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BSoUP's Splash-in Competition 1989

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 33 (July 1989)

Each year the British Society of Underwater Photographers hold a Splash-in at Fort Bovisand Underwater Centre, Plymouth. This event, generously sponsored for a fourth year by AGFA, comprises a Prints class and a unique 'On the Day' class. In the latter each competitor is supplied with a roll of the new Agfachrome 36 exposure slide film with a choice of 50, 100 or 200 ASA. They have from 9.00 until 16.30 hours to expose the film in Plymouth waters and return it to be processing for projection and judging the same evening.

On Saturday, 3 June, a total of 71 underwater photographers took up the challenge. Each collected a roll of film and dispersed in small groups to take photographs either of the diverse marine life or a pre-planned humorous subject. Perhaps because of the poor sea conditions, overcast sky and constant drizzle, only 63 entrants returned films for processing. Once processed the films were given back to the photographers to select up to two of their best for judging. The audience present were then invited to vote for their favourite three and the best humorous shot.

Jellyfish by Paul Clark. The original colour slide was the winner 'On the Day'

Paul Clark



The winner of the Gold Medal and the BSoUP Trophy for the best shot 'On the Day' was Paul Clark, an Advanced Instructor with West Wickham BSAC and a Marine Biologist at the Natural History Museum in London, where he specialises on crabs. Paul is also a qualified HSE Part IV diver with the Museum's diving team. He has been diving since 1972 and taking underwater photographs since 1979. His winning shot of a jellyfish was taken using a Nikonos II with a 28 mm lens and a supplementary Nikonos close-up lens with a Sunpak Marine 32 flashgun on Agfachrome 100 ASA film at f22. Paul admits that he had some luck finding calm water in the lee of the Mewstone, where he was taking reflection shots of his buddy using the Nikonos with just a 28 mm lens. On seeing the first of three jellyfish, Paul, putting into practice techniques he had learnt at BSoUP meetings, returned to the boat for his close-up lens and subsequently took his winning picture.

Starfish double exposure by Martin Edge. The original colour slide came second 'On the Day'

Nudibranch and diver by Benny Sutton. The original colour slide came third 'On the Day'

Second place and a Silver Medal went to Martin Edge for his scenic study of a Common Starfish. Another double exposure, this time taken with a Nikon F2 with 55 mm macro and 20 mm wide-angle lenses in a Hydro housing. For the starfish element Martin placed the subject on a small pile of stones in order to light it at f22 at 1/60th with an Oceanic 2001 flashgun against a black background. The scenic element was achieved with an exposure of f4 at 1/500th.

Third place 'On the Day' went to Benny Sutton from Brentford for a double exposure shot of a diver looking down through the surface at a nudibranch. Benny used a Canon T70 in a Subal housing for his shot which won him a Bronze Medal. For this, his first entry in a BSoUP Splash-in, Benny took the shot of the nudibranch with a 50mm macro lens and his wife, Nikki, looking into a rock pool with a 17 mm wide-angle lens.

The winner of the humorous section was Bob Wrobel from Poole with a photograph taken of himself studying a copy of the BSAC '88 tables, eyes-a-popping and mouth agape. Bob, who won a Gold Medal and the Aquamatic Trophy, persuaded his buddy, Martin Edge, to hold the flashgun for the shot, whilst he wore the eyes, false teeth and tongue and held the camera, ducking just below the surface for each exposure.


Crayfish and wreck by Mark Nuttall. The original colour print won the Open Prints section.

Wreck over reef by Linda Pitkin. The original colour print came second in the Open Prints section.

As usual at this annual event, entries in the Prints class were displayed in the reception area at the Fort throughout the day and all visitors were invited to vote for their favourite three. This year instead of having separate Colour and Black and White Print classes, all prints were entered in one class and medals and trophies awarded not only to the best overall but also the best British.


The winner of the British Prints section and the Ocean Optics Trophy and a Gold Medal war. Mark Nuttall, editor of SAS Magazine, with a study of a seal and diver. Mark's seal shot also won a Bronze Medal in the Open section.

Second place with a double exposure composition of Light-bulb tunicates or sea-squirts against the water surface war by Ray Breach.

Third in the British section, and winner of a Bronze Medal, was Kevin Cullimore with a freshwater shot of a Pike swimming through the rear window of a sunken car watched by a diver.


