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BSoUP Meeting - February 2016

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Simon Rogerson
Simon Rogerson

BSoUP February Meeting

The next BSoUP meeting takes place on Tuesday 16 February at 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. in Meeting Room 3, Union Building, Beit Quadrangle, Imperial College, South Kensington, London SW7. Entrance via Prince Consort Road (Directions). New and prospective new members will be welcomed from 7.30 p.m. See Welcome.

Simon Rogerson:  Repeating the competition we began last year, Photo Story – what the editor wants!  Every month, Simon makes decisions on about 30 articles of differing lengths and styles that will eventually fill the pages of SCUBA magazine, many of which are photo stories. All the time he is editing these stories, he is making commissions for future issues, assessing proposals and advising contributors. So, what makes a good photo story and how does he choose them? What does he look for in a series of images to impress his readers and what common mistakes does he see when images are presented to him? Simon will explain how he makes his decisions, and will then go on to present the winning entries (and those which didn’t quite make it) in the Photo Story competition and tell us why he chose them.

Simon is the editor of SCUBA magazine, having previously edited DIVE and been named Editor of the Year in the 2005 PPA Awards. He is first and foremost a writer, but took up underwater photography because he found it a challenging way of recording his dives. Besides SCUBA, he writes regularly on diving and natural history for the Sunday Times, Esquire, Food & Travel, BBC Wildlife, the Independent, the Telegraph and GQ. Simon was co-author, with John McIntyre, of a guidebook, 'Dive Red Sea'. 
Theme Portfolio - Photo Story
The competition is now closed. BSoUP Members may view the 11 entries in the Competition Slideshow.  You will be asked to log in if you have not done so this session. The competition has been judged by Simon Rogerson.  At the meeting all of the entries will be shown and Simon will present his winners with some feedback about how he chose them.

Photo Story Slideshow
Photo Story Slideshow

Mark Drayton
Open Portfolio 2014 by Mark Drayton

Marj Drayton
Theme Portfolio 2014 by Mark Drayton

Mark Drayton: Underwater Photography the Ansell Adams Way - Creative Eyes and the Electronic Image.
I have taken my inspiration from one of the photographic heroes of my youth; Adams died in 1984 leaving a pile of motivational quotes and many thousands of creative images and negatives. One of the prescient quotations made towards the end of his life in the early 80’s was “I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop.” 
I thought it would be fun to look at Adams’ photographic philosophy and techniques and output from the 20’s to the 80’s and consider how his image-making might have been transposed into the underwater world and the era of Lightroom and Photoshop. So it will be a mixture of philosophical and digital post-processing creative technique. There might be a drop of controversy by asking when image manipulation goes too far, and stirring up the ages old debate as to whether, as photographers, we are artists (of course most of us are!) and the differences between recording and interpreting life in images.
Mark, a retired Consultant Paediatrician, lives in Cardiff yet rarely misses a BSoUP meeting.  Given that he has only completed around 500 dives, his success rate at competitions is impressive. (He won BSoUP’s Beginners Portfolio competition in 2013 and the Open Portfolio in 2014, and has placed in a number of monthly competitions.) In 1979 he was working in Australia and stuck a Canon AE-1 35mm SLR in an Ewa-Marine flexible camera bag for a few days snorkelling off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. He knew nothing about underwater photography and had no external light source but he still has several boxes of blurry blue colour slides as a result!

His next opportunity was 27 years later in 2006.  He decided to take a family holiday in Australia and he and his son Andrew set about learning to dive in the cold and murky waters at Chepstow. His camera was a tiny 7.1 mega-pixel Nikon Coolpix 7900 housed in an Ikelite box. From there it was a Canon G9, then his first DSLR, a Nikon D80, still with an Ikelite housing and with a single do-it-all Sigma 17-70 macro lens. The final equipment step change came with the purchase of a Nikon D7000 (now a D7100), more lenses, and a Nauticam housing with all the ergonomic advantages that brings.

Photo Story Results

Congratulations to Mikko Voipio who was the winner of this month's Theme Portfolio Competition - Photo Story. Mikko's portfolio 'Sail or Steam' features a dive on the SS Harald Haarfager in the cold and deep, dark waters of Parainen, Finland. Images were taken with a Canon EOS 6D.

Congratulations also to Paul Colley and Neil Rosewarn who came second and third respectively. Paul's portfolio entitled 'Bridges over troubled waters' highlights the plight of England's urban chalk streams. Images were taken with a Nikon D4 or Olympus ZX2. Neil's portfolio entitled the 'Dolphin Dance project'. Further details unknown.

Only 11 portofolios were submitted and these were judged by Simon Rogerson.

Mikko Voipio
Paul Colley

Simon was unable to attend the meeting, so Paul Colley presented the results and feedback on Simon's behalf.

The top six:-

Position Photographer
1 Mikko Voipio
2 Paul Colley
3 Neil Rosewarn
4 Mark Drayton
5 Lucy Ray
6 Jason Melton

The top six may be viewed on the Home Page and in the Gallery.

BSoUP Members only may view all the entries enlarged in the Competition Slideshow Archive. BSoUP Members may also read a summary of Mark's feedback for more details. You will be prompted to login if you have not already done so this session.

Next month's competition is the Focus ON - Natural Light. The competition is now open. Please note this competition is open to BSoUP members only. Submit your two images as sRGB jpgs at a max. 1400 pixels wide, 1050 pixels high at 72 pixels/inch. Please read the Rules before entering.

Neil Rosewarn
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