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BSoUP's Sponsors

Kungkungan Bay Resort

Winning Imaes by Paul Colley

Cameras Underwater - Sponsor of the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition 2015 - 2018 and BIUPC 2015 and 2016

Brtish Divers Marine Life Rescue - Sponsors of BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition 2017

Carpe Diem, Sponsors of BUIPC 2017


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

DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excellence

BSoUP's Open Portfolio Competition 2003

Winner - Charles Hood

Mako shark

Diver with urchin


Squirrel fish


Coral trout

My winning Open Portfolio 2003

by Charles Hood

Colin Doeg (right) presents the Open Portfolio Trophy to Charles Hood [Photo: Pete Ladell]

Colin Doeg (right) presents the Open Portfolio Trophy to Charles Hood [Photo: Pete Ladell]

Born in 1960 I got the underwater photography bug in the mid seventies while living and diving in the Middle East. I started using a 110 film Minolta Weathermatic camera borrowed from my mother. I then progressed to a Kodak Instamatic 126 in a home made housing. I think it was only totally waterproof on one dive. When I returned to the UK in 1979 I finally got qualified with the BSAC at London University. While working at the Diving shop Ocean Leisure and Ocean Optics in London I bought a second hand Nikonos III and joined BSoUP.

Much of the eighties saw me leading expeditions to far flung places of the world.

I fondly remember well diving Sipadan when the maximum the whole Island could take was a mere 12 divers. I then went on to lead expeditions to the Southern Red Sea (this was when Hurghada had two diver operators), Galapagos, Maldives, and California.

The last fifteen years I have concentrated more on underwater photography winning several domestic and international competitions. The most recent of which before this competition was DIVE magazine underwater photographer of the year 2001. Today I work for DIVE magazine and as a freelance journalist and underwater photographer. I have also just published my first book - 100 Best Dives in Cornwall.

Two years ago I switched from film to digital first buying a Nikon Coolpix 5000 in a Subal housing and then a Nikon D100 in a Sea and Sea housing. As a photojournalist digital is by far the best medium for underwater photography. You get instant results. Furthermore the exposure latitude is at least 3 stops. I normally work in manual exposure mode so having this range takes the risk out of not getting the shot. Technically I am self taught, apart maybe from Peter Rowlands' golden rule - f8 at 1/60th second! I have an affinity for taking images not found in the text books. I even sometimes deliberately straighten diagonal shots and usually break the rule of thirds. This often results in getting an image no one else has. This doesn't always work. I got laughed at, at one BSoUP meeting when I showed an image of me feeding a fish which included my finger and the bait in the frame. But the next month I was astounded when Mike Valentine praised me for a shot of a shrimp sitting on my strobe. If I have one message for anyone taking underwater pictures, break the rules, think for yourself and constantly experiment.

I currently live in Wimbledon with my warm-water diving wife Sandra, pool-diving 8yr old daughter Samantha and aspiring camera technician 6yr old son William.

Mako shark

No 1. Mako Shark - St. John's reef in the southern Red Sea. This was a pregnant 3m female who we found illegally caught on a line. We cut her free and tried to revive her but unfortunately she died. Nikon F100, 16mm full frame fish-eye, twin YS 60 strobes, manual mode f22 1/15s Fuji Provia.

Diver with urchin

No 2. Diver with red sea urchin. Sandra my wife was handed this urchin by a guide in Hawaii - they definitely don't have a 'no touch' policy over there. Nikon D100, 16mm full frame fish-eye, twin YS 60 strobes at 1/2 power, manual mode f11 at 1/60s


No 3. Hawksbill turtle - southern Red Sea. This was taken in just 4 metres of water while decompressing. I'm convinced it thought the dome of my housing was a jellyfish as it kept trying to bite it. Nikon F100, 16mm full frame fish-eye, twin YS 60 strobes, manual mode f11 1/30s, Fuji Provia.

Squirrel fish

No 4. Squirrelfish southern Red Sea. To get close to these fish you need a long lens. The beauty about a standard 35mm film lens on a digital camera is that the effective focal length is increased. So a 105mm acts like a 158mm this allows you to get close without disturbing the subject. Nikon D100, 105mm (158mm equivalent) micro, twin YS 60 strobes at full power, manual mode f11 at 1/125s


No 5. Cuttlefish in kelp forest. This is in fact two images, the kelp was taken in California and the cuttlefish in Cornwall. Kelp - Nikonos 111, 15mm lens natural light f5.6 1/8s Fuji Provia. Cuttlefish - Nikon D100, 28mm (42mm equivalent), twin YS 60 strobes at full power, manual mode f22 at 1/125s

Coral trout

No 6. Coral Grouper southern Red Sea. This grouper was hiding under an over hang and with the long lens I could capture this close-up without having to get too close. Nikon D100, 105mm (158mm equivalent) micro, twin YS 60 strobes at full power, manual mode f11 at 1/125s

BSoUP Open Portfolio Competition

BSoUP's Open Portfolio Competition Winners 1984-

2017 Mark Drayton

2016 Taner Altigan

2015 Cathy Lewis

2014 Mark Drayton

2013 Jackie Campbell

2012 Mark Pickford

2011 Dray van Beeck

2010 Giordano Cipriani

2009 Trevor Rees

2008 JP Trenque

2007 Shannon Conway

2006 Steve Jones

2005 Jane Morgan

2004 Alex Mustard

2003 Charles Hood

2002 Linda Dunk

2001 Tony White

2000 Gary Clark

1999 Guy Middleton

1998 Hilary Driscoll

1997 Malcolm Hey

1996 Linda Dunk

1995 Linda Dunk

1994 Linda Dunk

1993 Linda Pitkin

1992 Charles Hood

1991 Georgette Douwma

1990 Mike Wong

1989 Mike Wong

1988 Mike Wong

1987 Georgette Douwma

1986 Georgette Douwma

1985 Warren Williams

1984 Georgette Douwma

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