The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
Inspiring and informing underwater photographers since 1967

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Open Portolio Competition
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BSoUP's Sponsors
Hidden Depths

Marine Conservation Society - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2014

in association with
Egyptian Ministry of Tourism

O'Three - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2014

Scimitar Diving - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2014

SCUBA Magazine, Sponsor of the Best of British Portfolio COmpetition 2014

The Wildlife Trusts - Sponsor of the the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition


Swindon BSAC

Federico Cabello. Sponsor of the Open Portfolio 2014

Nauticam UK
AP Valves - Sponsor of British Splash-in Competition

Cameras Underwater - Sponsor of the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition and BIUPC 2015

Winning images by Paul COlley

DiveLife, Manchester, Sponsor of the Open Portfolio Competition 2014

Frogfish Photography

Glass & Water by Mark Harris. Sponsor of BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition 2015

Nudibranchs of the South West

DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excellence

Diver Magazine - Sponsor of the Annual Beginners Portfolio Competition and the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition

Under Water Visions - Sponsor of the Splash-in 2013 and 2014 and BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition 2015

Sea & Sea - Sponsor of the British Underwater Photography Championship 2013

Scuba Travel


News - November 2015

Please send items for the News to Brian Pitkin

October 2015
Coming Soon
News Archive
Printer freindly version

Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition
Website of the Week - Ellen Cuylaerts
BSoUP AGM - 15th December
DEEP Indonesia 2016
Our World Underwater 2016
Beginners Portfolio Competition - Results
BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition - Results
Website of the Week - JA-Universe
PNWDiver - Latest issue
Photo courses, expeditions and workshops
Next BSoUP Meeting
in focus - Latest issue

Website of the Week - Paul Colley
Dive and Travel Grand Cayman
Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016
UwP - Latest issue
NUPG November Meeting
BUPG November Meeting
Website of the Week - Nick Blake
Beginners Portfolio Competition 2015
BSoUP at DIVE 2015
BSoUP on the Web in the past month
Other News Sources
Free Magazine Downloads

Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition
Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition

Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition

NEW Deadline: 11:59PM on November 30, 2015 (California time)

Over $75,000 in prizes! Winners choose their own prizes

The 5th annual Ocean Art underwater photo competition is underway and accepting entries, with over $75,000 in prizes. New for 2015 are three categories for mirrorless cameras as well as a "pool / conceptual" category with no limits on post production.

See the contest details & how to enter

Website of the Week - Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen studied history in Antwerp and got her master in modern history and education and relocated from Belgium to the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman, in 2009. She home schools her 2 gifted teenagers and decided to take up scuba diving in June 2011.  Soon she became a Master Scuba Diver and took up her childhood dream photography and combined it with the wonders of the underwater world.

After diving a few months she signed up for a workshop on the island with renowned underwater photographer and marine biologist Alex Mustard and decided to use the skills she learned to spread the awareness and contribute to the conservation and preservation of the fragile marine environment.

Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts

Her basic concern is the decay of the oceans by pollution, overfishing, the brutal act of shark finning and dolphin and whale slaughtering. By showing to beauty of the underwater world she hopes people will start protecting what they love.

Annual General Meeting
Annual General Meeting

BSoUP AGM - 15th December

The 2015 BSoUP Annual General Meeting will take place at the BSoUP Meeting on 15 December 2015.  Please note that we will be in a different room that night - the Union Bar on the ground floor of the Union Building, next to (walk through) the FiveSixEight bar where we normally buy drinks.

The Agenda and papers are available for BSoUP members only directly from the Members Menu / AGM Documents, after logging in.

DEEP Indonesia 2016

Deadline: February 25th, 2016

The prestigious DEEP Indonesia International Underwater Photo Competition is part of a unique series hosted by DivePhotoGuide & Wetpixel, in association with DEEP Indonesia, Indonesia’s first-ever diving, adventure travel and extreme sports expo.

