

  3. Photography of legal spearfishing is accepted. Any suspected poaching is grounds for disqualification. 

  4. Imagery made of poaching or other illegal underwater activities made as part of a journalistic or documentary project will be accepted and subject to judges discretion. 

Image use

  1. Copyright holders retain copyright of their work. For awarded entries and honorable mentions, copyright holders grant the Underwater Society of America unlimited non-exclusive use of high-resolution photographs for activities in all media, including social media, online and print, in relation to the contest, and all promotional and educational activities for and under the auspices of the Underwater Society of America, without any remuneration being due.

  2. The copyright holders represent and warrant that submission of the entries does not breach any law. The copyright holders will hold the Underwater Society of America harmless of any claims from third parties related hereto.

  3. By entering the Contest, entrant agrees to be bound to and abide by these Contest Terms and Conditions, the decisions of the judges, and the results of the votes. These Contest Terms and Conditions form a binding legal agreement between the entrant and Underwater Society of America.


  1. All photos will be presented for judging anonymously on the Picter platform. Please do not watermark images. Watermarked images will be disqualified. 

  2. Judges will judge each category individually, selecting images to move through rounds until finalists are selected. Once finalists are selected judges will determine winner placement. 

  3. All decisions of the judging panels are final.


  1. Winners of the contest will receive cash prizes for placement in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Prizes will be $600, $350, and $250 respectively. 

  2. Prizes will be sent to winners in the form of a check from USOA after the announcement of winners. 

Limitation of Liability

  1. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages in connection with Entrant's participation in the Contest. Underwater Society of America and its respective affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents do not have and will not have any liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless against, any liability for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activity; or for any typographical or other error in the printing, offering or announcement of any prize. UNDERWATER SOCIETY OF AMERICA MAKES NO WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR GUARANTEES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, AS REGARDS THIS CONTEST.

Entry Constitutes Agreement

  1. By entering the Contest, entrants agree to be bound to and abide by these Contest Terms and Conditions, the decisions of the judges, and the results of the votes. These Contest Terms and Conditions form a binding legal agreement between the entrant and Underwater Society of America. By entering the Contest, entrants consent to have the photo publicly displayed on Underwater Society of America's website and social media platforms, as well as published in Underwater Society of America's promotional materials, and for any purposes based on Underwater Society of America's sole discretion.

Governing Law

  1. By entering, all entrants agree that the Contest is governed by the laws of California for the resolution of all claims and disputes (excluding any claims against or disputes involving parties other than Underwater Society of America relating to any prize awarded in the Contest).

Sole Sponsorship

  1. Underwater Society of America is the sole sponsor of this competition.

Any questions?

Please feel free to contact us.

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