1. General rules

  • 1.1 The 2nd Online Open Fotosub Isla de El Hierro (OPEN) is an underwater photography competition and it is organized by THE CABILDO INSULAR OF THE ISLAND OF EL HIERRO and sponsored by various public and private entities. Its purpose is to publicize the natural environment and the richness of the sea that surrounds the island of El Hierro.
  • 1.2 The OPEN is open to participants of all levels and origins, regardless of the equipment they use to capture the images. The members of the organization and members of the jury who will evaluate the final phase of the competition will not be able to participate.
  • 1.3 The participant must be the only author of the images submitted and every photograph or video presented to the competition must meet the standards detailed in the sections Valid images and Submission of images/videos.
  • 1.4 The participation in the OPEN is free of charge. The only requirement is to register yourself as a Participant at the official Web of the Open before you do the valid dives for the contest, by filling in and sending the registration form that you will find on the official web of the event On this same Web page you will find all the instructions in order to submit your images to the contest.

2. Valid images

  • 2.1 The submitted images must have been shot in the sea of El Hierro Island including the intertidal zone.
  • 2.2 The images must be taken between the 12th of April 2017 and the 31st of January 2018, both days inclusive.
  • 2.3 Participants must take the images submitted to the contest while diving with one of the Authorized Dive Centers. They must also follow the instructions of the organization and their Authorized Dive Center in order to validate their images. This includes taking control shots and specific date settings of the camera as stated in the article 2.4. It is the participants’ responsibility to make sure they have followed all these specific rules correctly.
  • 2.4 The companies which are interested in being an Authorized Center, must be registered in the non classified Registro de Actividades (register of activities) of the Tourism Council of the Canarian Government, and communicate their will to be so to the Tourism Council of the Cabildo of El Hierro by email. Each Authorized Center will be provided with a banner with their image and the contest’s to use it as a justification of the validation control photo of images (the participant must photograph this banner under to the indications of the Authorized Center’s staff).
  • 2.5 For all photographic categories, participants must save all their images in a RAW format which will be required by the organization in the event that an image becomes finalist for one of the prizes. The participant must provide the original JPG (with no further editing) only in the event that the camera model used can not save the images in RAW format. Images will be disqualified if the participant does not supply the required original image in the stipulated time period.
  • 2.6 Any photo or video that exhibits any sort of abuse to a marine species, or when considered that a living being has been harmed or moved from its natural environment in order to achieve the image, will be disqualified and will not be able to be voted.
  • 2.7 The general theme of the photos and videos must be the Island’s underwater environment and/or present fauna. Human models can appear in the images as long as the previous statement is taken into account. To be considered valid, at least a third part of the image must be taken underwater.
  • 2.8 A pre selected jury will revise the submitted works to the contest to ensure they follow the rules and the specific subject, and will erase from the Open’s web and from the contest any photos or videos that do not.

3. Submission of images & videos

  • 3.1 Each participant can submit up to 5 entries every defined month of the contest to each of the categories described in the Categories section (Except for the video category where only one video is accepted). Photos and videos will only be accepted in the month they have been taken. The following table specifies the included dates and the submission deadline for each month:
Month Images & videos shot between: Dates for submission
April 12th & 30th of April 15th of April to the 14th of May
May 1st & 31 of May 15th of May to the 14th of June
June 1st & 30th of June 15th of June to the 14th of July
July 1st & 31st of July 15th of July to the 14th of August
August 1st & 31st of August 15th of August to the 14th of September
September 1st & 30th of September 15th of September to the 14th of October
October 1st & 31st of October 15th of October to the 14th of November
November 1st & 30th of November 15th of November to the 14th of December
December 1st & 31st of December 15th of December to the 14th of  January
January 1st & 31st of January  15th of January to the 14th of February
  • 3.2 Photographs must be submitted compulsorily in JPG format with the large side’s being at least 2500 pixels. It is recommended to use a SRGB color space.
  • 3.3 The videos for the VIDEO category must have HD (1280×720) or Full HD (1920×1080) resolution and one of the following formats MPEG4, AVI, WMV or MOV. The authors must upload their video onto Youtube or Vimeo and then provide the specific link to the organization.
  • 3.4 Photos or videos can not contain frames, watermarks, logos, signatures, author credits or any possible identification of authorship. The same applies to the file’s name.
  • 3.5 A limited edition of the images is permitted, as long as it does not distort the reality of the subject photographed or modify the essence of the original shot. The following guide should be considered when editing an image for its submission:


