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Beginners Portfolio Competition 1989

Winner - John Lee

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 35 (January 1990)

Each year the British Society of Underwater Photographers organises a Beginners Portfolio Competition for the prestigious Diver Trophy. Any underwater photographer who has not previously won a place in a national or international competition is eligible to enter.

Each submits a portfolio of six slides taken anywhere in the world to be judged at BSoUP's November Meeting by the audience present. A record number of entries were received this year and each of the 40 portfolios was projected in turn using six projectors on an especially large screen. The 70 strong audience had a difficult task choosing between a very impressive selection but finally awarded a total of 28 points to MIKE CATTERMOLE of Eastleigh, Hants, putting him in third place. His portfolio comprised a Lion Fish, a Clown Fish, an Angel Fish, two Butterfly Fish, a poisonous Sea Urchin and a close-up of a Butterfly Fish, all shot in the Red Sea.

Runner-up, with 46 points was BOB SOAMES of Harrow, Middx. Bob, who has been diving since 1981, took up underwater photography in 1984, although he has only taken it seriously for the last two years. His portfolio ranged from a dramatic wreck shot off Rathlin Is., to a Puffer Fish in the Red Sea and a Lizard Fish, a Fan Coral, a Xmas Tree worm and a diver silhouette taken off Palawan in the Phillipines. Using a Pentax LX with a 50mm macro lens or 17mm wide-angle lens in an Ikelite housing with an Ikelite strobe, Bob shoots a variety of film stocks from Agfachrome to Kodachrome.

This year's winner of the Diver Trophy and a cheque for £50, kindly donated by Bernard Eaton, was JOHN LEE from Ashburton, Devon. His portfolio was awarded a total of 78 points, making it an outright winner. John has been diving for two and half years and taking photos for two years. He used to live and work in Cairo, Egypt joining Cairo Divers to dive in the Red Sea, where he shot his six slides, the majority in the last year. These included a Spanish Dancer, a Clown Fish in an anemone, a Humphead Wrasse, a Seaslug, a White tip Reef Shark and a close-up of a Feather star. John used a Nikonos V and a secondhand Sunpak Marine 32 strobe for his winning shots which are on a mixture of Kodachrome 64
and Fuji 50.

Unfortunately John was not present at the meeting, but the Diver Trophy and cheque were carried back to Devon that night and presented to him next day by a likely lad up for the evening!

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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