Photography Competition

Gaia – MareCet ‘Oceans Story’ Photography Competition 2018


The Gaia – MareCet ‘Oceans Story’ Photography Competition 2018 for World Oceans Day is an annual photo competition aimed at highlighting the beauty and plights of Malaysia’s natural marine environment, including estuaries, beaches and islands within Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. This photography competition is aimed to promote, educate and inspire the public on the importance of marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and the role of humans to protect our “blue planet”, given their dependency on it.

Focusing on marine conservation, this competition strives to advocate awareness and appreciation for the state of Malaysian seas and marine life through photography. The Gaia – MareCet ‘Oceans Story’ Photography Competition 2018 for World Oceans Day will be held for the first time in 2018. This competition will include two (2) categories: ‘Hope for the Ocean’ and ‘A Bruised Ocean’. Entries will be receive via online submissions from individuals residing in Malaysia, including expats aged between 15 to 30 years old. Those aged below 18 years old will need to seek consent from their parent(s) / legal guardian to participate. The competition begins on Friday, 01 June 2018 and ends on Saturday, 7th July 2018.

MareCet’s World Oceans Day 2018 event will be held in 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya between 12 – 15 July 2018, with the award ceremony for this competition to be held on Saturday, 14 July 2018. The winning images and highly commended images will be exhibited throughout this event.


  • The competition is open to amateur photographers  (i.e does not earn a living through photography) and comprises two (2) categories open to individuals aged 15 to 30 who are residents of Malaysia and expats. Those aged below 18 years old will need to seek consent from their parent(s) / legal guardian to participate.
  • Images must be photographed in Malaysia using a digital camera. Mobile phone images are allowed.
  • A one-off non-refundable entry fee of RM 8.00 (Eight Malaysian Ringgit) is required for each image submission per entrant. Please do not add additional quantity in PayPal!
  • Completed entries must be received by 11:59 PM (GMT+8) on Saturday, 7th July 2018.
  • Top 20 images will be exhibited during the prize giving ceremony in 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya.


  • Once payment is made, PayPal will re-direct you to the ‘Contest Page’
  • Please do not close the re-directed window!


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  • The Gaia – MareCet ‘Oceans Story’ Photography Competition 2018 (“Contest”) is organized by Gaia & MareCet (“organizer”)
  • This Contest will be governed by the terms and conditions herein, and participants agree that they have read and understood these terms and conditions, and will be bound by them.
  • This Contest is open to all amateur photographers (i.e does not earn a living through photography) who are residents of Malaysia and expats residing in Malaysia between 15 – 30 years of age (as at 01 June 2018). Those aged below 18 years old will need to seek consent from their parent(s) / legal guardian to participate.


  • This Contest will run from 12:01 on 01 June 2018 to 23:59 on 7th July 2018 (Malaysian Time Zone) (“Contest Period”).
  • Entries received before or after the Contest Period will not be accepted.


How to Enter:

  1. To participate in the Contest, participants are required to:Log on to or click the banner on the
  2. Read the CONTEST TERMS AND CONDITIONS and proceed to pay by clicking the ‘ENTER’ button. Secure payment via GAIA PayPal account
  3. Once payment is made you will be redirected to the photograph upload page. Fill in personal details (Name as per NRIC / Passport), (NRIC no. or Passport No), (Email Address as per PayPal) & Mobile number
  4. Upload image, select ‘Category’ and write a suitable ‘Caption’
  5. Click on ‘SEND’

Mechanics of Contest:
To participate in the Contest, participants must:

  • Take pictures related to the theme of ‘Oceans Story’
  • All personal details submitted must be accurate and complete. Any inaccurate or incomplete information found in the entry will result in disqualification from this Contest and/or forfeiture of any prizes.
  • Participants can submit as many entries as they want.
  • The Organizer is not responsible for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay, failure in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction, unauthorized access to, or alteration of, user or member communications, or any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, the website, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, system, apparatus, software, failure of e-mail or receipt of entry on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet and/or telecommunication services.

Conditions of entry to the competition:

  • The competition consists of two (2) categories, (i) Hope for the Ocean and (ii) A Bruised Ocean.
  • Each entrant may choose to submit entries for either one or both categories
  • Winning images will be judged from both with the single most impactful image to be awarded as the grand prize
  • Entrants are not permitted to submit images that:
    – Portray models and/or persons
    – Feature terrestrial structures and / or buildings
    – Were obtained by consciously and deliberately disrupting natural habitats, injuring or distressing animals
  • Successful entries will be notified in strict confidence via e-mail or telephone by Thursday, 5 July 2018
  • The decision of the judges are final and no negotiations will be considered
  • It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that they have read and will abide with competition rules and guidelines
  • Any entry found not to comply with the rules and guidelines will be disqualified and no refunds or allowances will be made
  • All entries must be original photographs by the entrant and are not subjected to copyrights

Photo editing rules:

  • Images may be edited using photo editing softwares (Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Lightroom)
  • Adding or removing elements / subjects to images will subject in disqualification
  • Adding frames or any form of text onto images will immediately be disqualified
  • Cropping the original image up to 20% in total is permitted
  • Black and white images are permitted
  • Images must be exported in high resolution .Jpeg with 1920 pixels along the longest dimension and saved in AdobeRGB (1998)
  • All camera metadata should remain as its original. This includes camera make, camera model, capture date, capture time, exposure, focal length, ISO, etc. Tampering of metadata will result in first round disqualification.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Entry must be via No postal entries will be entertained.
  • Your entry is submitted when the entry fee(s) has been paid.
  • You will receive an entry confirmation e-mail upon payment of the entry fee(s)
  • A one-off non-refundable entry fee of RM 8.00 (Eight Malaysian Ringgit) is required for each image submission per entrant
  • Secure payment via GAIA PayPal account
  • Upload your photograph
  • There is no limit for each entrant for each category
  • Submissions must be in digital format
  • All digital files must be in high resolution .Jpeg with 1920 pixels along the longest dimension
  • Caption information must be accurate and complete
  • Successful entries will be notified in strict confidence via e-mail or telephone by Thursday, 5 July 2018

Upon submission of photographs, competition participants acknowledge that any Competition images will be displayed and exhibited at venues and / or toured nationally and internationally, featured online, in publicity materials in all media including digital, print, broadcast and radio beginning 12 July 2018 for commercial and non commercial usage without prior consent or any compensation to the image owner.

Liability Clause:
By participating in this competition, entrants agree that the organisers, sponsors and judges and affiliates are not liable for any entrants costs, including injuries / fatalities, loss, damages, compensation before, during and after the Competition

Intellectual property rights:

  • Each entry must be of original work
  • The entrant must be the sole owner of the copyright of the entry
  • Ownership of the copyright in any entry submitted will remain the copyright of the entrant.

Prizes & Winners Selection Process:

  • There are 1 Unit of Grand Prize, 1 Unit of Second Prize and 1 Unit of Third Prize
  • Each Participant can only win one (1) Prize throughout the Contest Period. If a Participant wins two (2) or more Prizes of different value, then the Participant will automatically win the higher valued Prize and the lower valued Prize will be won by the next qualified Participant.
  • The Organizer shall reserve the right at its absolute discretion to review and vary the Winners’ selection process contained herein at any time without prior notice. The judges’ decision is final. The Organizer reserves the right to make the final selection of Winner(s) and no correspondences will be entertained on the selection of this Contest Winner(s).
  • The winners will be notified via email (based on the contact details provided during registration). Winner(s) will be notified at the end of this Contest where details of the Prize Giving Ceremony and terms of collection of Prizes will be given. Winner(s) must attend the Prize Giving Ceremony to collect their Prize.

Contest Prizes:

  • Grand Prize: Cash prize RM1000 + 3D2N TAd Marine Resort Pulau Tinggi full board package (for 2 pax)
  • Second Prize: Cash prize RM700 + 3D2N TAd Marine Resort Pulau Tinggi full board package (for 2 pax)
  • Third Prize: Cash prize RM300 + 2 hours rain forest guided walk tour in Langkawi (for 2 pax)
  • The brands of the prizes will be determined by the organizer.
  • Prizes do not include airfare or transportation of any kind.
  • All winners will be asked to show identification when they pick up the prizes. The Organizer retains sole discretion to withhold prizes without liability if in its view a winner is ineligible, disqualified, the entry is invalid or a winner does not meet the necessary requirements as set out in these terms and conditions.
  • The winners are responsible for all applicable taxes and expenses not specified in the prize description.
  • In the event that the Organizer cannot for whatever reason contact the winner within a reasonable time frame, the Organizer reserves the right to forfeit the prize against such winner and select another winner.
  • Winners must abide by the terms and conditions of the party[ies] arranging and/or providing for all the Prizes and the terms and conditions attached to all the Prizes, if any. All unclaimed Prizes will be forfeited.
  • All decisions made by the Organizer in relation to this Contest including but not limited to the selection of winners and forfeiture of Contest Prizes (if any) shall be final, conclusive and binding. No correspondence or appeals will be entertained. The selection of the winners shall be in accordance to the Participants’ satisfaction of the Contest entry criteria and determined at the Organizer’s sole and absolute discretion.
  • The Organizer reserves the right at its sole and absolute discretion to substitute any one of the prize(s) with items of equivalent value at any time without prior notice. All prizes are not transferable, non-refundable and non-exchangeable for cash and will only be presented to winners who are able to satisfy the Organizer’s prize claiming requirements as set out herein.


  • All ancillary costs associated with the receipt or use of the Prizes, whether direct or indirect, including without-limitation charges, expenses, taxes, costs, transportation, meals, insurance, visa, etc., are the sole responsibility of the participants.
  • The Organizer and its entities assume no responsibility and shall not be held liable for any accident, harm, damage, losses (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) or charges, injuries, unforeseen circumstance, and any inconvenience or any other liabilities of any nature whatsoever arising through participation of this Contest or in connection with the fulfillment of any prize, nor for any charges in dates or in times or cancellations which may prevent the selected winner(s) from taking the original prize offered or any part of the prize, or for lost or stolen prizes.
  • Participants release the Organizer and its respective divisions, affiliates, subsidiaries, branches, directors, officers, employees and agents, as well as all others associated with the development and execution of this Contest, from and against any and all liability with respect to or in any way arising from this Contest and the awarding and use, misuse or possession of the prizes, including liability for any personal injury or death except where prohibited or limited by law.