  • Any kind of image rotation, including horizontal and vertical flips.
  • General (that apply to the whole image) or partial (that only apply to a certain area of the image) moderate adjustments of brightness, contrast, color temperature, saturation, tone, sharpness, color aberration corrections or noise reduction.
  • Reframing, as long as no more than the 25% is cropped of the original surface of the image.
  • The removal of spots, dust or scratches of the sensor and the removal of backscatter and particles or their reflections.


  • To delete or remove any object or element from the original image, such as: algae, rocks, fish, divers, etc.
  • To add any object or element that was not present in the original image, including light sources and shines.
  • To modify the position of an object or element from the one it has in the original image.
  • Extreme brightness, contrast or color adjustments. As an example: darken the background to make it black or change one color for another.
  • Artificial blurs of the background or elements of the image.

4. Categories

  • 4.1 Participants must submit their photos or videos as specified in section 3 into one of the following categories:

Photos that show the natural beauty of the underwater sceneries of El Hierro

Photographs in which fish, reptiles, birds, or marine mammals are the main element. Groups of animals, one unique individual or a detail of an individual can appear in the image, using any type of lens to capture the photo.

Photographs in which invertebrates are the main element. Groups of animals, one unique individual or a detail of an individual can appear in the image, using any type of lens to capture the photo.

Photographs in which algae or marine plants are the main element. A group of algae, one unique algae or a detail of an individual can appear in the image, using any type of lens to capture the photo.

Any imagen valid by the point 2.6 that has been shot with a non exchangable lens compact camera, regardless of the element or elements that appear in it.

Edited videos with valid images according to the point 2.6 and with a maximum length of 2 minutes. Land shots can be included as long as their total length does not exceed 20 seconds. Sound is allowed as long as the participant has the legal rights necessary to use the musical pieces or voiceovers.

5. Jury and voting

  • 5.1 All the registered users on the Web can vote online for their favourite photographs and videos in each category (Popular Voting). It will only be possible to vote for each month’s photos and videos in the dates specified in the following table:
Month Voting deadline
March 1st to the 15th of April
April 1st to the 15th of May
May 1st to the 15th of June
June 1st to the 15th of July
July 1st to the 15th of August
August 1st to the 15th of September
September 1st to the 15th of October
October 1st to the 15th of November
November 1st to the 15th of December
December 1st to the 15th of January
January 1st to the 15th of February
  • 5.2 The five most voted photos or videos by the popular jury of each category will directly pass to the final phase of the OPEN, and the most voted photograph, independently of the category, will be awarded as “PHOTO OF THE MONTH”. A single author will only be able to win the photo of the month once. If one of his photos were to be the most voted in another month, the award would go to the next most voted photo.

              – A preselection jury will be composed by a minimum of three people named by decree of the President of the Cabildo. One member of the jury will assume the role of President of the Jury, and another will be secretary with right to vote.

              – The preselection jury will select a maximum of 5 photos each month from each category that, even not among the 5 most voted by the popular jury, will pass on to the final phase. This will avoid high quality images to be left out of this phase, especially in months with a higher participation.

              – Once the popular votations are over, all the photos that reach the final phase will be judged by a jury formed by a minimum of four and maximum five underwater image specialists of recognized prestige named by decree of the President. One of the jury will assume the role of being President of the Jury. The Cabildo President will assign a secretary with no right to vote who will be in charge of writing the Final Act.