Photographers will compete in six themed categories to win over $45,000 in prizes, including underwater photo equipment and premium dive travel packages to some of the top photo destinations in the world.

DEEP Indonesia
DEEP Indonesia 2016

The DEEP Indonesia competition is part of a unique series that, together with the Our World Underwater competition, has a prize pool of over $100,000. The prestige of these contests means that winners also achieve the glory of being named some of the world’s best underwater photographers. Esteemed judges this year include professional underwater photographer Aaron Wong, underwater photographer and Webpixel editor Abi Smigel Mullens, professional underwater photographer Daniel Botelho, and DivePhotoGuide editor Joseph Tepper.

Our World Underwater
Our World Underwater 2016

Our World Underwater 2016

Deadline: February 6th, 2016

The Our World Underwater international underwater photography and video competition, now in its 11th year, has become one of the biggest and most respected photography competitions in the world. The competition not only celebrates the beauty of the ocean, but the art of underwater photography as well.

The OWU competition is part of a unique series that, together with the DEEP Indonesia competition, comprises the largest and most prestigous underwater photography competition. Winners also take pride in being named one of the world’s best underwater photographers, and their images will be exposed to millions of readers of dive, travel and photography magazines and websites worldwide. Esteemed judges this year include professional underwater photographer Alex Mustard, Backscatter owner Berkley White, professional underwater photographer Keri Wilk, Scuba Diver AustralAsia and Asian Diver magazine editor Alice Grainger, and professional underwater photographer Amanda Cotton.

Underwater photographers of all levels, from novice to professionals, will compete in what has become the “Superbowl” of international underwater imagery events. Along with thousands in prizes of photo gear and world class trips, the Best of Show will receive a cash prize of $1,000!

This unique competition series continues to be hosted by its founders, the popular underwater photography websites and The competition is held in association with the Our World Underwater dive expo in Chicago.

Beginners Portfolio Competition - Results

Congratulations to John Parker who was the winner of this year's Best of British Portfolio Competition. John's portfolio images included Diver; Split shot; Lionfish; Soft coral; Bat fish and Cowrie taken in Raja Ampat.

Congratulations also to Spencer Burrow and Sean Chinn who came second and third respectively. Spencer's portfolio images were taken at various locations at various settings. More details wil be made available soon. Sean's portfolio image include a School of Jackfish; Green Sea Turtle; Blue Ringed Octopus; a nudibranch (Phyllodesmium crypticum); a stingray split shot; and a whale shark.

Further details

Winner - John Parker
Winner - John Parker

Second - Spencer Burrows
Second - Spencer Burrows

A total of 16 portfolios were received and these were judged by Charles Hood, who presented his feedback at the meeting.

The top six:-

Position Photographer
1 John Parker
2 Spencer Burrows
3 Sean Chinn
4 Justin Beevor
5 Liz Drane
6 Rhoda Allison

The top six portfolios may be viewed 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 Charles' 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 Open Portfolio. The competition will open shortly. Please note this competition is open everyone, whether a BSoUP member or not. Submit your three images as sRGB jpgs at a max. 1400 pixels wide, 1050 pixels high at 72 pixels/inch. Please read the Rules before entering.

Third - Sean Chinn
Third - Sean Chinn

Overall Winner: Tiger shark and Diver © Terry Steeley
Overall Winner: Tiger shark and Diver © Terry Steeley

BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition - Awards

The annual Awards Ceremony for the winning, highly commended and placed prints was held at the BSoUP Meeting on Tuesday 17th November.

Congratulations to Terry Steeley who was the winner of this year's BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition with a print of a Tiger shark and Diver.

Terry won the Grand Prize: A two-week trip 'Philippines Secrets Dive Safari'. The itinerary includes the islands of Donsol (Whale Shark), Ticao (Manta Ray) & Malaspascua (Thresher Shark) from 10-24 April 2016 led by Len Deeley, to include transfers, board, accommodation and diving, but excluding flights courtesy of Hidden Depths.

