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BSoUP Meeting - March 2004

by Andy Clark

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Reproduced from in focus 78 (Spring 2004)

Part 1 - Photographs by Mike Portelly

Between 1976 and 1980, Michael was hooked on photography but knew little about it. He recalls 'grilling Colin Doeg and Peter Scoones', and 'pestering Steve Greenaway' in a bid 'to find out what photography was about!' He remembers being sat in the BSoUP audience mouth open in awe of what he was viewing. Not swayed by his ignorance, Michael invested in a Hassleblad and set about his edification. 'BSoUP was an exciting place to be - a place of discovery', he claims.

Michael's advice to underwater photographers these days:

Experiment and be willing to make mistakes - what you glean from mistakes is the measure of your learning.
Even if you don't know how to do something, don't be put off trying.
Don't feel the need to conform. Break away from cliches, toss aside predictability and be an individual - 'if you feel it, do it!'
If you use models, choose well and appreciate what you're asking them to do.
More important than any of these points, however, is to illustrate environmental issues. 'Tell the world about our abuse', and 'illustrate what impact we're having on the underwater world!'

Michael also said he was excited about revolutionary new printing technology that'makes it possible to produce colour prints unsurpassed for resolution and intensity of colour'. Used in combination - computer colour grading and 'Giclee' inkjet printing technology 'specially pigmented inks will remain bright for generations!' Indeed, an expected life of 200 years with the guarantee of 75 years! The images he showed us were brilliant in their testimony to such a procedure.
See for yourself on his new website

Focus On - Theme portfolio

The annual Theme Portfolio Competition attracted 14 entries. 84 carefully shot images all jostled and arranged into eyecatching sets of six, each with fitting titles.

Jamie Craggs achieved 3rd place with 40 points awarded for his portfolio 'Shoals'. In 2nd place with 42 points -Pedro Vieyra - with his 'Pelagics' entry of grey reef shark, spinner dolphins, silvertip reef shark, juvenile humpback and silvertip. But the winner and proud owner of the BSoUP Theme Portfolio Trophy 2004 with 54 points was Jane Morgan, with a pretty spectacular six titled 'Dressed Crab': Porcelain crab from Wakatobi, orang-utan crab from Sipadan, porcelain crab from Mabul, Xeno crab from Wakatobi, porcelain crab and zebra crab from Komodo.


Part 2 - The Ocean's baughter by Mike Portelly

In 1980, Mike Portelly made a film exploring new underwater photographic and diving technology. 'I felt honour bound to make a film with a strong environmental/spiritual message', he says. 'The ocean has always commanded a certain awe and reverence as the place where all life on earth began. In the ancient world it was seen as the mother of life, and there is nothing that walks, crawls, swims, or flies that does not have water f lowing through its veins!'

So why aren't we doing more? There are many reasons why we slip beneath the surface, there will soon be many more why we choose not to.

The Ocean's Daughter is 'dedicated to the children of the future in the hope that sanity will prevail'. It's up to all of us to ensure that we leave them something more than dire bewilderment, isn't it?

Reproduced from in focus 78 (Spring 2004)

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