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

BSoUP's Splash-in Competition 1984

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 4 (June 1984)

Participants in the 'On the Day' section of our Annual Underwater Photographic Competition at Fort Bovisand were taken by surprise this year. Instead of the usual poor to appalling conditions, the sky was blue, the sea flat calm and the visibility in excess of 10m.

A record fifty-nine underwater Photographers collected a roll of 64 or 200A. SA Ektachrome from the reception area in the morning and set off either by boat or fin to dive on sites as far away as the Eddystone Lighthouse or the James Eagan Lane or just plopped over the harbour wall. Once on site they set about taking some hopefully winning shots for projection and judging that evening.

Above: Humphead wrasse by David George, which won the Black and White prints section.

Above: Yolande by David George, which came second in the Black and White prints section.

Whilst the Plymouth waters resounded with .he clicking of shutters, the entries for the black and white and colour sections were on display for the general public to admire and, if they chose to, vote for their favourite three in each section. The choice, particularly amongst the colour was difficult, as the overall standard was very high.

The unusually good visibility had encouraged many participants to try something completely different in order to win the award for the Best Contrived / Humorous / Novelty shot. I saw everything from chests of gold, to swords, microchips and sunglasses hauled furtively out of cars and into dive bags to be taken surreptitiously beneath the mirror surface of the sea to play the star role in some photographers fantasy. The more serious minded concentrated on scenery or the wealth of marine life, such as jellyfish, wrasse, sea hares, ton riot blennies or crabs which had turned un for the competition right on cue.

At the end of the afternoon all but three of the exposed films had been handed back for processing and people dispersed to sunbathe, eat and drink whilst the volunteers in the dark room worked flat out.

Above: Snorkeller by David George, which came third in the Black and White prints category.

Above: David George receiving the Ocean Optics Trophy for the best Black and White Print from Ian Irvine, BS-AC Chairman

The processed films, comprising nearly 2,000 images, were returned to their respective owners along with two slide mounts each, in which to mount their best shots. and what shots they were! Eighty-two slides with subjects as diverse as wrecks, seascapes and close-ups of marine life were submitted for projection in hope of winning the coveted BSoUP Trophy for the Best 'On the Day' slide. The audience present, some 150 people, were invited to vote for their favourite three slides and the slide they considered to be the Best Contrived. Whilst the votes were counted the bar filled up and did some very brisk business.

The new BSAC Chairman, IAN IRVINE who took part in the competition (as MIKE GLOVER's buddy and model) volunteered to present the prizes to the winners.

Above: Seascape by Linda Pitkin. The original won the Colour Prints category

Above: Moray eel by Jimmy Wilmot, which came second in the Colour Prints category.

Each competitor in the black and white and colour print sections had been allowed a maxim, of three prints per section. DAVID GEORGE's black and white entries took first, second and third place! The winning shot (Front cover) was a Humphead Wrasse. The wreck of the Yolande and a diver over soft coral against a sunlit sea were the subjects of David's other two winners (also reproduced in this issue). David won the Ocean Optics Trophy plus a five-day holiday at Fort Bovisand, a close up lens and a Nikonos service, a year's subscription to Sub Aqua Scene and a BSoUP Sweat Shirt.

Above: Blue spotted ray and grouper by George Ristich, which came third in the Colour Prints category.

Above: Ian Irvine presents a medal to George Ristich for his Colour Print, which came third.

In the colour print section LINDA PITKIN won with an almost surreal seascape and was presented with the Greenway and Morris Trophy and a Sunpak Marine 32 Flashgun. Second place went to JIMMY WILMOT with a very smart Moray Eel, which won him a Mini C Lite and holder and a BSoUP Sweat Shirt. Third place went to GEORGE RISTICH for his shot of a Blue spotted Ray and a Grouper. Mention should also be made of MICHAEL PITTS and KEVIN CULLIMORE who were only a point or two behind George, who won a year's subscription to Sub Aqua Scene.

Above: Urchins by Bill Hewitt. The original colour slide won the Aquamatic Trophy for the best Contrived shot 'On the Day'

Above: Bill Hewitt receiving the Aquamatic Trophy for the Best Contrived shot 'On the Day' from Ian Irvine.

The Best Contrived shot taken on the day was by WILLIAM HEWITT who's Sea Urchin in sunglasses, seemingly addressing urchins of lesser rank. William won the Aquamatic Trophy, a BSoUP Sweat Shirt and a Fuji Professional Film Voucher.


Above: Les Kemp, winner 'On the Day' receiving the BSoUP Trophy from Ian Irvine, BS-AC Chairman.

Above: Diver by Les Kemp. The original colour slide was winner 'On the Day'

We are also very grateful to all our sponsors - Fujimex, Greenaway Marine, Kodak Ltd, Macdonald and Co (Publishers) Ltd, Ocean Optics Ltd, Ocean Publications Ltd, Plymouth Ocean Projects Ltd, Sea and Sea Ltd, Spirotechnique (UK) Ltd and C.Z. Scientific (Intruments) Ltd and especially to Ian Irvine for presenting the prizes and Alan Bax and all the staff at Fort Bovisand for making us all so welcome once again. Thanks also to all those who came along and supported the event. See you all next year!




Scuba Tours Worldwide - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2010, 2011, 2012,  2013,  2014

Paul Colley Underwater Photography

DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excelence

AP Valves - Sponsor of British Splash-in Competition

Cameras Underwater - Sponsor of the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition

DiveLife, Manchester, Sponsor of the Open Portfolio Competition 2014

Frogfish Photography

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


Egyptian Ministry of Tourism

Marine Conservation Society - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2014

Federico Cabello

Scimitar Diving - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2014

Nudibranchs of the South West

O'Three - Sponsor of the Splash-In 2014

UnderWaterVisions - Sponsor of the Splash-in 2013 and 2014

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

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

Scuba Travel

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


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