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BSoUP's Best of British Competition 1996

Winner - Dave Meates

by Colin Doeg

Reproduced from in focus 59 (February 1997)

A Dorset man, Dave Meates took five of the shots in his portfolio in the Swanage area and the sixth off Cornwall. But he has dived in many parts of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Mexico and Malta.

Dave, who is 40, started diving in 1984 and is a PADI rescue diver. He took up underwater photography four years later, in 1988, and now has two underwater outfits.


He has a Nikonos V with l5mm Sea and Sea lens plus extension tubes. At the same time, he has a housed camera - a Canon F1 in an Aquatica housing with lenses ranging from a 15 mm full-frame fish-eye and l7mm optic to 50 and 100mm macro lenses.

A compass jellyfish taken off Cornwall. A Black and White copy of one of Dave's six winning portfolio slides

With them he uses a selection of strobes - an Oceanic 2003 for its colour balance and power, two Ikelite Ai's partly because of the attraction of their built-in modelling lights and a brace of Ikelite NIS flashguns for macro work.


Said Dave:' I like to know what is happening. That's why I prefer manual cameras.
'The Canon is reliable. The housing has flooded twice yet I have still been able to continue using the camera after I have dried it out. The Canon just seems to keep going.

I bought the F1 because I wanted the facility of the action finder. Previously I had a Canon T70 in a Subal housing but 1 got fed-up with the camera's small viewfinder. All my equipment is manual, but once you get used to that getting the settings right can be pretty easy.

I like to know what I am doing. If you use a fully automatic system in effect all you do is press the shutter release.'


His favourite subjects are cuttlefish and nudibranches. His favourite British dive sites are in the Swanage area 'some, great shots have come out of the Pier'.

Dave also favours Tioman Island, off Malaysia. 'I like to go to places I know and there is enough there to keep you going for a couple of months, especially as I can dive from the shore. Wreck diving no longer holds the appeal it once did for him.











Dave Meates

Warren Williams

Charles Hood

Best of British Portfolio Winners

2018 Kirsty Andrews

2017 Trevor Rees

2016 Kirsty Andrews

2015 Trevor Rees

2014 Robert Bailey

2013 Trevor Rees

2012 Jane Morgan

2011 Trevor Rees

2010 Eleonora Manca

2009 Trevor Rees

2008 Trevor Rees

2007 Trevor Rees

2006 Arthur Kingdon

2005= Alex Mustard

2005= Sam Bean

2004 Martha Tressler

2003 Anita Marshall

2002 Cathy Lewis

2001 Linda Pitkin

2000 Warren Williams

1999 Peter Ladell

1998 Linda Dunk

1997 Charles Hood

1996 Dave Meates

1995 Warren Williams

1994 Peter Rowlands

1993 Peter Ladell

1992 Charles Hood

1991 Andy Purcell

1990 Warren Williams

1989 John Lee

1988 Warren Williams

1987 Martin Edge

1986 Peter Hewitt

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