Each year BSoUP organises an underwater photographic competition in Plymouth waters. Competitiors register their camera’s memory card on Friday evening or early Saturday morning and have until 18.30 hrs to take images and enter a maximum of three images in three categories – Close-up, Wide-angle and Animal Portraits – for judging by the audience present at the evening’s viewing. In addition to trophies and prizes for the category winners and runners-up, an independent panel of judges choose the best image taken on the day to win a grand prize – this year a week’s live aboard trip kindly donated by Scuba Travel.

This years event took place on Saturday 4th July at the Mount Batten Centre and the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth. All underwater photographers were invited to participate On the Day to compete for trophies, some fantastic prizes and personal awards. A total of 52 underwater photographers participated in the On the Day competition.

The presentation of entries, the judging and announcement of the winners took place in the National Marine Aquarium’s Atlantic tank room, following a BBQ in the grounds.

The winners

Close-up category
Winner: Anemone by Rick Ayrton
Trophy & Prizes: Sport Diver Trophy and an Olympus Mju Tough 8000 digital camera donated by Olympus UK AND a years family membership of the National Aquarium.

Runner-up: Lobster by Jim Garland
Prizes: The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge, donated by the publisher Focal Press, OR Dive: The Ultimate Guide by Monty Halls, donated by the publisher Ultimate Sports.

Wide-angle category
Winner: Anemones on wreck by Neil Skilling

Trophy & Prizes: Alan James Digital Image Trophy and an Olympus Mju Tough 8000 digital camera donated by Olympus UK AND a years family membership of the National Marine Aquarium.

Runner-up: Diver silhouette by Richard Gannon
Prizes: The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge, donated by the publisher Focal Press, OR Dive: The Ultimate Guide by Monty Halls, donated by the publisher Ultimate Sports.ublisher Dorling Kindersley.

Animal portraits category

Winner: Jellyfish by Jim Garland
Trophy & Prizes: BSoUP Trophy and an Olympus Mju Tough 8000 digital camera donated by Olympus UK AND a years family membership of the National Marine Aquarium.

Runner-up: John Dorey by Len Deeley
Prizes: The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge, donated by the publisher Focal Press, OR Dive: The Ultimate Guide by Monty Halls, donated by the publisher Ultimate Sports.

Humourous category

Winner: Jackson Four by Martin Davies
Trophies & Prize: AP Valves Trophy and Buddy BCD, donated by AP Valves

Beginners

Winner: Anemone by Rick Ayrton
Prizes: A choice of a canvas print of one of their images or a free place on a one day course run by Maria Munn of Ocean Visions AND The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge, donated by the publisher Focal Press, OR Dive: The Ultimate Guide by Monty Halls, donated by the publisher Ultimate Sports

Overall
Winner: Plaice by Cathy Lewis

Prizes: A one week liveaboard trip to the Red Sea kindly donated by Tony Backhurst Scuba. AND a years family membership of the National Marine Aquarium.

About Cathy: Im 45, and work as a magazine editor based at Future Publishing in Bath. I learned to dive in Australia in 1987, but got really hooked on the sport a year later when I joined Clifton BSAC club and discovered the joys of UK diving. Im a BSAC advanced diver, but prefer relaxing dives with a camera to anything deep and adventurous. Favourite dive sites are around Falmouth, Penzance and St Abbs, but I dont think you cant beat the James Egan Layne for an easy dive with plenty of fish life.

I bought my first underwater camera (a Nik 5) on a whim in 1998, never expecting to take it very seriously, and I lay the blame for becoming totally addicted on to Alan James and the Bristol Underwater Photography Group. Between them they managed to turn my poor efforts into worthwhile results, and Ive since had some success in BSoUP and other national competitions. I now use a Nikon D100 digital slr in a Sea & Sea housing with a motley selection of strobes.