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Beginners Portfolio Competition 1995

Winner - Malcolm Hey

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 56 (January 1996)

The annual competition for the Best Beginners Portfolio for the DIVER Trophy was staged at the November meeting of the Society. Entry to the competition, is restricted. Any British underwater photographer who has never won a first, second or third place in a National or International underwater photographic competition is eligible to compete. Moreover, all except winners of previous Beginners Portfolio competitions may also enter.

This year there were 28 portfolios entered and a glorious presentation they made. Each portfolio was projected onto a large screen using six projectors. The audience present were invited to vote on their favourite three portfolios in order of preference. All portfolios were projected three times.


Fourth place this year went to Hilary Driscoll from Radlett, Herts, who scored 27 points. Hilary is a BS-AC Advanced Instructor and a member of the Potters Bar branch of the BSAC. She has been diving since 1980 and started taking snaps using a Nikonos on club holidays in 1984. In 1988 she purchased a Sea and Sea wide-angle lens and went to the Red Sea. Hilary began taking underwater photographs 'seriously two to three years ago' and has visited the Red Sea, Belize, the Maldives and Eilat, taking part in Martin Edge's 1994 underwater photography courses in Eilat in 1994 and Sipadan this year.

Hilary Driscoll

Hilary's portfolio comprised a macro photograph of yellow sunset corals taken in Eilat using a Nikonos with 1: 1 extension tubes ; a wide-angle shot of a diver with a torch gazing at brilliant red soft coral taken at Moses Rock taken with a 14mm lens; a close-up of an anemone fish;
a macro shot of a hawk fish in a sea fan taken in Sipadan with 60mm lens on a Nikon 801S in a Subal housing and the SB25 in a Cullimore housing ; and a close-up shot shoal of fish taken at Moses Rock and a macro shot of a nudibranch in Sipadan using the same system.


Third place with 32 points went to Brendan O'Brien from Warrington in Cheshire. Brendan has been diving since he was 15 years old. After leaving University he lived in Bermuda. He has been taking photographs for the last four years, having been hooked on underwater photography after completing a Nikonos/NAUI basic course in Bermuda. Brendan's portfolio comprised a wide-angle shot of a diver over yellow sponges taken in Cayman Brac; a macro shot of a scrolled cow fish eye taken in Bermuda; a wide-angle shot of a diver descending from a boat anchored over yellow sponges in Cayman Brac; a silhouette of an angel fish under a wreck in Grand Cayman; a close-up shot of a squid taken in Grand Cayman; and a macro shot of an anemone shrimp taken in Bermuda. All of Brendan's photographs were taken with a Nikonos V camera using a 15 mm or 28 mm lens for wide-angle shots, a Nikonos Close-up kit for close-ups and Nikonos extension tubes for his macro shot.

Brendan O'Brien

Brendan O'Brien Brendan O'Brien


Second place with 38 points went to Bob Allen from Welwyn Garden City, Herts. Bob has been diving since 1969 and is currently Chairman of Stevenage SAA, a post he has held for 12 years. He has been taking photographs for about 10 years.

Bob's portfolio comprised wreck of a tug at Abu Geloa Kabi in the southern Red Sea; a wide-angle shot of his wife Denise, also a keen underwater photographer, holding a torch, a wide-angle shot through the surface of the anchored boat 'Stressbreaker' at sunset at Shab Ali, Hurghada; a close-up of a bat fish taken at Zarghabad, southern Red Sea; a macro shot of a brittle star on a white soft coral taken at Sha Ali, Hurghada; a natural light wide-angle shot of an unknown wreck at Little Gubal, Hurghada; and a wide-angle shot of red gorgonian sea fan taken at Pinnacle Rock, Shad Abu Nuhas, Hurghada. All of Bob's photographs were taken on Fuji Provia with a Nikon F801S in a Subal housing using a manual fish-eye and 20 mm AF lens for wide-angle shots and a 60mm AF macro lens for close-ups.

Bob Allen Bob Allen Bob Allen

Bob Allen

Bob Allen Bob Allen


This year's winner with 79 points was Malcolm Hey from Romsey in Hants. Malcolm 'is a diver turned photographer, currently a member of Bedford Scuba Divers. Malcolm has been diving for fifteen years and is a BSAC First Class Diver, Advanced Instructor and former BSAC Area Coach'. Having qualified his interests turned predominately to underwater photography. He 'played around with an Olympus trip in a Birchley housing during 1987 and 1988 with appalling results' and then bought a Nikonos V system and a Morris F3 Aquaflash in 1988. He 'used the system on occasional dives but was disappointed to find that the new system didn't do much to improve his photography'.

Keen to learn Malcolm 'went on a photographic course with Martin Edge in August 1990 on the MV Maureen out of Salcombe. Since then he has been on numerous courses lead by Martin in Poole, Bournemouth and many of Martin's Red Sea holiday/expeditions'.

He travels a good deal and over the last few years has 'dived/photographed in Canada, the Maldives, Red Sea, Philippines, Sipadan, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and various other Caribbean locations'. Last year he bought a Nikon F801 in a Subal housing and entered the Beginners Portfolio competition for the first time. He was just pipped at the post, finishing a very close second.

Malcolm's portfolio comprised a balanced light shot of a red soft coral taken on Fuji Velvia in Sipadan; a macro shot of a clam taken on Kodak Elite in the Gulf of Suez; a diver with a torch on a reef wall also taken on Kodak Elite at Jackson Reef, Gulf of Aqaba; a macro shot of a long-nosed hawk fish taken on Fuji Velvia in Sipadan; a close-up of a clown fish in an anemone taken on Kodak Elite at Anemone City, Ras Mohammed, Gulf of Aqaba; and a turtle taken in Sipadan. All of Malcolm's photographs were taken using a Nikon F801 in a Subal housing and a Nikon SB24 in a Cullimore housing.

Malcolm won the DIVER Trophy and a cash prize of £100 kindly donated by Bernard Eaton, editor of DIVER magazine.

Malcolm Hey

Malcolm Hey

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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