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BSoUP Meeting - September 2004

by Andy Clark

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Reproduced from in focus 80 (Winter 2004)

Focus On - The World In Our Hands

There has long been something missing f rom our devoted efforts in depicting the underwater world. Painting a picture of this much loved underwater realm as we do is not wrong, it merely is not painting the whole picture. We are all eager to show images of beautiful corals and awesome marine life, but don't we also have a duty to publicise the impact we have on the world beneath the waves?

None of us are ignorant to the destruction caused to our rain forests, why should the oceans be any different. Ignorance is not bliss. It is an acceptance of a wrong doing for those who choose not to intervene. BSoUP is a much respected organisation with a good deal of influence. Let's be the first to encourage other organisations to show it how it really is. Let's be the first to try and make the dif ference the oceans need.

In 3rd place -with 28 points -Jane Morgan with her image of discarded and submerged fishing nets snagged on rocks in Gozo. Chris McTernan took 2nd place -also with 28 points - with a nicely composed shot of a battery with poison sticker laying among brittle stars. And bounding ahead - with a massive 74 points - Chris McTernan took first place with a striking shot of a solitary fish trapped in netting.

Congratulations, and thank you!

Main Event - Nudibranch Passion - Anthony Holley

Anthony has worked long and hard to further his knowledge and understanding of the nudibranch, and his tenacity and devotion has made him a respected authority. But you don't get that acclaim over night. Anthony explained how it all started in 1984 when a dive buddy pointed out a 'blob on the wall'. What the hell was it? After composing his first nudibranch (naked gills) shot, Anthony was swept into the micro world of these fascinating creatures. Indeed not only has he travelled to virtually every corner of the globe in search, devoted his photographic prowess to recording species and behaviour, Anthony has actively taken part in the discovery and identification of numerous species previously undiscovered. But identification is not as easy as one might expect. 'To truly classify a species, you have to collect, dissect and analyse the teeth!' Nudibranch have teeth? Yes, called radula. In addition, consideration and comparison is made with the creatures' swirls and f rills and colouring and rhinophores and gills, and when you have catalogued that you'll be nearer a true identity or a new discovery. It's true the variety of nudibranchs is incredible. Don't be fooled into thinking that all these animals are tiny, for at 55m Anthony needed both hands to hold the mega nudibranch, a whopper not too dissimilar to the Spanish dancer.

Anthony Holley
Anthony Holley

So now we're all a little the wiser when it comes to nudibranchs, how best do you photograph them? Anthony started with a Nik V and 1:1 close up lens, a winning combination until the unfortunate loss of the kit in a wreck in the South China See. Since the untimely separation, Anthony has invested in a Subal and favours the 105 macro and ring f lash. The results are testimony to the dedication on display here, vibrant and punchy they offer an extended insight into the world of the nudibranch. But equally amazing are the results achieved with Anthony's 'fun, land camera'. A housed digital compact, that offers some absolutely incredible images without flash! Just adjust the white balance by taking your settings at the subject site and 'bingo', amazing images!

If you weren't able to attend Anthony's presentation, have a look at his website ( dedicated, like him, to the nudibranch. It's packed with information and images of these weird and wonderful creatures that verges on scientific paper qualitya credit to devotion.

Anthony has spent over 2600 hours in twenty different countries in pursuit of his quarry. He has nearly 400 images of 186 species, and in twenty years has earnt his authority. See for yourself, you'll not be disappointed!

Reproduced from in focus 80 (Winter 2004)

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