  • The Organizer reserves the right to withdraw or amend the Contest in the event of circumstances outside of its reasonable control.
  • The Prizes are non-transferable, non-refundable and non-exchangeable for cash. The Organizer reserves in its sole discretion to substitute the Prizes or any component of the Prizes should the selected Winner(s) fail to comply with any of the rules and/or applicable laws for any reason whatsoever.
  • The Organizer reserves the right to withdraw the Prizes should the selected winner(s) fail to comply with any terms or conditions of the Contest and/or applicable law for any reason whatsoever.
  • Acceptance of Prize(s) constitutes permission to the Organizer and its agencies to use the Winners’ names for purposes of publicity, advertising and/or marketing without further compensation or notice. All entries become property of the Organizer, who may use Winners’ names for future promotional and marketing activities.
  • By participating in this contest, participants agree to be bound by the official terms and conditions and decisions of the Organizer.The Organizer reserves the right to modify, annul or rescind the terms of the contest without further notice. The Organizer’s and the judges’ decision on any matter concerning the contest is final with respect to any aspect of the contest, including the determination of the winner(s) or in any form. No challenges to the selection of winners will be entertained.
  • The Organizer will accept no responsibility for entries lost, delayed, misdirected, damaged or undelivered. Incomplete and/or illegible entries will be disqualified.
  • Judges’ decision is final. Correspondence will not be entertained.
  • If the Campaign is not capable of being administered for any reason, including but not limited to, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, any technical failure, communication network failure, hardware and/or software failure, transmission failure, internet line failure and/or otherwise, the Organizer shall not be held liable for the same and the Organizer may, with or without notice, do as it deems fit including without limitation cancelling and/or suspending this Campaign.
  • The Contest Terms and Conditions are given in the English. In the event of inconsistencies of the language used, the English language version of the Contest Terms and Conditions shall prevail.


We collect your personal information, specifically your name and contact particulars, to enable you to enter this Contest and for related administration purposes. If you do not give us these details you are unable to enter this Contest. Subject to some exceptions permitted by law, you may request access to your personal information while we retain it. Reasons why will be given if access is denied. Your personal information will be securely destroyed once any statutory or other records retention period expires. By entering this Contest, you consent to the processing or your personal information as described in these Terms and Conditions.


For any enquiries, or for providing us with necessary updates to your personal details, please email



  • Grand Prize: Cash prize RM1000 + 3D2N TAd Marine Resort Pulau Tinggi full board package (for 2 pax)
  • Second Prize: Cash prize RM700 + 3D2N TAd Marine Resort Pulau Tinggi full board package (for 2 pax)
  • Third Prize: Cash prize RM300 + 2 hours rainforest guided walk tour in Langkawi (for 2 pax)




Sanjitpaal Singh
(Head Judge)

An established Malaysian nature and wildlife photographer, he has been in the field of photography for 15 years and has been rewarded with various awards from, USA (International Photography Awards – IPA), UK (Semi finalist for BBC Wildlife Photography, Conservation Leadership Award – CLP) and Malaysia (One Earth Award – Zoo Negara). Apart from his wildlife works, Sanjit is the owner of supplying photography services in events and creative assignments for corporates and published internationally. His love of photography has gained him support various photographic brands (Olympus Malaysia, Nikon Asia – On the Road) and supporting photographic products (Gitzo, Datacolor). He also conducts workshops, seminars and has judged various photo competitions in Malaysia and Singapore.

Dr Louisa Ponnampalam

A marine mammal scientist and conservation worker. She is the Chairperson and Co-Founder of The MareCet Research Organization, Malaysia’s first and only NGO dedicated to the research and conservation of marine mammals and their habitats. Through MareCet, she established several marine mammal research projects in Peninsular Malaysia, namely the Langkawi Dolphin Research Project, Matang Dolphin Research Project, and the Dugong Research and Conservation Project. Louisa’s career in this field spanned more than a decade, and she has conducted her research and associated work in various parts of the world – in Oman, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Her work and accomplishments are recognized internationally, and she is a member of the IUCN Cetacea and Sirenia Specialist Groups. In 2014, she was awarded a prestigious Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, and granted the National Youth Premier Award. At the core of her passion for marine conservation is to use science as a discovery and robust tool for protecting species, build capacity of the next generation of Malaysian conservation leaders, and inspire young people to follow their unconventional dreams. Louisa was recently a finalist in the inaugural Women of the Future South East Asia Awards 2018 in the Science, Technology and Digital category. In her (limited) spare time, Louisa enjoys supporting the local performing arts scene, and traveling off the beaten path, snapping away with her trusty Huawei P9.