The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)

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BSoUP's Splash-in Competition 2000

by Andy Clark

Male Cuckoo Wrasse by Ken Sullivan
Winner On the Day

John Dory by Brian Pitkin
Third On the Day

Slender spider crab in snakelocks anemone by Chris McTernan Second: On the Day

It is almost customary now for Plymouth's Fort Bovisand to play host to the British Society of Underwater Photographers. To let accommodation, arrange meals and prepare a room worthy of the presence of hoards of tired and hopeful contestants of the annual 'Splash-in'.

In the twelve months past many have been honing their skills, enhancing creativity in an effort to become the proud new owner of the BSoUP 'On the Day' Trophy. Recognition of modest genius, aide to inspiration.

Liz Wood-Walker Photo Gill McDonald

In seven and a half hours the 42 entrants for this year's event had to shoot 36 frames for a chance of winning one or both of the two 'On the Day' competitions - the Best Colour Slide or the Best Humorous Slide. Both to be taken in Plymouth waters and both, as it states in the rules, to be shot on the day.

At 9 a.m. on the dot an orderly, for the most part, queue snaked its way through the door of Room 16 and a long the row of desks ably manned (or should I say wo-manned) by the jovial double-act of Linda Dunk and Hilary Driscoll.

A choice of film, Velvia or Sensia, entry forms to endorse and all that remained was to return the film by 4.30 p.m. laden with winning shots. But is wasn't about winning, not really, 'winning' was incidental.

The rule, unwritten and unspoken emphasised more the smooth running of the event and the enjoyment of all involved. And the constant billow of photographers returning from trips exchanging experiences, offering ideal locations for the skate, the cuttlefish and the tompots and volunteering genuine wishes of 'good luck', painted this picture of friendly rivalry.

The photographic equipment on display was both varied and impressive. Subal, Sea and Sea, Ikelite, housed and amphibious, even the first ever Nikonos. (circa 1963) hung round the neck, and the owners happy to chat, swapping advice and offering tips.

RIBS came and went, divers filled the harbour and rock pools. "There's not as much life as last year", I heard one say. "The viz. In the harbour is crap", said another. But it didn't seem to matter. People were diving, taking photographs and happy.

Pat Morrissey - before the drink
Photo Gill McDonald

Peter Ladell and Peter Tatton. Photo Gill McDonald

The deadline approached, nearly 4.30 and as films returned the print entries were carefully mounted on exhibition boards, entries for the 'Best British Print' and as many for the 'Best Overseas Print'. From the striking colours of clown fish in anemones, to the subtle dramatic black and white wrecks and models. They were all there, carefully arranged, balanced and ready to view.

As afternoon turned to evening, steady streams of anxious photographers appeared and disappeared, studying exhibits, making their votes and talking of the night ahead.

Guest speaker Clive James of the Shark Trust, in contrast painted a rather gloomy picture. Shocking the audience with news of the demise of the world's shark population, laying the blame at the feet of the shark fishing industry.

Sharks, unchanged for millions of years, adapting to ever changing climatic conditions now finds their survival firmly in the grasp of its ultimate threat - man. Clive told of the huge market for shark fin, of how a single basking shark fin can fetch $315,000 and of spotter planes being used to locate the much loved whale shark with an even more sickening price on its fins! Of the indiscriminate tuna fishing lines on which large numbers of shark become by-catch, have their fins removed and are thrown back alive into the sea - a sorry tale.

However, the Shark Trust is working hard to return shark numbers to stable levels. Through education projects, research and anti-finning campaigns, it is hoped to cultivate a better understanding of the shark and bring an end to shark fishing.

Who's in th shower with Anita Marshall? Photo Gill McDonald

Excitement heightened. Feverishly the audience shuffled in their seats and jostled fro standing room, attention focused, ready for the days images. Ready with pen and paper to pick the winners of the BSoUP Splash-in 2000.











Robin Orrow

Cuttlefish pair



Derek Haslam

Hawk fish in anemone



Ken Sullivan

Clown fish in anemone





Kelvin Curtis

Seal portrait



Dave Peake




Bill Hewitt

Velvet crabs





Ken Sullivan

Male cuckoo wrasse



Chris McTernan

Spider crab in anemone



Brian Pitkin

John Dory





Mike Kerslake





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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