Underwater - A retrospective
At this month's BSoUP meeting
Michael Portelly wowed the audience with some of the stunning
photographs he took nearly 20 years ago (see below for further details). Michael has recently
had a selection of his favourite prints digitised and printed on
giclé paper, which he will be offering for sale on his
In addition to prints, Michael
also showed his film 'Ocean's Daughter', which was projected using
BSoUP's new digital projector.
NEXT BSoUP MEETING -
Wednesday 17th March at 7.30 for 8.00 p.m.
The Holland Club, Imperial College, London
Not wishing to sit on our
laurels after our hugely successful schedule last year, we are
extremely proud to present another highly respected and accomplished
name in the underwater photography world:
UNDERWATER - A RETROSPECTIVE
Michael began his career as an
underwater stills photographer in 1976 and his style quickly earned
him a reputation that landed him his first
assignment, shooting underwater fashion for the Sunday Telegraph
Colour Magazine. In his ensuing exciting and distinguished career,
Michael has worked as both cinematographer and director, creating
award winning commercials and documentaries.
In his own words: 'It is my hope
that I can share something of my own approach to the creative process
and underwater photography with BSoUP members, many of whom will not
have seen this early work. BSoUP was an exciting place to be between 1976 and 1980, when a veritable
explosion of ideas and techniques became the source of a lot of
excitement as, together, we set out to explore new ways of portraying
the underwater world!'
PART 1 -
Michael is currently developing
a website to promote a collection of underwater photographs, taken
between 1976 and 1980. 'A revolution has occurred in printing
technology that makes it possible to create prints unsurpassed in colour intensity and luminosity, producing images with
an impact that compares favourably with seeing the original
transparencies projected on a screen.' Michael will show a selection
of prints and describe this new technology. It is very affordable,
and he hopes it could do much to maximise the presentation impact of
BSoUP members' work at home, for exhibitions, in competitions and
perhaps also for sale!
This annual competition must
comprise six 35mm slides on a theme selected by the photographer. The
images may be taken anywhere in the world, but not in an aquarium or
swimming pool. The winner will be rewarded with the BSoUP Theme Portfolio
Trophy.PART 2 - FILM: THE
The Ocean's Daughter is a film
Michael created in 1980. It was intended to explore new underwater
photographic techniques and present a different vision of the
underwater world. The DVD box describes the film: 'A diver is taken
on an undersea odyssey into the heart of the ocean, where mysterious
forces are at work that give rise to the Ocean's Daughter, born to
deliver a stark warning....'
The film carried a strong
environmental message at a time when growing environmental problems
were neither in the public eye nor yet a mainstream concern. 'I
recently discovered that since this film was made, copies have been circulating in underwater film festivals around the world and
despite its' flaws, many have requested it be made available. It has
not been shown to BSoUP for more than twenty years!'
'BSoUP was the cradle where my
career was nurtured, thanks to the generous advice and support I
received at the beginning from founders Colin Doeg and Peter Scoones,
not to forget Steve Greenaway, all of whom showed considerable patience with my constant questions - a great way to
learn the basics... fast....'.
I am sure you will join me in
welcoming back a BSoUP 'veteran' who has carved a very successful
career in our shared passion. Due to the meeting being on March 17th,
please be aware Michael will make every endeavour to leave you enough time at the end of the evening to indulge in a time
honoured St. Patrick's Day celebration, and buy him a
CHALLENGE FOR DIGITAL
A digital category has been
added to the format of the British Society of Underwater
Photographers (BSoUP) popular annual 'Splash-in' at Plymouth on July 3,
It is anticipated the new
digital category will be an attractive challenge for the large number
of divers who have bought entry level digital cameras and is in
addition to the long-established categories for slides.
The competition is open to all
photographers. Venue for the event is the Mountbatten Centre which
overlooks Plymouth Sound in Devon.
An unusual method is used to
decide the winners. Entries are judged by the audience at a social
and prize-giving in the evening attended by the competitors, other
divers and members of the public.
They all vote for their
favourite images in each of the categories to find the most popular
First held in the early 1970's,
the format for this on-the-day contest has been adopted throughout
the world for other similar shoot-outs. It challenges entrants to
find winning images in one particular area on one specific day of the
year so everyone has an equal opportunity.
Contestants with conventional
cameras draw a 36 exposure slide film to expose in Plymouth waters
during the day. They have to return it for processing in the
Once processed, they can select
up to two of their slides to enter in each of the four on-the-day
categories: wide-angle, macro, fish and humorous/creative.
Digital photographers face a
similar challenge of finding winning images for the new category in
the vicinity of Plymouth. Their two favourite shots will be
downloaded later in the day for projection and judging to find the
favourite three images.
There is also a competition for
the best British and overseas prints. They too are judged by the
The winners in each class
receive a trophy which they hold for a year. Plaques are award to
those who are first, second and third in each section with the
exception of the creative/humorous class where only the winner
receives a plaque.
Full details of the film
competition, including entry fees and rules, may be downloaded from
this website. Entry forms
can also be obtained from Gill McDonald at email@example.com
A digital entry form will be
Last year's winning photographs can be viewed on the BSoUP website at
For further information or
explanation contact the organiser, BSoUP president Brian Pitkin:
(020) 7942 5707 (work), (020) 8668 8168 (home) or firstname.lastname@example.org.