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BSoUP's Splash-in Competition 1991

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 41 (August 1991)

Each year the British Society of Underwater Photographers organise a photographic competition at Fort Bovisand Underwater Centre, Plymouth. This year the event was held on Saturday 1 June and attracted a total of 52 entrants for the unique 'On the Day' class. Participants were issued with a roll of 35 mm AGFA slide film first thing in the morning and had until teatime to expose it in Plymouth waters before returning it for processing and judging the same day. In addition there were two classes for underwater prints - Overseas and British.

Shrimp by Kevin Cullimore. The original colour slide was winner 'On the Day'

Roach by Kevin Cullimore. The original colour print was second in the British Prints category.

A light north easterly breeze persisted for several days prior to the competition flattening the sea to an unbelievable near-glassy finish for the day of the event. The visibility was exceptional by Splash-in standards being up to 5 metres, despite frequent sightings of Basking sharks feeding on the rich plankton bloom off the Eddystone lighthouse the week before. Much to the disappointment of many of the participants, the sky was overcast throughout much of the day, appearing only briefly in mid afternoon, when most photographers had shot their last picture before hurrying back to the Fort to hand in their film for processing.

Diver reading 'in focus' by Les Kemp. The original colour slide was winner in the Humour/Creative category

Midas blenny by Linda Pitkin. The original colour print came second in the Open Prints category.

As in previous years the variety of photographic subjects was extensive. although there were no jellyfish. Despite the coldness of the water and the apparent lateness of the season many different species of seaslug and wrasse featured among the entries. Other small creatures such as shrimps, crabs, a flatworm, pipe fish, blennies, shannies, scorpion fish and jewel, plumose and dahlia anemones were also sought out and immortalised on film. The wide-angle photographers descended on the James Eagan Layne and among the rocks and gullies in Plymouth Sound for diver shots, many incorporating a hand held torch in their model's hand.

Over sixty print entries were displayed throughout the evening to be admired and judged by those present prior to the projection of slides. A few problems loading processing spirals in the darkroom caused the timetable to be abandoned and it wasn't until after midnight that the winners were announced and the trophies and medals presented.

The Ocean Optics Trophy and a gold medal for the best British print went to Ray Breach for his photograph of a diver and grey seal. Kevin Cullimore won a silver medal for his study of a perch and Jim Greenfield and John Lee each received a bronze medal for their wolf fish feeding and a tom pot blenny respectively.

The Greenaway Marine Trophy and a gold medal for the best Overseas print went to Martin Edge for his beautiful natural light shot of three dolphins which he took whilst snorkelling during a diving photographic expedition to the Red Sea. A silver medal was presented to Linda Pitkin for her portrait of a small blenny taken in the Maldives. Pam Kemp received a bronze medal for her macro photo of a cowrie taken in the Seychelles.

The Aquamatic Trophy and a gold medal were presented to Mark Webster for the best humorous shot taken 'On the Day', a diver seen from inside a shark's mouth.

The winner of the BSoUP trophy and a gold medal for the best photograph taken on the day was Kevin Cullimore, who also received a bronze medal for his other entry. Kevin used a Pentax LX in his own custom-built housing to take double exposures of a shrimp and jewel anemones. Runner-up and winner of a silver medal was Nigel Hancock, who took a double exposure shot of dead man's fingers. Nigel used a Nikonos V with 15 mm and 28 mm close-up lenses for the two elements of his shot, his second attempt at double exposures.

Once again the Splash-in had been a success and even those who didn't walk away with a medal had had an enjoyable day. Our sincere thanks go to AGFA (UK) Ltd for providing film and processing chemicals for the event and to Alan Bax and all the staff at Fort Bovisand for their hospitality over the weekend. Our thanks also go to Viv Pearson who courageously masterminded the processing with assistance from Les Kemp (who also projected the slides), Mark Webster, Phil Lockley, Brian Humphries, Ian Turner, Kevin Cullimore, Peter Ladell and Paul Fowler. Fleur Fillingham, Linda Pitkin, Bill Bunting, Steve Page, Peter Tatton and many others helped in all sorts of ways. Our thanks to them all

If you would like further information about BSoUP and its activities, please send a stamped self-addressed A5 envelope to Steve Prentice, 55 Bull Stag Green, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 8SW.









Kevin Cullimore



  Nigel Hancock

Dead man's fingers



Kevin Cullimore

Jewel anemones



  Mark Webster Shark attack


  Martin Edge


  Linda Pitkin Blenny


  Pam Kemp Cowrie


  Ray Breach
Diver and seal


  Kevin Cullimore Roach
3=   Jim Greenfield Wolf fish feeding
3=   John Lee Tom pot blenny


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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