Congratulations also to Mark Lauchbury and Nick More who were both Highly Commended with prints of a Pike taken in Dosthill Quarry and a Blue shark taken off Penzance, Cornwall.

Mark won a copy of 'Creating the future', 'Black & White', 'Street Life', 'General' gifted to BSoUP by Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA).

Nick won a copy of 'Life in Colour' gifted to BSoUP by Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA).

Pike, Dosthill Quarry, Tamworth © Mark Launchbury. Canon Powershot S120. 1/120th sec @ f3.5. ISO 160
Pike, Dosthill Quarry, Tamworth © Mark Launchbury.
Canon Powershot S120. 1/120th sec @ f3.5. ISO 160

Blue Shark, Penzance, Cornwall © Nicholas More
Blue Shark, Penzance, Cornwall © Nicholas More
Olympus OM-D EM-1.

The competition attracted 123 entries of which 80 were displayed at the Dive Show at the NEC for judging by the visiting public, whose votes were used to determine the winner of each of the four categories.

The best of show and winner of the Grand Prize was selected by an independent panel of judges comprising Nigel Eaton, Chief Editor of DIVER Magazine, Alex Mustard, author and underwater photo-journalist.Martin Edge, author and underwater photo-journalist. The judges also highly commended two prints.

BSoUP is grateful to Mark Feldman and David Smith, who organised the event in association with DIVER Magazine, and to all of the sponsors.

Further details

Website of the Week - JA-Universe

The JA-Universe website is a photography, photojournalism, feature writing and marketing showcase by Jeremy and Amanda Cuff.

"Since 1999, we have developed considerable skills in both photography and writing through practical "in the field" experimentation and by attending various courses culminating in A-Level Photography Grade "A"s.

As underwater photographers we have studied with the UK's foremost teacher Martin Edge here in the UK and also in the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Egyptian Red Sea. We've also taken tuition with Kurt Amsler, a world renowned underwater photographer based in the south of France.

The JA-Universe website

As land photographers, we have developed substantial skills in the areas travel, landscape, sport and abstracts, with plans to expand into macro, wildlife and more set piece studio based work. We're also developing a gathering knowledge in digital imaging since our conversion to digital in 2006.

We are currently developing relationships with publishers and researching the best outlets for our work in terms of image libraries and advertising agencies."

PNWDiver Nov/Dec 2015
PNWDiver Nov/Dec 2015

PNWDiver - Latest issue

The latest issue of the FREE PNWDiver is now available for download.

The Nov/Dec issue features Ed Wolpin, Laura Tesler, Pat Gunderson and more.

To download your copy please visit

Photo courses, expeditions and workshops

BSoUP members: Are you are organising any underwater photography trips in 2016 or 2017 which aren't listed on our Courses page?

If so, please send details including your name, date, description and email contact address and website link (if any) to me.



Courses 2016

BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition
BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition

Next BSoUP Meeting

Tuesday 17th November

The next BSoUP meeting takes place on Tuesday 17th November 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.

BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition Awards: All of the winning images from this year's Print Competition will be projected and the trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Annual Event: Beginners Portfolio Competition for the DIVER Trophy: A portfolio of 6 images. The competition is now closed. There are a total of 16 entries, all of which will be projected at the meeting. BSoUP Members only may view the portfolios as a slideshow in the members' section of the website. You will be asked to log in if you have not done so already this session. The competition has been judged by Charles Hood.  At the meeting all of the entries will be shown and Charles will present his winners with some feedback about how he chose them.

Beginners Portfolio Competition
Beginners Portfolio Competition

Charles Hood
Charles Hood

 Charles Hood: Sharks of Penzance and other exotic locations.The talk will be in two parts. The first will explore two sharks that can be found off the shores of Penzance, Cornwall. Focussing on the basking shark and blue shark Charles will take us through how Cornwall is rapidly becoming one of the worlds renowned spots to dive with these majestic animals. The second part of the talk will be an extravaganza of the world’s most popular sharks and destinations from relatively harmless reef sharks to the awe-inspiring great white.
Charles started taking underwater photographs back in the mid 1970s using a Kodak instamatic camera in a homemade Perspex housing but it wasn’t until 2002 that he decided to become a full time photojournalist.

