The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
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Kungkungan Bay Resort

Winning Imaes by Paul Colley

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Diver Magazine - Sponsor of the Annual Beginners Portfolio Competition and the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition

DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excellence

Beginners Portfolio Competition 1987

Winner - Mark Taylor

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 25 (December 1987)

Each year The British Society of Underwater Photographers holds a competition to find the Best Beginner's Portfolio. Relative newcomers to underwater photography are invited to submit a portfolio of six 35 mm slides of their own choice, taken anywhere in the world in freshwater or the sea, to compete for the prestigious DIVER Trophy and a £50 prize kindly donated by Bernard Eaton of Diver Magazine. The only restrictions are that the photographer must never have won a medal in a National or International competition and that none of the six slides were taken in an aquarium. All submitted portfolios are projected at the November meeting of the Society and the audience present invited to vote for their favourite three.

The latest competition, held only weeks after Brighton '87, attracted 19 entries from all parts of the country. Third place went to JOHN MOSS from London for his selection taken in the Cayman Islands.

Second place went to JENNY GEORGE from Holyport for her portfolio taken in the Gulf of Aqaba. Jenny has been taking pictures for a number of years, whenever she has the chance. Although she has taken some very pleasing pictures, she has never previously won a place in competition. Her six slides included macro shots of yellow colonial sea-squirts and a white Xeniid soft coral; close-ups of a feather-star at night and a beautiful pink soft-coral; and wide-angle shots of a bumphead wrasse and a red anemone. Jenny used a Nikonos II or III with with either Nikonos extension tubes, a Nikonos close-up lens or a 28 mm lens and a small housed Soltron flashgun to capture her subjects on Kodachrome 64.

The winner of the DIVER Trophy this year was MARK TAYLOR, from Verwood in Dorset, Mark has been taking pictures for about six years and, although he came fifth in the previous year's competition, he has never wan a medal in competition. Mark used to work in the oil exploration business until its crash, when he left and joined the police force for a short time before accepting an offer to work as a divemaster an a luxury charter boat in the British Virgin Islands for three months. It was whilst in B.V. I. that Mark took four of his winning shots, an evil looking barracuda, a grouper bearing a large parasite, a shoal of grunts and small fish in a cave entrance. The remaining two shots, close-ups of a french angel and a lobster at night were taken whilst on holiday in Cozumel. Mark used a Pentax ME with 50mm and 2Bium lenses in an Ikelite housing with an Aquaflash strobe. Mark was married last year and is now working from home with a fire alarm company. He has taken very few films since, although his wife Alison has just started to learn to dive. This and his win have encouraged him to resume underwater photography in earnest in the coming months. After the winners were announced, Mark was presented with the DIVER Trophy by last year's winner Mike Wong.

BSoUP Beginners Portfolio Competition

Beginners Portfolio Competition Winners


2017 Nur Tucker

2016 Simon Yates

2015 John Parker

2014 Sue Guess

2013 Mark Drayton

2012 Paul Woodburn

2011 Sean Arrowsmith

2010 Will Clark

2009 Daniel Norwood

2008 David Henshaw

2007 Anna James

2006 Kam Arya


2004 Judy Winterman

2003 Samantha Bean

2002 Jane Morgan

2001 Cathy Lewis

2000 Tony White

1999 Mike Maloney

1998 Gary Clarke

1997 Sue Heaps

1996 Hilary Driscoll

1995 Malcom Hey

1994 Nigel Doe

1993 Gavin Anderson

1992 Paul Naylor

1991 Howard Bunyan

1990 Dave Meates

1989 John Lee

1988 Alfredo Rock

1987 Mark Taylor

1986 Michael Wong

1985 Martin Edge

1984 Viv Pearson

1983 Linda Pitkin

1982 Mike Valentine

1981 Brian Humphries

1980 Graham Pattie

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