A jury comprised of BAFTA-winning cameraman Peter Scoones, DIVER publisher Nigel Eaton, Sea Life London Aquariums Jamie Oliver and Alison Rider of Oonasdivers chose Montocchios image of a hunting sailfish from among several outstanding entries. Said Peter Scoones: The marlin picture was technically excellent and told a story. It was well composed and had all the right elements for the observer. There was no question of why it was taken! Further, it easily fitted my definition of a good picture: I would like to have produced it myself!
Dive Show visitors were invited to select the winners in four categories : British & Irish, Overseas, Advanced British & Irish, Advanced Overseas.
Almost a thousand members of the public cast their votes and the winners are as follows:
* Ocean Optics British & Irish category : Luke Atkinson
* Cameras Underwater Overseas category : Alan Larsen
* Oceanic Advanced British & Irish category: Simon Brown
* Mikes Dive Stores Advanced Overseas category : Malcolm Nobbs
The winner of each category receives a £250 voucher from the category sponsor and a years family membership to the London Sealife Aquarium, while runners-up receive a copy of Beneath Cornish Seas by Mark Webster, published by Alison Hodge Publishers.
The British & Irish category was also being staged in association with The Wildlife Trusts, which was seeking UK marine images to support its marine activities. This years theme was Living Seas and Lisa Chilton selected Robert Baileys corkwing wrasse as the winning image. Rob receives a years free membership to The Wildlife Trusts and a copy of The Unnatural History of the Sea by Professor Callum Roberts.
Nearly 160 underwater photographs had been entered in the competition, 80 of which were shortlisted and displayed at the London International Dive Show on 28-29 March. Jury chairman Brian Pitkin was delighted with the event: We are grateful to all of our sponsors and the volunteer BSoUP members who helped out over the weekend for making the competition and exhibition such a fantastic success.
The exhibition will now go on display at the newly refurbished Sea Life London Aquarium before going on tour to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, and then the Birmingham Dive Show.
BSoUP would like to thank DIVER Magazine and the Sea Life London Aquarium for their logistical assistance. The Society also expresses its sincere thanks to Oonasdivers, Mikes Divestores, Ocean Optics, Cameras Underwater, Oceanic, The Wildlife Trusts and Alison Hodge Publishers for their prize sponsorship.
More information about the competition and the Society is available at www.bsoup.org