Since then he has written over 1,500 articles, mainly for DIVE & SCUBA magazines, and has had in excess of 200 front covers including TIME and Financial Times magazines. Today he still writes and takes photographs, but spends more time skippering and guiding others to photograph the wildlife around the Cornish coast on his RIB Logan, as well as working with a variety film and TV companies.

in focus - Latest issue

The latest issue of BSoUP's magazine ' in focus' has been mailed to all members who have renewed this year.

Issue 106 includes Editorial by Joss Woolf, Through Snell's Window by Warren Williams, Competitive Advantage by Alex Mustard, Diving the Explorer by Clive Allcorn, Focus On Competition Results, BIUPC Results. Girls' Toys and Boys' Toys by Sheilah Openshaw, and Wonderland Part 2 by Laura Storm.

This issue was edited by Joss Woolf and produced with help from Chris, Mike and Paul.

BSoUP Members only may download a pdf version of this issue, but you will be prompted to login.

To get your copy of our magazine, as and when it is published, why not join BSoUP?

in focus 106
in focus 106. Cover image: Martyn Guess

Paul Colley
Paul Colley

Website of the Week - Paul Colley

Paul is a professional freelance photo journalist. He has written a regular column for Sport Diver US about compact cameras and has photographs and articles published in the national and international press including National Geographic, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian and most Dive magazines.

An example of his photo journalism is at Sidetracked Magazine.

He works with marine based conservation organisations including the Blue Marine Foundation and Fauna and Flora International .

New Dive and Travel Grand Cayman eBook Guide

Dive and Travel Grand Cayman is a comprehensive new interactive eBook guide by well-known underwater photographer and author Steve Rosenberg, co-authored and produced by Greg Bassett. This eBook contains detailed information on 75 dive sites, marine life, above-water activities, travel, accommodations, shopping, touring, island history and much more. With over 350 high-quality color photographs and video content, Dive and Travel Grand Cayman is the perfect companion for anyone travelling to Grand Cayman or contemplating a trip in the future. The book can also be used as a dive log and has useful social media components. Go to Rosenberg Books for links to purchase the book from iBooks, Google Play or Kindle. Release date November 1, 2015, Price $8.95.

Dive and Travel Grand Cayman

UPY 2016
Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016

Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016

Deadline: 4th January 2016

The Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016, opened for entries on 1st November. The deadline is 4th January 2016 with the winners announced on stage at the London International Dive Show on 13th February 2016.

The competition will be judged by Martin
Edge, Peter Rowlands and Alex Mustard. Major
prizes come from APEKS, Fourth Element, Nauticam and Scuba Travel.

The competition is divided into 8 categories Wide Angle, Macro, Wrecks, Behaviour, Up & Coming, British Waters Wide Angle, British Waters Macro and British Waters Compacts and the competition will make four special awards: The Underwater Photographer of the Year, British Underwater Photographer of Year, Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the, Year, Most Promising British Underwater and Photographer of the Year.

Chair of the UPY judges, Alex Mustard said, "this is a competition run by photographers for photographers, to give our community the competition it deserves to celebrate excellence in all branches of underwater photography." Following the success of the inaugural UPY competition, which was immediately established as one of the largest annual events in our community's calendar, UPY 2016 continues with the same format.

BSoUP are organising a special UPY/BSoUP Dinner on Saturday evening, 13th February, which is open to all. Further details will be announced in due course.

UwP - Latest issue

The latest issue of the FREE Underwater Photography Magazine is now available to download.

