The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
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DIVER Red Sea PhotoCall Competition 2014

The Red Sea PhotoCall Competition was organised by DIVER Magazine in association with the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) and sponsored by the Egyptian Tourist Authority and Emperor Divers to promote diving in the Egyptian Red Sea.

For the competition entrants were allowed to submit six entries in any the three categories - Divers on Reefs, Marine Life and Wrecks. More than 300 images were submitted via Divernet.

The 60 best entries chosen by judges Alex Mustard and Brian & Linda Pitkin were printed by DIVER and then displayed at the London International Dive Show at ExCel in London Docklands over the weekend of 15th-16th February. Volunteer BSoUP Members encouraged visitors to vote for their favourite images in the three categories and more than 1,000 did so.

Wrecks

The winner in the Wrecks category was “Swimming through the Tile Wreck, Abu Nuhas” by Rob White, which was also the overall winner.

Rob White
“Swimming through the Tile Wreck, Abu Nuhas” by Rob White

Rob is a software developer living in Brighton, Sussex. He has been diving since 1997 and a diving instructor since 2004. He is member of PADI and the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) and until a few years back ran the shark-diving experience at the Brighton Sealife Centre.

Rob has been taking photos underwater since 2005 but since 2010 he's been using a DSLR in a Nauticam aluminium Housing and enjoyed his photography much more as a result. He also has a keen interest in website development.

Rob's winning image was taken during a photographic workshop trip with Saeed Rashid aboard Blue Melody. The diver in the foreground is his girlfriend Pash, the diver further behind is her sister Chantal. Said Rob "They were both patient enough to pose for me whilst I took numerous shots, adjusting my lighting each time". Rob used a Canon 550D with a Tokina 10-17mm lens in a Nauticam housing with a Zen mini-dome port. The foreground lighting came from 2 Inon z240 strobes mounted on the housing. Pash's light is a 3rd z240 strobe which was triggered remotely by the intial flash.

The winning image and others from the same trip can be found on Rob's website at www.marinepix.co.uk

Rob wins a seven-night diving holiday for two in the Egyptian Red Sea aboard Emperor Asmaa on its Fury Shoal & St Johns itinerary – or, if he should prefer to be land-based, a week at the Zabargad Berenice Hotel in Hamata. All accommodation and diving is hosted by Emperor Divers, and return flights from the UK provided by the Egyptian Tourist Authority.

The Runner-up in the Wrecks category was “Colourful Carnatic” by Saeed Rashid.

Saeed Rashid
“Colourful Carnatic” by Saeed Rashid

Saeed lives in Bournemouth, where he teaches Print design at the University. He been taking underwater pictures since 1998, when he learned to dive in Australia while on holiday.

Saeed picked up his first underwater camera a few years later - a simple point and shoot Sea & Sea MX10 just to record dives to show his friends.

Saeed said "I moved over to digital about 10 years ago and didn’t look back. I have been a member of BSoUP for the past 5 years where I am an active member and I regularly give talks on photography and post-production. I’m a active member of my local Bournemouth & Poole dive club. For the past 2 years I have been running very popular underwater photography workshops in the Red Sea & Maldives for blue o two."

"My winning shot was taken last August on one of my workshops with a Canon EOS 7D with a 10-17 zoom lens in a Nauticam housing at 11 mm at 1/125th sec @ f13. It shows a diver swimming through the ribs of the SS Carnatic. A regular site on my Red Sea workshops as it offers amazing photographic opportunities that shouldn’t be missed ."

More of Saeed's images may be viewed at www.facebook.com/focusvisuals

Divers on Reefs

The winner of the Divers on Reefs category was the aptly named “Diver on Reef” by Jackie Campbell.

Jackie Campbell
“Diver on Reef” by Jackie Campbell

Jackie is Irish and lives in Dublin where she is a retail manager for a small business and currently  looking for opportunities as a photo journalist.

She said "I have always had a fascination with the sea and with nature. My two passions are scuba diving and photography. Since learning to dive in 1996 I became instantly hooked but did not get into underwater photography until relatively recently. My love of wildlife is not limited to underwater and I am also a keen amateur photographer of wildlife on land of animals in their natural environments. On land I use a Canon 7d camera."

Underwater, she always uses Canon compact cameras. "My current choice is the very capable Canon S90 in a Canon housing with Inon's wet ad-mount lenses and dual Inon strobes. This camera allows full manual control, which I love and shooting with a compact allows me to switch between macro and wide angle on the same dive."

