Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

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maelstrom
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Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by maelstrom » Fri May 17, 2013 2:05 pm

The NWDTS had some unexplainable winners, and at least one ringer.

Their rules: "The contest is open to all amateur photographer/videographers."

Photographer Amanda Nicholls placed highly in multiple categories, including first place in Warm Water Wide Angle. Here is the profile from her professional photography website: "I have lived on the beautiful island of Grand Cayman for over 7 years where I work as a photo/video pro, specialising in underwater photography. Diving into the blue, clear, calm, tropical waters here mesmerized me and I instantly fell in love with the island. The diving, the beaches and the people completely captured my heart. I hope to bring the Beauty and Magic of the Underwater World to the surface, to inspire people to help look after our oceans and all that lives in them..... Enjoy! Amanda"

While the rules are no longer posted in their entirety, there was a rule prohibiting winning entries from "major contests". A simple Google image search of Amanda's winning entry revealed: http://www.underwatercompetition.com/Ph ... 1358375892

Most of us consider "Our World Underwater" to be a major contest, if not the major contest in the US.

In short, this professional photographer was allowed to enter an amateur contest, winning significant prizes without any of the contest officials being aware of it. The winning photo was probably specifically barred from entry by the contest rules.

Cheating does pay, especially when you have clueless contest officials.

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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by enchantmentdivi » Fri May 17, 2013 3:29 pm

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by H20doctor » Fri May 17, 2013 11:38 pm

i agree with you 100% , there was a bogus winner last year.. Thats why i did not enter this year as I knew there was going to be an uproar..
For what its worth ... i was told that the prizes , make you jump through hoops to use them vactions to nice places, and they dont make it easy for you to go to them sandy warm waters....
yep a big thumbs down for the expo contests
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by dwashbur » Sat May 18, 2013 7:05 am

My wife entered several pictures and we never did see any kind of list of winners. It was very frustrating.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Peter Guy » Sat May 18, 2013 7:35 am

In addition to posting this on the NWDC, did you send the information to Rick Stratton and ask him if he was aware of the violation of the rules? If not, please do so and let us all know his response (if any!).

I didn't enter this year because of the (small) fee and the fact that even though I entered last year, or at least attempted to enter, I received no information that my entries had been received or who won or any other information.

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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sat May 18, 2013 5:36 pm

maelstrom wrote:The NWDTS had some unexplainable winners, and at least one ringer.

Their rules: "The contest is open to all amateur photographer/videographers."

Photographer Amanda Nicholls placed highly in multiple categories, including first place in Warm Water Wide Angle. Here is the profile from her professional photography website: "I have lived on the beautiful island of Grand Cayman for over 7 years where I work as a photo/video pro, specialising in underwater photography. Diving into the blue, clear, calm, tropical waters here mesmerized me and I instantly fell in love with the island. The diving, the beaches and the people completely captured my heart. I hope to bring the Beauty and Magic of the Underwater World to the surface, to inspire people to help look after our oceans and all that lives in them..... Enjoy! Amanda"

While the rules are no longer posted in their entirety, there was a rule prohibiting winning entries from "major contests". A simple Google image search of Amanda's winning entry revealed: http://www.underwatercompetition.com/Ph ... 1358375892

Most of us consider "Our World Underwater" to be a major contest, if not the major contest in the US.

In short, this professional photographer was allowed to enter an amateur contest, winning significant prizes without any of the contest officials being aware of it. The winning photo was probably specifically barred from entry by the contest rules.

Cheating does pay, especially when you have clueless contest officials.

Hal


Unfortunately, you are right about this- and it's a symptom of what's wrong with the expo as a whole. I'd be surprised if the expo is even happening again, to be honest. Which is too bad- we have a great community here in the PNW, but when certain people use that community as a stepping stone for self promotion....and succeed, to a degree......and then move away from the area....well, things fall apart, the center cannot hold, etc. Most of the people I talked to this time around were pretty apathetic about the whole dog-and-pony show. And the companies that chose NOT to participate were pretty noticeable.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by dwashbur » Sat May 18, 2013 8:27 pm

I sent Rick a link to this thread over Facebook, but haven't heard anything back from him yet.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by fishb0y » Sat May 18, 2013 10:14 pm

I guess you could say I'm not surprised. You could watch the steady decline of both the expo and the northwest dive newsletter over the last couple of years. Both of which I feel are really no longer relevant to our diving community here in the PNW. About the most interesting thing about the show this year were the rumors why those noticeable companies didn't participate.

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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 12:12 am

dwashbur wrote:I sent Rick a link to this thread over Facebook, but haven't heard anything back from him yet.


