Dive Pacific

— Guideline for Authors and Photographers

Guideline for Authors

With most modern magazines today, the trend is to publish a visually stimulating issue while being informative and entertaining. To help us achieve this mix articles need to be less text heavy and to provide high quality photographs.

Article Text

Short sentences work best. Keep your writing style active. If you write using a step by step process to describe what you did, you will just use up valuable reading time. Below is a fairly typical example of the writing style we receive but cannot use:

‘we put on our gear and rolled over the side of the boat into the water. We finned in the current to the anchor line then deflated our BCs and started descending. Within 30 seconds of being in the water, a school of tuna started circling below us’

Here are two different (preferred)  ways of describing the same moment:

‘within moments of entering the water we were diving amongst a circling school of tuna’

‘over the side and we couldn’t believe it, a beautiful school of tuna circling’

Your aim should be to create an article that is high impact and easy to read.

Points to note

  • We welcome submissions for consideration. Because we plan issues a minimum of three publications in advance there may be a delay between receiving an article and any decision on whether we will publish. Because we need to tie advertising back to storylines your article may be with our sales section for a spell.  If you are able to separately include contacts for possible advertisers it will help speed up this consideration process.
  • Unless by prior arrangement, words for an article need to be between 600-800 words. If the word count exceeds this the article will be returned to the author for editing and re-submitting.
  • Good quality pictures or supporting drawings/sketches must accompany articles. Pictures can be supplied either as 35 mm slides, prints or digitally. Due to quality problems we prefer not to accept scanned pictures unless professionally scanned at 300dpi and supplied with a proof sheet. Low resolution is not suitable for print reproduction (ie from the internet). Digital images are to be supplied at 100% as downloaded from the camera. If unsure of what we require, please contact our office. It is preferred that images and text are written to cd as we are unable to receive emailed attachments containing large file files (eg 6mb or greater). Do not embed images in word documents or in the main body of your email – they need to be supplied separately as jpeg or tiff files.
  • Check your grammar and spelling carefully before submitting, especially the spelling of Latin names, place names and any unusual words. We use British spelling and the metric measurement system. If the article is, for example, from the USA we prefer to print both metric and imperial, ie article may have 100 feet and this should appear as 30 metres (100 feet). Conversions should already be done when we receive the article (divide the amount in feet by 3.281). Note we use the single quotes rather than double. Ensure
  • Captions should be supplied with all photographs. Try to make the captions interesting, thus enticing people to read your article. Please note it is up to us as to which and how many photographs will be used in the articles.
  • Articles on dive destinations should not read like a diary, instead they should be an overview of the destination with items of interest and observations. Emotion always makes for better reading. Try to be humorous if possible.
  • As most articles are about a past experience, please keep the articles in the past tense.
  • Articles can be sent by email or post. If sending by post please provide the article on disk as a PC Word or text document. A printed copy of the article must accompany the disk.
  • If you require your material to be returned, please provide a self addressed envelope or courier bag.
  • With all material sent, please provide a list of what has been supplied, ie number of slides/prints, etc.
  • Articles to be received on or before the article deadline of the issue we have designated your article.. If you cannot make the deadline, please let us know as soon as possible as we may be able to give you extra time or need to substitute another article
  • Please do not supply formatted documents (ie in columns, with photographs embedded, tables, headers and footers, etc) as it is time consuming for us to reformat them. Simple text documents are best.
  • If your article is a major feature in our magazine, we may consider using one of the images for the front cover.
  • We reserve the right to include the story and images on our Dive New Zealand magazine website.
  • Payment for articles: If you are not gst registered the following payments include gst. If you are gst registered, please supply your gst number when submitting articles. If a price has not been agreed to prior to printing, articles will be paid at the following rate: NZ 10 cents per word printed, NZ$15 per picture for the first three used and NZ$10 per picture thereafter. The maximum payment for unsolicited articles is NZ$250. Front cover picture NZ$100. The total payment is made to the person who has made the submission. If you have arranged the text or images from elsewhere then that payment is your responsibility.
  • For feature articles we prefer that a price is agreed to before we accept the article. If no agreement has been arranged, your article will be paid at the rates stated above.

(We feel it is important that an advanced issue be sent before it’s out on the streets so authors are aware their piece has been published before the readership. We’re an extremely small, multi-tasking team so the whole process does take time. To explain: once the advanced copies are sent we then have to send out copies to subscribers both local and overseas, organise the retail copies both local and overseas then the dive store issues as well as sending the advertisers their copies. Time is spent archiving all aspects of the issue just printed and following this the accounts to advertisers are sent then the published word and image count is completed for processing. The whole process does take time and can be up to six weeks printing.).

Guidelines for Photographers

We require that all images be of a high resolution we generally require 300dpi or higher, although if your image is large in size, we may occasionally accept a slightly lower resolution.

Images that were found online usually cannot be used for a number of reasons, including copyright. Web-resolution is 72dpi far lower than we require. If you’re not sure why this is, try printing out an image you found online and you’ll see the quality (or lack of).

Digital Camera Resolution Options – how do I set my camera to “hi-res”?

Camera resolution refers to the number of pixels that a camera can capture, and the resolution depends on how you plan to use your pictures. If you hope to have your images published, we require hi-res images of 300dpi (dots per inch) or higher. This gives us the flexibility to print your image at a decent size and quality, and keep them looking their best.

The following list offers some guidance:

  • VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels): If you just want to share your photos via e-mail, post them on a Web page, or use them in a multimedia presentation, you can get by with a VGA-resolution camera. Print quality is not high enough for a professional publication’s requirements.
  • One megapixel: You can print acceptable snapshots. You also get plenty of pixels for any on-screen picture use. Print quality is not high enough for a professional publication’s requirements.
  • Two megapixels: You can produce very good 5 x 7 inch prints and acceptable 8 x 10s.
  • Three megapixels: You can generate really good 8 x 10s.
  • Six megapixels: If you like to produce prints that are 11 x 14, go for 6 megapixels. This is adequate for a full-page image in Dive New Zealand magazine.
  • Eight megapixels and higher: Eight to twelve megapixels will produce professional-quality prints that are larger than 11 x 14. This is our preference of image size.

Additionally, your camera should have settings around image size – our recommendation is that you set this to ‘wide’. This will, of course, take up more space on your memory card, and you will need to plan accordingly.


If you have a question not covered here please email us at admin@divenewzealand.co.nz