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


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Scuba Travel

BSoUP's Splash-in Competition 1996

First cuckoo of the summer

by Brian Pitkin

Reproduced from in focus 58 (September 1996)

Imagine if you can a warm overcast day at Fort Bovisand in Plymouth. The date - Saturday, July 13, 1996. The time - 9am.

Forty-four underwater photographers stand in line. What are they up to? Each pauses briefly at a table to complete a form and exchange a fee for a roll of film. Most choose 100 ISO Fuji RPD, the minority opting for 50 ISO Fuji Velvia.

Each is asked to take a photograph of themselves on the first frame and return the film for processing no later than 4.30pm.

Secret assignment?

Are they on a secret assignment - Where are they going? What will they do when they get there?

Only the individuals themselves can answer these questions because this is the start of the British Society of Underwater Photographers' annual 'Splash-in' or underwater photographic competition.

The competitors disperse singly or in small groups to load their cameras and dive in Plymouth waters to try to take the best winning underwater photograph 'On the Day'.

Some board the Bovisand shuttle, others climb into their RIBs and inflatables bound for dive sites as far east as Hillsea Point Rock and the wreck of the James Egan Layne to the west. A few opt to shore dive out of the harbour.

At the ready

Cameras at the ready, they plunge into the underwater world. Some seek out a photogenic marine life subject or scenic view. Others set up a shot for the humorous category. The visibility is 4-5 metres and there is an abundance of marine life from anemones to angler fish, beadlets to blennies, cuttlefish to crabs and dogfish to dories.

By 4.30pm all the films had been exposed and all but one returned for processing - my own was forgotten inside my camera as I rewound films for others cutting the deadline a little fine!

At 5pm the 50 entries for the British and Open Prints category were put on display. Anyone passing through reception was invited to vote for their favourites.

By 8pm the films were processed, dried and sleeved ready to be returned to the eagerly awaiting photographers.

Voting system

Each was asked to select and mount one or two of their best shots for judging. Each of the selected slides was then projected anonymously and the audience invited to vote for their favourite three slides.

By lOpm all votes had been counted and the results of this year's Splash-in were announced.

British Prints

Third in the British Prints category with 12 points was Ian Taylor with a portrait of a seal. Second place, with 27 points, was Dave Peake with a photograph of two cuttlefish taken in Plymouth waters. Winner of the British Prints category was VVyn Roberts with 41 points for a close-up of an angler fish.

Each of the winners was presented with a bronze, silver or gold medal respectively. Wyn was presented with the Ocean Optics Trophy for the best British Print.

Open prints

Third in the Open Prints category with 40 points was Les Kemp with a photograph of a diver seen through the legs of an oil rig. Second with 41 points was Andy Hirst with a macro photograph of two red gobies on a red whip coral. The winner with 73 points was Wyn Roberts with a close-up of a clown fish in an anemone.

Each of the winners was presented with a bronze, silver or gold medal respectively. Wyn was presented with the Greenaway Marine Trophy for the best Open Print.

Humour

Third in the Humorous category 'On the Day' was Howard Bunyan with 10 points for a photograph of a model of 'Ariane 13'. Second in the Humorous category was Martin Parker with 17 points. His shot showed a photographer with a giant, condom-shaped lifting bag accompanied by the caption 'Whose a big buoy then'. The winner, with 30 points, was John Souness with a close-up photograph of a model clown fish in a snakelocks anemone. John was presented with a gold medal and the new AP Valves Trophy.

On the Day

Third in the 'On the Day' category with 24 points was Dave Peake with a double exposure of a nudibranch and a diver. Second was Peter Hewitt with 30 points for a macro photograph of a Tompot blenny. The winner was Linda Pitkin with 38 points for a close up of a male cuckoo wrasse.

Each of the winners was presented with a bronze, silver or gold medal respectively. Linda was presented with the BSoUP Trophy for the best photograph take on the day - an attractive wood carving of a wrasse.

Thanks

The chairman closed the evening by thanking all those who had helped during the weekend.
In particular, he mentioned David Nardini and Les Kemp who had processed the films aided by Mark Shepherd, Chris Wood-Walker and Mike Maloney.

RESULTS
ON THE DAY

Position

Points

Photographer

Subject

       

1

38

Linda Pitkin

Male cuckoo wrasse

2

30

Peter Hewitt

Tompot blenny

3

24

Dave Peake

Nudibranch and diver

HUMOROUS SLIDES

Position

Points

Photographer

Subject

       

1

30

John Souness

'Clown fish' in snakelocks anemone

2

17

Martin Parker

'Whose a big buoy then'

3

10

Howard Bunyan

'Ariane 13'

BRITISH PRINTS

Position

Points

Photographer

Subject

       

1

41

Wyn Roberts

Angler fish

2

27

Dave Peake

Cuttle fish

3

12

Ian Taylor Seal
OVERSEAS PRINTS

Position

Points

Photographer

Subject

       

1

73

Wyn Roberts

Clown fish in anemone

2

41

Andy Hirst

Gobies on whip coral

3

23

Wyn Roberts

Angler fish

BSoUP SPLASH-IN WINNERS


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