The winner of the Open section and the Greenaway Marine Trophy and Gold Medal was Mark Nuttall for his outstanding double exposure shot of a crayfish posing in front of a wreck in St Lucia with two other divers, seemingly oblivious to all that is happening below, silhouetted against the sea's surface.

Second place and a Silver Medal in the Open section went to Linda Pitkin for her dramatic shot of shoal of fish beneath a ketch above a coral reef in the South China Sea taken with a Nikonos with a 15 mm lens lit by a Sunpak Marine 32 flashgun.

The medals and trophies were presented to the deserving winners by Mr Brian Greaves of AGFA, to whom BSoUP extends sincere grateful thanks for AGFA's continued support for this, our major annual competition, by providing films and processing chemicals.


Our thanks also go to Alan Bax. Rhoda McGill, Lynne Wintle and all the staff at Fort Bovisand for their hospitality over the weekend; Gordon HooDer for transportation; Mike and Jan Maloney for help with the stand; Peter Rowlands. Viv Pearson, Ken Patrick, Paul Clark and Peter Scoones for all their hard work in the dark room; Paul Clark, Debbie Perrin, Linda Pitkin, Joan Funnell and Alice and Helen Wood for help in Reception; Viv Pearson. Jan Maloney and Debbie Perrin for counting votes, Ian and Shelley Threkeld and Ray Breach for help with projection,

BSoUP's Splash-in Competition Winners

Digital (overall and category winners)

2014 Overall Winner - Cathy Lewis Mankind in the Sea - Terry Griffiths Marine Life - Cathy Lewis
  Best Compact - Colin Whyte    
2013 Overall Winner - Dan Bolt Mankind in the Sea - Dan Bolt Marine Life - Alex Tatttersall
  Best Compact - Paula Bailey Reflections - Dan Bolt  
2012 Overall Winner - Tim Priest Mankind in the Sea - Charles Erb  
  Best Compact - Paula Bailey Crustacea - Rob White  
2011 Overall Winner - Dan Bolt Mankind in the Sea - Derek Haslam Abstract - Rob Cuss
    Marine Life - Dan Bolt  
  Best Compact - Colin Yule Compact - Mankind in the Sea - Martin Rishton Compact - Abstract - Mark Brooke
2010 Overall Winner - Charles Erb Close-up - Julie Kaye Animal Portraits - Cathy Lewis
    Wide-angle - Martin Davies  
2009   Close-up - Rick Ayrton Animal Portraits - Jim Garland
    Wide-angle - Neil Skilling  
2008   Close-up - Cathy Lewis Animal Portraits - Helen Wehner
    Wide-angle - Charles Erb  
2007   Wide-angle - Arthur Kingdon Fish - Alan James
    Close-up - Alan James  

Film & Digital (overall & category winners)

2006 Overall Winner - Dave Peake Film Wide-angle - Martin Davies Film Close-up - Jan Maloney
    Digital Wide-angle - Trevor Rees Digital Close-up - Alan James
2005   Film Wide-angle - Martin Davies Film Close-up - Jean Manson
    Digital Wide-angle - Charles Erb Digital Close-up - Charles Erb

Film (category winners)

2004 Macro - Cathy Lewis Wide-angle - Dave Peake Fish - Peter Ladell
2003 Macro - David Stevens Wide-angle - Dave Peake Fish - Peter Hewitt
2002 Macro - Ken Sullivan Wide-angle - Len Deeley Fish - Bill Hewitt
2001 Macro - Tom Cowan Wide-angle - Guy Middleton  

Film (overall winners, no categories)
  2000 Ken Sullivan 1991 Kevin Cullimore 1982 Peter Salmon
  1999 Derek Haslam 1990 Kevin Cullimore 1981 Warren Williams
  1998 Pat Morrisey 1989 Paul Clark 1980 David McBride
  1997 Peter Tatton 1988 Peter Rowlands 1979 Warren Williams
  1996 Linda Pitkin 1987 Warren Williams 1978 Dave Nance
  1995 Dave Nardini 1986 Peter Scoones 1977 Geoff Harwood
  1994 Dave Peake 1985 Kevin Cullimore 1976
  1993 Brian Pitkin 1984 Les Kemp 1975
  1992 John Souness 1983 Peter Hewitt 1974 Warren Williams

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