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BSoUP's Best of British Portfolio Competition 2006

Winner - Arthur Kingdon

Cuttlefish by Arthur kingdon Seal by Arthir Kingdon Compass jellyfish by Arthur Kingdon
     
Diver by Arthur kingdon Tompot blenny by Arthur Kingdon Wolf fish by Arthur Kingdon

©Arthur Kingdon


My portfolio

Arthur Kingdon

I started diving way back in 1968 and, being a keen land photographer, it was not long before I had an underwater camera. A Nikonos 11, costing £75 second hand (a month’s wages then), complete with standard lens and no flash, lasted for about four rolls of film before it was damaged beyond repair – one of the ‘helpful’ shore party at a Kimmeridge Bay dive, used it to break his fall on the rocks. My results had not impressed me anyway and I had no spare cash, so that was the end of my underwater photography.  So, for the next thirty years, it was lump hammer and crow bar, which fitted in much better with the other members of my dive club.

A trip to Newfoundland in 1999, and a close encounter with a humpback whale, convinced me that I needed to get another underwater camera – also, I was getting bored with being a wreckie. A Nikonos IVa with SB 101 came my way and back I went to Newfoundland the following year. Of course, the humpback whales now kept their distance but I was sufficiently encouraged by the results to purchase a 20mm lens. The Nik IVa was replaced by a Nikon F4 in an Aquatica housing (loved it apart from the size) and that was followed by a D100 in an Aquatica housing (still a big lump) - my enthusiasm for diving and u/w photography had increased considerably.

I joined the Bristol Underwater Photography Group www.bupg.co.uk in 2003 and that was when my results started to improve. With lots of experience amongst the members, Alan James in particular, I was able to learn from them and started to produce images that were a bit more than just a record shot. However, I feel I still have a long way to go and would love to have the creativity and flair of photographers such as Alex Mustard.

I am keener than ever to get underwater and now do several overseas trips each year. However, when I look back over the past few years, my favourite images have often come from diving in British waters; usually the product of just a day trip to the south coast or a few days in St Abbs.

Although I have been pleased with some of my British images, I do not have an extensive portfolio so sorting out six for this competition was not that difficult. However, I was very lucky with how they went together and it was all done in an hour or so. I feel a portfolio should show a variety of techniques from macro to wide angle, available light and flash illumination, as well as a variety of subjects. I reversed a couple of shots to balance the portfolio as far as diagonals and composition were concerned but that was about it. This was the first BSoUP competition I have entered and I am very encouraged by the result.

Image details from top left, clockwise:

Cuttlefish 1. Cuttlefish - Nikon D100. 16mm fisheye, 1/60 th f11. Twin Sea and Sea YS90 strobes. This was taken at Babbacombe in May 2004 when there were more cuttlefish around than you see nowadays (since the pots are now being deployed during the breeding season). I like the posture and colours displayed by the male whilst protecting his mate.
Seal
2. Seal - Nikon F4. 20mm Nikkor. Available light. This playful seal pup was the highlight of a dive off Lundy in 2003. The fins were brand new and perhaps she took a fancy to them. I had a sequence of images of the encounter but preferred this one for the portfolio as the seal posture, and the surface reflection, suited the top centre position in the portfolio.
Jellyfish 3. Compass Jellyfish - Nikon D100, 12 – 24mm Nikkor, 1/1000th f8, available light. A trip to Lundy in August 2006 found poor viz and not much by way of contact with the seals. However, on the way back to the boat, there were several jellyfish and I took a variety of shots. This one fitted the portfolio after reversing the image. I liked the shape of the tentacles, the juvenile fish hiding within, and the sun rays in the water.
Wof lfish 4. Wolf Fish - Nikon D100, 60mm Nikkor, 1/60 th  f16, twin Sea and Sea YS90 strobes. This pair was found at St Abbs the day after this year’s Splash In and is probably the same pair that featured in the winning digital image. A single wolf fish is always a good photo subject but to find two together is a real bonus – my thanks to Chris Lewis the spotter. I felt it was a strong image that would project well and the diagonal composition suited the portfolio.
Tompot Blenny
5. Tompot Blenny – Nikon D100, 60mm Nikkor, /30th f16, twin Sea and Sea YS90 strobes. It would be difficult not to include a tompot in a British portfolio as they are such photogenic creatures and they suit the brief showing that the competition allows. This one was under Swanage Pier and was using a discarded scaffold tube as his home. Like most of us, I have several images of tompots but I selected this image as it suited the central position in the portfolio.
Diver with plumose and brittlestars 6. Diver with Plumose and Brittlestars – D100, 16mm fisheye, 1/30 th f8, twin Sea and Sea YS90 strobes. This was my most difficult choice but I was keen to include a diver in the portfolio. A shot from St Abbs this year, well posed by my dive buddy Bob Anthony, fitted the bill as far as complementing the overall layout was concerned. I initially placed it on the top row but felt it was more balanced as you see it here.

Results 2006
1st - 92 Pts - Arthur Kingdon
2nd - 32 Pts - JP Trenque
3rd - 30 Pts - Len Deeley
4th - 25 Pts - Charles Erb
5th - 24 Pts - Trevor Rees
6th - 23 Pts - Anthony Holley

Best of British Portfolio Winners

2016

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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