  • 5.3 This jury will vote between 0 and 10 points each of the finalist images in each category through a Web application with exclusive access to the jury members and the secretary. The application will automatically add all the votes obtained, establishing a ranking of the best photos or videos for each category. The jury secretary will oversee the proper functioning of the application, validate the voting process and collect the final results in the act. The decision of the Jury will be final and unappealable.
  • 5.4 The organization will gather from the authors the originals of all prized images, as for the control photos. The preselection jury will validate that all the photos and videos comply with the points 2 and 3, disqualifying those that don’t. All photos and videos whose author does not give in the control measures in the established time periods will also be disqualified.
  • 5.5 There can only be one photo or video for each participant in the Top 10 of each category. If a participant has more than one video or photo the one with the lowest position will be discarded.
  • 5.6 The winner of the BEST PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE 2nd ONLINE OPEN FOTOSUB ISLAND OF EL HIERRO will be determined by summing the points obtained by a photographer in the SCENERY, VERTEBRATE, INVERTEBRATES and ALGAE categories according to the following table:
Position Obtained points
1st 10 points
2nd 9 points
3rd 8 points
4th 7 points
5th 6 points
6th 5 points
7th 4 points
8th 3 points
9th 2 points
10th 1 points

6. Prizes

  • 6.1 There will be no shared awards. In the event of a draw in the score of points for Best Photographer of the 2nd Online Open Fotosub Island of el Hierro, the photographer with the best positioned photos in the three first places of each category will be the winner. If there continues to be a draw, all the points given to each of the participant’s photos by the jury will be added, the photographer with most points will be the winner. The following prizes have been established for each section:
       2nd Best Photographer 1.000€
       2nd Best Seascape Photo 250€
       2nd Best Vertebrate Photo 250€
       2nd Best Invertebrate Photo 250€
       2nd Best Algae Photo 250€
       2nd Best Photo with a Compact Camera 250€
    BEST VIDEO 750€
       2nd Best Video 250€
  • 6.2 For each of the 10 months of the contest a return ticket from any of the Canary Islands to El Hierro will be raffled. This prize will be raffled among the registered users who have voted the contest’s images as described in the point 5.1. This prize is nontransferable and the winners will be able to enjoy it the dates of their choice, in a year’s period and always depending on the availability of seats of the air company.
    To ensure the objectivity of the draw will be used software provided by the Web site
  • 6.3 The collaborators and sponsors can give out special prizes to the photographs or videos which they believe are most adequate to the purpose of their sponsorship.
  • 6.4 All the monetary prizes will be individually assigned. These are gross amounts, and will be given to the name of photographer or videographer by the Excmo. Cabildo Insular of El Hierro after applying the according tax deductions established by the current legislation if necessary.
  • 6.5 All the prizes will be advertised in the official web of the event and/or on the notice board of the Cabildo of El Hierro.

7. Rights and obligations

  • 7.1 The Excmo. Cabildo Insular of El Hierro will freely be able to use any of the photos or videos submitted to contest for the touristic promotion of El Hierro, its underwater environment, the Open Fotosub Island of El Hierro, and for the elaboration of a marine species guide, with no need for the reproduction rights accruing to the authors.
  • 7.2 The authors of the photos/videos will keep all other rights of copyright established under the current legislation.
  • 7.3 The authors authorize the organization to publish their work in any sort of media without specifying the name of the author until the jury’s verdict.
  • 7.4 Any situation not expressed or specified in the present regulations will be solved by the Organizer unilaterally.
  • 7.5 The competent organ that will approve the present regulations is the Government’s Council of the Cabildo Insular.
  • 7.6 The participation in the 2nd edition of the Online Open Fotosub Isla de El Hierro entails the total approval of all the points of the contest rules stated.
  • 7.7 Once the Regulations have been approved with effect from April 10th , they will be published on the Corporation’s Notice Board. And the institutional web


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