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BSoUP / DIVER Annual Print Competition 2015
Organised by the British Society of Underwater Photographers
in association with DIVER Magazine

at the

DIVE SHOW, NEC Birmingham

24-25th October 2015

The Awards Ceremony will take place at the BSoUP Meeting on Tuesday 17th November 2015 in the Meeting Room 3, Imperial College Union, London, SW7 2BB


The annual BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition was held at Dive 2015 at the NEC, Birmingham over the weekend of 24th-25th October. Eighty of the best prints in four categories were mounted for display and judging by the visiting public. This year more nearly a thousand visitors completed voting slips and over 3,000 valid votes were counted.

The best of show and winner of the Grand Prize was selected by an independent panel of judges comprising Nigel Eaton, Chief Editor of DIVER Magazine, Alex Mustard, author and underwater photo-journalist.Martin Edge, author and underwater photo-journalist. The judges also highly commended two prints.

"The yearly BSOUP - DIVER print competition at the NEC brings together some excellent images.   Once again together with my good friends Alex Mustard and Nigel Eaton I had the pleasure of choosing the overall best three prints of the entire competition.  It’s staged both Saturday and Sunday so it provides ample opportunity to totally immerse one’s self in underwater excellence.  My own style of judging a print competition such as this is to wander around the photo zone, numerous times, during both days to allow the images to grow on me.  It’s fair to say that some do grow and others diminish over a period of time" commented Martin.

Results - The Judges's Choice

Overall Winner - Terry Steeley

Overall Winner: Tiger shark and Diver © Terry Steeley
Overall Winner: Tiger shark and Diver © Terry Steeley

Judge Martin Edge commented "I must concede that I never noticed the winning image until early morning on the Sunday.  The exhibition was almost empty at the time and I seemed to have a better view of the exhibits.  This sounds obvious but this competition is a PRINT competition, which means we judge the quality of the print itself and this years winner is an excellent print. 

We all agreed that the conversion to Mono was a good choice.  I love the drama of this image.  The eye, black and cold.  The eye of the viewer flips to the diver and with this I get a feeling that he’s being careful.  Look at his mask!  Whilst we cannot see his eyes, I for one feel he’s being careful.  He’s so still, he’s waiting, he’s watching.  His quiet stream of bubbles connects our eye back up to the surface and drags it from right to left, through the subtle beams of light and back down again to his tail.  Notice how the complete shadow of the under belly is separated from the shark itself.  This also increases the tension and makes the shark look enormous.  I love this shot and in my eyes it just grows and grows.  A worthy winner but with all three prints there was very little between them."

Terry lives in Woodbridge, Suffolk where he is Graphic Designer/Photographer. He has been taking u/w images for three and a half years and is a member of BSoUP and Lexar Elite.

Terry won the Grand Prize: A two-week trip 'Philippines Secrets Dive Safari'. The itinerary includes the islands of Donsol (Whale Shark), Ticao (Manta Ray) & Malaspascua (Thresher Shark) from 10-24 April 2016 led by Len Deeley, to include transfers, board, accommodation and diving, but excluding flights courtesy of Hidden Depths.

Highly Commended

Pike, Dosthill Quarry, Tamworth © Mark Launchbury. Canon S120

Pike, Dosthill Quarry, Tamworth © Mark Launchbury.  Canon Powershot S120. 1/120th sec @ f3.5. ISO 160

Mark said "I've used point and shoot cameras for several years but never really captured the true images of our amazing aquatic life, I recently upgraded to a  New camera just over a year ago, and I'm still getting to grips with strobe and full manual settings which I still find a challenge.
I have a passion to dive and most of my diving is either the south coast and Plymouth but mainly local quarries even in cold water as low as 4 degrees (brrr) which results in better visibility for photography. The underwater environment never ceases to amaze me. I still get a buzz out of close encounter's with sturgeon and the top inland water predators such as pike almost as much as I get with Sharks, great whites,reef and hammerheads."

"I learnt to dive with Padi in the Red Sea on holiday in 2002. I didn't dive for over a year until I got the urge again and did a refresher course in Southern Ireland, took my advanced and rescue diver in the uk shortly afterwards then I was totally hooked. I've done over 900dives Mainly UK quarries, I have also dived Southern Ireland ,Red Sea ,Spain South Africa ,Maldives & Kenya 

"I live in Rowley Regis West Midlands,  I'm a self employed tradesman in home improvements / property maintenance."

Judge Martin Edge commented "I also admired the pike image.  Again I picked this out in my head late Saturday afternoon.  Now, I’ve seen many hundreds of pike pictures over time so to be impressed with this particular image made me ask myself  ‘Why’?  Why this particular shot?  Well, for me and my taste, It’s the strength of the composition.  The branches, which wrap around the Pike.  The eye is very strong and it’s as though it’s about to strike it’s prey lying just outside of the frame.  My eye and I’m sure you’re eye dear reader also travels along the branch and out of the frame and as we step back from the print the branches from the left hand side bring the eye back into the middle and off we go again. We discussed the slight burn out below the eye and agreed that it was of no technical consequence at all."

Mark won a copy of 'Creating the future', 'Black & White', 'Street Life', 'General' gifted to BSoUP by Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA).

Blue Shark, Penzance, Cornwall © Nicholas More, Olympus OM-D EM-1.

Blue Shark, Penzance, Cornwall © Nicholas More, Olympus OM-D EM-1.

Nick lives and works as a Dental Surgeon in Leicestershire and has been diving since 1998. He has completed over 1500 dives all over the world but ranks his interaction with UK sharks, organised by Charles Hood, as one of his favourites. Nick has been taking pictures underwater for 3 years. Sharks need our protection due to overfishing and finning, especially blue sharks in UK waters as there are currently 'no limits' imposed on their catch. Support the Shark Trust.

"The print which first pulled me in, early on Saturday morning, was Nick More’s shark picture, I loved it from the moment I saw it and for me it was the dynamic layers of interest from bottom up to the top which pulled me in.  The dark blue space beneath the shark.  The shark itself on the turn with great eye contact. The reflection and lastly the view through Snell’s Window at the top.  Subtle flash illumination along the body is perfect, not too light or too dark" said Martin.

Nick won a copy of 'Life in Colour' gifted to BSoUP by Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA).

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