The winning image was taken at Gordon Reef during a summer Duxy Red Sea workshop. "I have always loved the shallows of reefs as the colours and reflections are just so beautiful. I asked our amazing dive guide Valeria if she would model for me on one of our dives and she kindly agreed so many thanks to Valeria for her great modelling skills and for her patience. Camera settings were f5.6, 1/250sec, iso 80."

"More of my images can be seen on my website www.jackiecampbellimages.com. This website shows some of my wildlife images that I have been lucky enough to encounter both underwater and on land. All are images of wildlife in their natural environment."

The runner-up in the Divers on Reefs category was “Magnificent Anemone” by Will Clark.

Will Clark
“Magnificent Anemone” by Will Clark

Will lives in Street in Somerset where he is a partner in a property letting company and helps run a small local nature conservation charity.

Said Will "I learned to dive in 1993 but I didn't become a serious diver until after returning home from New Zealand to live back in the UK, in 2006. Since then I have logged hundreds of dives, mostly in Indonesia and the Philippines. I tried using an early compact system when they started shooting RAW but found it extremely frustrating (RAW images took 10 seconds to write to a card), so when I bought a Canon EOS 40d in 2008 I also bought an Ikelite housing system, together with a copy of Martin Edge's book, at which point my underwater photography learning curve really began."

"I only occasionally get to visit BSoUP as London is quite a trek from Somerset, but I semi-regularly attend the Bristol Underwater Photography Group. I am a lurking member of many FaceBook underwater photography  and diving groups."

"My photography interests include topside wildlife too, and I recently travelled to western Nepal to photograph tigers. As I live in Somerset, I am surrounded by natural beauty and great photographic subjects - I often concentrate my efforts on butterflies and owls. I like to cook, and I swim a mile almost every day in my local pools."

Will's image was taken at Marsa Shagra on a later trip with his older brother. "We paid extra for a private trip to Nemo City late in the afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, and the anemones are closing up. Also we knew there wouldn't be any novice divers there kicking sand up, as had happened earlier in the trip. Our guide, a very talented french instructor called Emilie Kelly was my model. Various aspects of this shot were inspired by what I had learned from Martin Edge's book "The Underwater Photographer".

"I don't know why Nemo wasn't at home, a charismatic little yellow fish would have added to this shot. Taken with a Canon EOS 7d, but with a Canon 8-15 fisheye zoom lens inside a Nauticam housing that was fitted with a Zen 100mm mini dome, which let me get low and close to the anemone, which is only a couple of centimetres away from the lens. 1/160s, f/14, ISO100."

Marine Life

Will Clark was also the winner of the Marine Life category with his shot of “Mackerel Feeding”.

Will Clark
“Mackerel Feeding”

Will's image, with the subject's reflection in the surface, was taken on an Oonasdivers photo trip to Marsa Shagra with multi-award winning photographer Dr Alex Tattersall. On the house reef a shoal of Indian Mackerel move around the bay just under the surface filtering plankton with their gill rakers. "Alex taught me a technique of moving my two Inon Z240 strobes as far forward on their arms to get as much light as possible on the fish to achieve a black background by using a small aperture setting on my Canon 7d with a Canon 100mm macro lens inside a Nauticam housing. 1/80s f/13 ISO200"

The Runner-uo in the Marine Life category was “The Spindle” by Nadya Kulagina at Ras Mohammed.

Nadya Kulgina
“The Spindle” by Nadya Kulagina

Nadya lives in Alma-Ata, Almaty, Kazakhstan and studied at Oklahoma State University. More of her images may be viewed at www.facebook.com/NadeikaK. Her image of a diver and shoal was taken with a Nikon D800 with a 16 mm lens at 1/125th sec @ f9 at Ras Mohammed.

BSoUP thanks everyone who manned the display and encouraged visitors to vote at the show over the weekend including Joss Woolf, Pete Ladell, Brian Pitkin, Linda Pitkin, Peter Tatton, Jan Maloney, Mike Maloney, Martha Tressler, Anthony Holley, Dave Allen, Martin Davies, Alison Mayor, Paul Colley, Jo Horrocks, Keith Lyall, Dave Smith, Mark Feldman, Pash Baker, Mike Russell, Rob White and Jane Burnett; it truly was a team effort.


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