Season of the splash
A SHOT OF A SNAKELOCKS ANEMONE SHRIMP saw Cathy Lewis take the overall prize in the British Underwater Photography Competition splash-in, organised by the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP).
The annual event moved from its long-time venue of Plymouth to Portland in Dorset this year, kicking off on the first Saturday in July.
The previous evening the 24 entrants had their portrait taken on the first frame of their camera’s memory card.
Many of them dived from Scimitar Diving boats, while a few elected to dive under Swanage Pier, an hour’s drive away.
They all had from midnight Friday until 6pm on Saturday to capture underwater images before selecting one to enter in any of the three main categories: “Marine Life”, “Mankind in the Sea” and “Compact Cameras”.
They could also enter one image in the “Humorous” category, which allowed image manipulation including composite images, as long as all the components were taken in the sea on the day.
After a Saturday-evening barbecue, all submitted entries were projected to the assembled audience while the panel of judges – underwater photographers Dan Bolt, Gavin Parsons and Stuart Philpott – selected winners and runners-up in the three main categories. The audience picked their own “Humorous” favourites.
CATHY LEWIS’S WINNING IMAGE was taken with a Nikon D7000 with a 105mm macro lens and flash at 1/80th sec @ f18 on her second dive of the day.
“The image beautifully captures the behaviour of this pretty little shrimp, known in Britain only from the south coast, hiding among the tentacles of its host anemone,” commented BSoUP’s President Brian Pitkin.
The other three category winners were all taken on Saturday morning. “Divers, particularly near the surface, make great shots,” said Pitkin of Terry Griffiths’ “Mankind in the Sea” winner, taken with a Nikon D7000 with a 10mm fisheye lens at 1/125th sec @ f18.
“It shows a diver with all hoses neatly secured, Snell’s window and delicate rays of light in the background. Apart from cropping the diver’s left foot out of the picture, this is an excellent example of an image depicting ‘Mankind in the Sea’.
“This year we included a separate category for those without a more expensive DSLR or Micro Four Thirds camera,” said Pitkin. “Colin Whyte proved that compact cameras can be used to take striking images of small marine subjects. His image of a black-faced blenny placed just off-centre is beautifully composed and lit.” Whyte used a Canon PowerShot G9 at 1/125th sec @ f5.6.
“Trevor Rees is best known for his amazing marine life images,” said Pitkin of the fourth category winner. “This year he rose to the challenge to take a humorous shot.
“The perfectly exposed and in-focus image depicts his shocked buddy and underwater photographer Charles Erb coming across a leek under water. It was taken with a Nikon D600 with a 15 mm lens at 160th sec @ f16.”
Cathy Lewis won a week’s diving holiday for two in the Maldives (ex flights and taxes) from Scuba Tours Worldwide.
Other prize sponsors were O’Three, AP Diving, Underwater Visions, Scimitar Diving, Paul Colley Underwater Photography and South West Nudibranchs. Winners and runners-up received trophies.