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DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excellence

Beginners Portfolio Competition 1990

Winner - Dave Meates

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 39 (December 1990)

The DIVER Trophy and a cash prize of E50, donated by Bernard Eaton editor of Diver magazine, plus a week's holiday for two in Gozo, donated by Transair, were the prizes offered for the best portfolio of six slides taken underwater anywhere in the world by any photographer who had not previously won a place in a national or international event.

The competition, organised by the British Society of Underwater Photographers, attracted a record number of 69 portfolios. These were projected at the November meeting of the Society using six projectors and the audience present invited to vote for their favourites. The resulting fantastic slide show was a testament to the undiminished enthusiasm and ability of British underwater photographers, and most beginners can be justly proud of their achievements. The high standard of many of the entries left many of the non-beginners wondering how they might have fared.

BOB SOAMES from Essex took joint second place with Nigel Hancock. Bob's portfolio included a red crab portrait, an angel fish portrait, a flamingo tongue on a fan coral, a soft coral and diver silhouette, and two double compositions - one combining a xmas-tree worm and manta ray and the other combining a jack and yellow coral.

NIGEL HANCOCK, a student of Plymouth College of Art, included a shoal of tuna, a diver amongst coral, a seaslug, a seascape, soft coral and sweepers in his portfolio. Nigel took all his shots on a trip to the Gulf of Eilat earlier this year using Nikonos III, IV and V cameras with 35 mm and 20mm lenses, 1:2 extension tubes and Ikelite MS and 150 flashguns with Fujichrome film.

The winner, with an overwhelming lead, was DAVE MEATES from London. Dave's portfolio included a potato cod with a diver on the Great Barrier Reef, a seaslug in Byron Bay, New South Wales, an anemone with clown fish on the Great Barrier Reef, a fish swimming over a backlit seafan in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, and two double compositions - one with xmas-tree worms and a diver silhouette taken on the Great Barrier Reef and the other a cuttlefish in Malaysia.

Dave has been taking underwater photographs for just over 2 years. He started using a Hanimax amphibious camera on a trip to the Red Sea in July 1988, but progressed to a Nikonos V, which he still uses for macro photography. He currently uses a Canon in a Subal housing with either an Oceanic 2003 or Ikelite MS flashguns and a slave. His winning pictures were taken on a trip starting in Thailand on through Malaysia to Australia.

Dave was presented with the DIVER trophy and hopes to take his holiday in Gozo next November in order to compete in the Royal Blue Dolphin Underwater Photographic Competition.

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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