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BSoUP Meeting - May 2001

by Andy Clark

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Changes to the publicised evening with Len beeley (apologising beforehand for any similarity to his presentation in September - none needed) standing in for Ken Sullivan and beginning with an encouraging announcement that 'there is no fundamental difference between UK photography and that overseas. It's just colder!' Turbid waters and low viz are present the world over - advice; use wide-angle, get close and do all you can to minimise back scatter. Isolate the light onto your subject; use a snoot. Cut down 'hunting' by using an aiming light/spotting torch and remember to keep your strobe as far away form the focal point as possible.

And so unfolded a repetition of Septembers meeting (only joking), enhanced by images to inspire us all to spend a little more time in UK waters. Encouragement to experiment - switch to manual once in a while, have a go with black and white (400), get that tripod out and use the conditions for effect. Use filters; magenta for natural light, and get that orange filter over your slave for colour enhancement.

An array of kit and worldly advice and Len made good use of it all. 16mm, 20mm and 60mm, single and double strobe, housed and amphibious, all aids in this passionate delivery. But whatever your choice and where ever you dive, Len offered his best advice in the form of an acronym - K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid!

Colin Doeg offered his acclaim for Len's arrangernent; 'A delight to see someone experimenting!'


Anyone interested in a swimming pool competition should see Pete Tatton. Plans are afoot to run some sort of competition over the winter months with talks and presentations on technique and equipment. The competition should offer 'a different sort of challenge to encourage enthusiasm and stimulation'. Watch this space.

Bovisand is now in the hands of receivers, but we are assured that the Splash In will not be affected.


The popular theme of macro attracted 34 entries in the Focus On competition, with the many images displaying vibrancy and contrast, subtly and texture. In 4 th place with 22 points - Jeremy Harris. In joint 2 nd place with 27 points - Ewan Shearer - exhibiting a subtle and warm hawk fish on soft coral, and - Leslie Maw - with her punchy little Town Pier shrimp shot. And in first place with an admirable 42 points - Ewan Shearer again with his striking ghost fish shot against a brilliant blue background. Ewan used front curtain sync with a long exposure on one strobe.



In keeping with Len Deeley's acronym, Alex Misiewicz presented a modest, inspirational, celebration of the Red Sea. His images captured on a Nik V, favourably in natural light and usually with 15mm or 20mm, Alex painted a picture of glorious determined passion for the inhabitants of this sea of opportunity.

He captured crashing, turbulent waves and offered them to the intent audience as underwater storm clouds. Unpredictable power often pounding down him and on his own admission, 'a little too close for comfort' but as the images showed, worth the risk, a laudable display of creativity.

An avid fan of Velvia and Provia, Alex racked off image after image - perfect reflections, sunbursts in caves, bubbles and light - all manual exposure, f5.6 or f8, testimony of trial and error, sheer astounding glory. An extended portfolio of divers entering the water from liveaboards, soft corals and diver silhouettes, fish in shoals and patterns. The Mexican batfish, the bump head parrot fish 'the ugliest fish in the world'), and a parrotf ish so relaxed (sleeping on it's side), Alex was sure it was'really sick', but worth shooting anyway! But, he adds,some of the images were pure luck, opportunities too good to miss - schooling giant squirrel fish, a particularly proud grouper intent on being photographed with it's fresh octopus catch, and an unusually large school of hammerheads captured while out diving with friends, ghostly figures amidst the blue. Wrecksandrays, diversity abound captured with panache. And as the sun set (f inal slide) on this wonderful delivery, two things cam to my mind, dive the Red Sea and always, always have a camera with youfl A celebration indeed.


Reproduced from in focus 71 (June 2001)

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