Isssue 87 includes Editorial, News, Travel & Events, New Products, Competitions, Equipment reviews, Marine Life, Locations and Parting Shot

To get your copy please visit

Uwp 87
UwP 97. Cover image: Alex Tattersall

Northern Underwater Photography Group

NUPG November Meeting

Monday 9th November 2015

The next meeting of the Northern Underwater Photography Group takes place on Monday 9th November at at 8-10pm at The Gurkha Grill (or 7pm if you would like to join us for a curry beforehand) (map).

Competition Theme – Sharks and Rays


  • Richard Kempton on St Maarten

  • Yo-Han Cha on Ireland

Favourite 5 – Jason Gregory

BUPG November Meeting

Tuesday 10th November

The Meeting (start time 2000hrs) of the Bristol Underwater Photography Group will be at our normal venue - The Casson Centre, Rodway Road, Patchway, BS34 5DQ (map)

The monthly competition theme is 'Creative - In Camera'. 

We also have our Beginner's portfolio competition. This will comprise of three images which will be shown sequentially. They don't need to have a theme but preferably, though not essentially, will show a range of techniques.

Our main presentation will be by Rick Ayrton who will give a presentation on photographing wrecks in Malta.

Bristol Underwater Photography Group

Nick Blake
Nick Blake

Website of the Week - Nick Blake

A childhood fascination with diving and the ocean, inspired by the 70's TV series, "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau" led to me joining the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) as a teenager in 1980.

Diving primarily around the UK since my early teens, it is only in more recent years that my long standing interest in photography has extended into the water. I started my underwater photography with an Olympus underwater compact camera in 2004 and subsequently moved on to Nikon DSLRs. One to one tuition and encouragement from world renowned underwater photographer Martin Edge has proved instrumental in my development and success.

I now combine underwater photography workshops in more tropical climes with UK diving as a member of Woking based BSAC Club Surrey Aquanauts.

I am proud that my images have gained honours in a number of national and international underwater photography competitions. Building on 2011 competition successes, my photographs won both Gold and Silver Medals in the 2012/13 photo contest and a Bronze medal in 2014/15, in what is the world's biggest on line underwater photography competition. I was also privileged to be awarded the accolade of Grand Master for underwater photography.

I am fortunate to have had some amazing photographic experiences and I hope you enjoy these images as much as I have enjoyed capturing them.

Beginners Portfolio Competition for the DIVER Trophy

Win £100

Deadline 8th November

Definition: A portfolio that demonstrates a range of skills in underwater photography. The portfolio should communicate variety, not necessarily of subject, but certainly of approach and technique.

This is an open competition for BSoUP members and non-members alike who have not come first, second or third in a national or international competition.

Beginners Portfolio
Beginners Portfolio Competition for the DIVER Trophy
Images: Last year's winning portoflio by Sue Guess

Please submit your images in two rows of three with no overlap between images, combined into a single sRGB jpeg at 1400 pixels wide (max horizontal dimension) by 1050 pixels high (max vertical dimension) at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Failing to do so may put you at a disadvantage. Charles Hood will judge the competition and say a few words about his selected top six portfolios at the 17th November meeting.

Entries are anonymous during judging. All will be projected at the meeting.

Please read the full rules before submitting. Full details.

BSoUP Stand at DIVE 2015
BSoUP at DIVE 2015 : Image Alex Mustard

BSoUP at DIVE 2015

Thanks to DIVER, who provided the shell scheme, BSoUP once again showcased some of its members prints and promoted the Society. In addition, BSoUP Members encouraged the public to vote for their favourite prints in the annual BSoUP / DIVERR Print Competition.

BSoUP thanks Peter Ladell, Peter Tatton, Paul & Vinny Colley, Rob & Paul Bailey, Jane Burnett, Martha Tressler, Anthony Holley, Mark Feldman, Dave Smith, Jan & Mike Maloney, Steve Jones, Trevor Rees and Lucy Bilson for manning the stand and print competition exhibition.

BSoUP is particularly grateful to Peter Ladell who mastermined logisitics, including transport, setup and break down of the BSoUP Stand.

See also Wetpixel's report on DIVE 2015 by Adam Hanlon

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