I'm sure he'll get right back to you on that topic.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 12:13 am

fishb0y wrote:I guess you could say I'm not surprised. You could watch the steady decline of both the expo and the northwest dive newsletter over the last couple of years. Both of which I feel are really no longer relevant to our diving community here in the PNW. About the most interesting thing about the show this year were the rumors why those noticeable companies didn't participate.


Yep.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Scubak » Sun May 19, 2013 1:24 am

It's pretty sad how something that started out hoping to be a great thing has turned into a pile of poo!
I never did the Treasure hunt and have heard several stories about the hassle to redeem prizes.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by enchantmentdivi » Sun May 19, 2013 6:55 am

Joshua Smith wrote:
dwashbur wrote:I sent Rick a link to this thread over Facebook, but haven't heard anything back from him yet.


I'm sure he'll get right back to you on that topic.


Can't wait to see his response! IF he ever responds... :popcorn:
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 8:01 am

enchantmentdivi wrote:
Joshua Smith wrote:
dwashbur wrote:I sent Rick a link to this thread over Facebook, but haven't heard anything back from him yet.


I'm sure he'll get right back to you on that topic.


Can't wait to see his response! IF he ever responds... :popcorn:


Oh, I'm sure he'll pop right up and write a long and thoughtful response very soon.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by kdupreez » Sun May 19, 2013 9:08 am

FYI - I forwarded Rick a link to this thread via email as well.

Hopefully he responds with detail regarding the OP's concerns regarding the photo contest.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 10:42 am

kdupreez wrote:FYI - I forwarded Rick a link to this thread via email as well.

Hopefully he responds with detail regarding the OP's concerns regarding the photo contest.


Great. I'm certain all of our concerns will be addressed post-haste.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by FlyinV » Sun May 19, 2013 10:51 am

This new adventure show seems to have a lot more scuba equipment people supporting it.
http://www.gearupexpo.com/

Might be interesting to see if they get a lot of interest from divers in the area and expand this market segment in future shows.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by dwashbur » Sun May 19, 2013 11:17 am

Joshua Smith wrote:
kdupreez wrote:FYI - I forwarded Rick a link to this thread via email as well.

Hopefully he responds with detail regarding the OP's concerns regarding the photo contest.


Great. I'm certain all of our concerns will be addressed post-haste.

I could almost suspect that I detect a tad bit of sarcasm there!

Really, I don't have high hopes. I know he goes about 16 directions at once, so we may or may not get any response. I do know he was really disappointed with the expo this year, for several reasons. First was all the companies that, as noted, didn't show. Then attendance was way down from previous years. There were endless problems with the seminar setup, and from what he said it promises to be just as much of a problem next year. A lot of vendors also didn't come through with the prizes they promised, so he wound up going out and spending his own $$ to get enough prizes to cover the whole event. That explains why a lot of them were crap.

But it gets worse. I worked the front desk and gave out those seminar punch cards that some may recall. We were told that the drawing there was for a really fantastic trip. So that's what we told folks. Well, at the end of the expo, when it was time for my daughter to draw the winner, we found out the prize wasn't a trip after all, it was an el cheapo Sea & Sea camera. And the first name drawn, I swear this was not planned, was my wife's. It was the third such camera that she has won in various drawings over the past year, and she doesn't want one. So she told them to draw another name, and they did. But when we asked about the discrepancy, we were just told that Rick "changed his mind" or "misspoke." Yeah, that's a big comfort to all involved, especially the paying guests. something is very wrong here.

I enjoy working the expo; I anticipate volunteering there all year, and even with the hitches this year, it was a lot of fun. But I have to agree that, at this rate, it may not be long for this world. It's too bad, too, because there's real potential there.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 11:20 am

FlyinV wrote:This new adventure show seems to have a lot more scuba equipment people supporting it.
http://www.gearupexpo.com/

Might be interesting to see if they get a lot of interest from divers in the area and expand this market segment in future shows.


Thanks for that. I hear some rather large elements of the local market have taken an interest in this show. Could be interesting.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by maelstrom » Sun May 19, 2013 12:03 pm

I sent an email to Stratton. He says this situation "falls between the lines" and will take no action..

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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 1:39 pm

maelstrom wrote:I sent an email to Stratton. He says this situation "falls between the lines" and will take no action..


I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 1:53 pm

dwashbur wrote:
Joshua Smith wrote:
kdupreez wrote:FYI - I forwarded Rick a link to this thread via email as well.

Hopefully he responds with detail regarding the OP's concerns regarding the photo contest.


Great. I'm certain all of our concerns will be addressed post-haste.

I could almost suspect that I detect a tad bit of sarcasm there!

