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BSoUP Beginners Portfolio Competition 2009

For the DIVER Trophy

Winner - Daniel Norwood

David Henshaw - Beginners Portfolio - Winner
Beginners Portfolio Competition 2009 - Winner © Daniel Norwood

The BSoUP Beginners Portfolio Competition is an annual event open to all photographers who have not won first, second or third place in a national of international competition. Entrants are invited to submit a portfolio of six images arranged in two rows of three on a black background to compete for the prestigious DIEVR Trophy and a cash prize donated by DIVER Magazine. Submitted portfolios are judged at the November meeting of BSoUP, the largest underwater photographic society in Britain.

This year 28 portfolios were submitted and Daniel Norwood was overwhelmingly voted as the winner. He is 'very excited to have won'.

Daniel Norwood, aged 31, lives in Gravesend in Kent, UK. He runs a small interior fit-out business and when he is in the UK he basically works, plays lots of tennis and golf and saves cash so that he can travel and dive!

Daniel's winning portfolio included images of a seahorse, turtle, frog fish, whaleshark, female ribbon eel and a giant barracuda. All except the ribbon eel and the whaleshark were taken in Bali. The ribbon eel was taken in Sipadan, Indonesia and the whaleshark at Ningaloo reef, Australia.

Daniel has only been diving for 3 years and taking photographs seriously for around 1 year. His current camera set up is a Fuji FD50 compact camera and housing with Inon macro and fish-eye wet lenses and a Sea and Sea YS-100a strobe. He also own a Nikon D90 and hopefully before my next trip will buy a housing for this camera - maybe an Aquatica or Nauticam.

Said Daniel 'I originally purchased the set up because I went on a trip in Australia to dive with Great White Sharks and wanted to capture the experience, and things have progressed rapidly from there'.

'I have been traveling a lot in the last few years and have been lucky to visit some fantastic dive destinations. I have dived the East and West coast of Australia including Ningaloo reef and most of the popular sites in Thailand including a liveaboard to Similan Islands. More recently I spent around 3 months in Indonesia where I dived extensively in Bali and also went on an 8 day liveaboard run by friends to Komodo, and also Borneo where I dived in Mabul and Sipadan! I had an amazing time in all of these destinations and managed to capture a large variety of different images. It would be a very difficult task to pick a favourite site as I had so many different and amazing dives but for variety of fish and photographic opportunities. I would say that the place I enjoyed most was The Liberty Wreck at Tulamben in Bali.and its surrounding dives are amazing spots for photography as there are so many different species from Pygmy seahorses to Mola Mola (I was lucky to see one while diving the wreck at 6am) I will definitely return to dive,surf and chill out! Diving and coming face to face with Great White Sharks would also rate as one of my most memorable experiences and I will hopefully return to do this again one day with Andrew Fox and his crew in Australia'.

'I returned to the UK in September this year and after organising all of my photographs I started to enter a few competitions in dive magazines and online. After some positive feedback I decided to put together a portfolio for the BSoUP Beginners Portfolio. I knew I would be up against some excellent photographers and so was amazed when I found out that I had won! I feel very proud to have won this competition and hope that I can continue to learn and take many more photographs in the future. Next year I plan to return to dive in Australia and Indonesia and would also love to go to the Maldives and dive with the mantas in Baa Atoll where I will hopefully take many more photographs and continue to progress as an underwater photographer.'

The images

1. Painted frogfish taken in Gili Trawangan, Lombok. I found this bright red frogfish and spent a few dives shooting him from all angles! I love how the bright red stands out from the blue background.

2. Giant Baracuda at the Liberty Shipwreck, Bali. This resident was very approachable and probably has had his photo taken many times before. I managed to find him quite deep and used my strobe to highlight his face against the dark blue water.

3. Female ribbon Eel at Coral Garden, Bali. I decided to highlight the head of this yellow eel with my strobe and frame her against a nice dark background so that she would really stand out.

4. Seahorse at Seraya secrets, Bali. It took a few repeat dives to find this lovely seahorse in a position where I could use the bright orange colour against the blue water as I wished.

5. Green Turtle in Sipadan, Borneo. I had the idea to get a nice silhouette shot and dropped back from the group to have the best chance. Luckily it was a nice clear day and there were plenty of turtles!

6.Whale Shark in Ningaloo Reef, Australia. I wanted to get a shot of the shark face on rather than chasing it and after second guessing its direction managed to get in front and wait for it to approach. I like the diver also which gives the shark a sense of perspective.

When compiling my images I tried to show a range of different subjects, lenses and techniques. I instantly liked how the red,orange and yellow colours worked together in the close up shots and also the symmetry of the whale shark and the baracuda with the silhouette in the middle, all with nice different blue backgrounds. I believe that it was the arrangement of the shots that won me the competition and I am very happy to have won!

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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