The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
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Winning Imaes by Paul Colley

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DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excellence

Colin Doeg

Sunbathing was never Colin Doeg's thing. So, when he was on holiday in the south of France, he bought himself a pair of goggles, waded into the warm sea and was fascinated by what he saw. That was some time in the 1950's.

The following year, while on holiday in Cornwall, he saw two men diving in wartime frogmen's kit and became hooked. At first he wore woollen pullovers to ward off the cold while he was snorkelling but subsequently he joined a branch of the BSAC and trained and took his basic tests in an open air swimming pool at Westcliffe-on-Sea.

For warmth he made his own wet suits, cutting them out and gluing them together on the kitchen table. Tanks were small in those days. Nicknamed tadpoles, they were previously used as oxygen cylinders in aircraft.

Colin started work on local newspapers in Romford, Essex at 16 during the bombing and attacks on the area with V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets " yes he is that old! From the beginning he worked with photographers and continued to do so when he moved into public relations. Those photographers included renowned photojournalists and ex-Life magazine staffers from whom he learned much as his enthusiasm for taking pictures in the sea developed.

Colin Doeg
Colin Doeg - Co-founder of BSoUP

His first camera cost £10.00 and was used in a crude housing given to him by Bob and Dennis Wright at Divers Down in Swanage. It was a large Perspex tube sealed at one end. An industrial glove fitted over the other end and was secured by circlips. To keep the water out you pumped air in but then it needed 16lb of lead to counter its buoyancy.

Said Colin: You stuck your hand into the glove so you could operate the camera and were stuck like that until you came out of the water. By then he had bought a 7s 6d paperback on how to take pictures underwater. It recommended processing your own films " I was using black and white film exclusively - so he bought the necessary chemicals, read the leaflets and discovered you also needed a processing tank. At that time he was also mostly using ex-War Department film because it was cheap.

After two dismal years with that outfit he bought a CalypsoPhot, the forerunner of the Nikonos series of amphibious cameras and his pictures immediately improved to the point where he began using fresh film, particularly Kodak Tri-X. He continued to process his own films, usually in a tent or a hotel room and frequently caused consternation when he washed his camera under a tap at campsites.

By then he had his own regulator and tank and used to dive with other people about his own size until he could afford a contents gauge. Out of necessity he began diving on his own because he was frequently working while branch dives were taking place and it suited his passion for photographing fish and scenery.

He taught himself how to print his negatives - using the kitchen or bathroom once it was sufficiently dark - but eventually moved into a larger house so he could create a darkroom. He went on to become the first photographer not working in the photographic industry to become British Underwater Photographer of the Year. He also took the first picture in British waters ever to win an open international underwater photographic competition.

Work and a family began to limit the time he could spend underwater so he startred photographing various land sports " mostly anything involving wheels or water. This led to him beating 500 other portfolios to become Amateur Photographer magazine's Sports Photographer of the Year. It also led to him photographing various sports for the Daily Telegraph and his work also appeared in other national and monthly publications for many years.

He writes the monthly Big Shot feature for DIVE magazine, the BSAC's official journal, and has now switched to a digital slr and a digital com pact camera but he retains a Nikonos for black and white photography.

With Peter Scoones he founded BsoUP and was its first chairman while Peter was its original secretary.

Colin Doeg

Colin Doeg, Author of Crisis Management in the Food and Drinks Industry, a Practical Approach

Colin Doeg is the author of Crisis Management in the Food and Drink Industry, now in its second edition. In writing it, he drew on his background on newspapers and in public relations for companies as varied as Ford Motor Company, Reed International, Brooke Bond Oxo and Brooke Bond Group. When Brooke Bond was taken over by Unilever he was promoted to head of public relations for BBOxo and subsequently Brooke Bond Foods. He was involved in a long running battle with a major TV investigative programme over conditions of employment on tea estates in Sri Lanka and India, visiting both countries and also taking all the photographs and finding all the material for several special shareholder publications about the issue. His 21 years in the food industry also saw him involved in factory openings and closures, company mergers and takeovers, product launches, promotions and recalls, community relations, employee publications and videos as well as being responsible for consumer relations. With a technical colleague, he marshalled a dozen food companies to defeat a planning application to site two toxic waste incinerators near their plants and was their spokesman. The campaign was taken to the secretary of state for the environment and the European Union. He grew up in wartime London and, as a 16-years old cub reporter, covered the bombing of the area in which he lived. He reported everything from flower shows to murders and rapes, inquests and factory blazes while also writing the weekly children's column.

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