Really, I don't have high hopes. I know he goes about 16 directions at once, so we may or may not get any response. I do know he was really disappointed with the expo this year, for several reasons. First was all the companies that, as noted, didn't show. Then attendance was way down from previous years. There were endless problems with the seminar setup, and from what he said it promises to be just as much of a problem next year. A lot of vendors also didn't come through with the prizes they promised, so he wound up going out and spending his own $$ to get enough prizes to cover the whole event. That explains why a lot of them were crap.

But it gets worse. I worked the front desk and gave out those seminar punch cards that some may recall. We were told that the drawing there was for a really fantastic trip. So that's what we told folks. Well, at the end of the expo, when it was time for my daughter to draw the winner, we found out the prize wasn't a trip after all, it was an el cheapo Sea & Sea camera. And the first name drawn, I swear this was not planned, was my wife's. It was the third such camera that she has won in various drawings over the past year, and she doesn't want one. So she told them to draw another name, and they did. But when we asked about the discrepancy, we were just told that Rick "changed his mind" or "misspoke." Yeah, that's a big comfort to all involved, especially the paying guests. something is very wrong here.

I enjoy working the expo; I anticipate volunteering there all year, and even with the hitches this year, it was a lot of fun. But I have to agree that, at this rate, it may not be long for this world. It's too bad, too, because there's real potential there.


NWDC, as well as myself and a lot of my friends, bent over backwards to promote the expo for the first few years. As NWDN grew, and expanded, the support and effort expended on the expo (by the Rick and the Dive News Network) decreased. Decreased, as a matter of fact, down to pretty much nothing this last round. In every previous year, there was at least SOME effort put forth by Dive News Network to promote the expo. No radio, print, television, social media, no *anything* that I'm aware of, except for the little printed cards at the dive shops. Mr. Stratton's big move was to blame attendance on the economy, and announce that he was adding the word "adventure" to the title of the dive and travel expo. :bday:

Whatever. I somehow doubt that the expo will suddenly begin to flourish as a result of this radical change of nomenclature.
(Hey, Calvin and Spatman- I bet we could double the profits of this site by changing the name to Northwest Dive and ADVENTURE club! Yeah, baby!)
But it seems clear to me that the DNN is no longer relevant to our local community- and as a result, the expo will continue to suffer.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by fishb0y » Sun May 19, 2013 3:02 pm

Joshua Smith wrote:But it seems clear to me that the DNN is no longer relevant to our local community- and as a result, the expo will continue to suffer.

So are you saying articles about the same 7 sites is irrelevant? Apparently the failure of this Year's show was the fault of a few local shops. I thought it was because the DNN is no longer distributed on the ferries.

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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by Joshua Smith » Sun May 19, 2013 3:33 pm

fishb0y wrote:
Joshua Smith wrote:But it seems clear to me that the DNN is no longer relevant to our local community- and as a result, the expo will continue to suffer.

So are you saying articles about the same 7 sites is irrelevant? Apparently the failure of this Year's show was the fault of a few local shops. I thought it was because the DNN is no longer distributed on the ferries.


7 sites? You mean, they've expanded?

Seriously. There's some pretty cool stuff going on, locally, but you'd never know it from reading that rag. It's geared towards local recreational diving, which is fine and all. But the PNW isn't exactly Fiji or the Caymans. So we get Cove 2 and Port Hardy over and over again. Oh, and as an added treat, now that DNN has gone national, we get the scoop on all those flooded quarries in the midwest that everyone loves reading about. To be fair, since they will publish more or less anything that anyone anywhere sends them, I could contribute to make it a better magazine. But I'd rather do that on this website- which pays the same, but you get credit for your own writing and photos.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by spatman » Sun May 19, 2013 9:09 pm

NWDN and the Dive Expo were created and staffed by amateurs from the beginning, and in the years they have been around have shown little to no improvement. It's no surprise that things deteriorated even further once the rookies were taxed with even more responsibilities.
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Re: Northwest Dive and Travel Show Photo Contest Ringer

Post by LCF » Sun May 19, 2013 9:38 pm

They don't publish anything anyone sends them -- the very nice article on God's Pocket that Scott Lundy and I put together didn't ever see daylight.

It's really a shame to hear the bitterness and dismissive posts. I think we have a really active and enthusiastic dive community here, that would truly flock to a good Expo. But the economy has hit manufacturers, who are cutting back on the shows they attend. They have clearly decided that our show isn't on their radar, and it may be in part Rick's fault, and perhaps not entirely. Certainly, with fewer vendors attending, the show was smaller, and the seminars got moved to the main hall to save money, which made them awful and won't encourage anyone to present next year.

Putting on something of this scale is a HUGE, multi-year-long undertaking. Rick may not have done a stellar job of it, but I think we have to recognize that at least he DID it, which no one else had done. I'm very sorry that the Expo is failing -- I would have loved to see it succeed, no matter who was at the helm.

Agree that the new dive magazine is hardly worth the effort to bring it home.
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