The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
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CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography 1995

by Colin Doeg

Reproduced from in focus 59 (February 1997)

Neither wind, swells nor poor visibility daunted Mark Webster and Les Kemp when they competed against the representatives of 34 nations at the CMAS biennial world underwater photographic championships.

They won one category and took three medals in overall team and individual rankings

The pair were assisted in part by both BSoUP and the British Sub-Aqua Club. They were also helped by AP Valves, Hydrotech and Crystal Seas Scuba.

Winning slide in the Creative category by Les Kemp.

Weather

The competition was staged in Minorca and bad weather lashed the Mediterranean island for most of the contest. Competitors had to shoot portfolio's in three categories ? wide-angle, macro and creative. Remarked Mark afterwards:' Conditions were more like a good day at the BSoUP 'Splash-in'at Bovisand.'

In the course of three days the pair used a variety of props and jigs to shoot some of their pictures. For others their wives, Susanna and Diane, donned dazzling pink, red and yellow suits to be their underwater models.

Secrets

At a recent BSoUP monthly meeting, Mark and Les spoke about the competition and how they prepared for it.

Les described how he and his wife rehearsed his creative shot of a mermaid and a sea shell many times in a swimming pool to ensure they got the final result right.

Positioning

It involved devising a jig to hold the shell in such a position in the foreground that his wife appeared to be part of it - thanks to careffil positioning and a black suit so that her legs were invisible against a black background.

Results

Individual results:

Gold medal - World champion 1996, Carlos Minguell, Spain.

Silver medal - Sethmo Cipriani, Italy.

Bronze medal - Mark Webster, Great Britain.

Team rankings:

Gold medal - Italy (Settimo Cipriani and Andrea Guillianini)

Silver medal - Great Britain (Mark Webster and Les Kemp)

Bronze medal - Spain (Carlos Minguell and Carlos Virgili).

British placings

Creative

1. Les Kemp

6. Mark Webster

Macro

2. Mark Webster

Wide-angle

5. Mark Webster.


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