FEBRUARY 8th:  An Evening with Dr Alex Mustard, venue Ed’s Office

MARCH 8th:      Hosted by Heather who will give a Photoshop presentation, venue tbc



FEBRUARY:        Fish Face

MARCH:              Mammals -  plus the annual Print Competition



 February Meeting

 The February Meeting (start time 2000hrs) will be at Ed’s Office:

Grosvenor Consultancy Ltd

288 Gloucester Road,


Bristol  BS7 8PD

The competition theme of ‘Fish Face’ is unashamedly borrowed from the title of David Doubilet’s book of fish portraits – but I am sure we can do better!

Important - the format for this competition will be different: There will be no nominations; instead there will be a maximum of three images per person which can be entered for the competition.  All images will be viewed twice and a winner chosen by show of hands.  If this format proves popular then we can make it permanent, otherwise we can think again.  This does not mean that you cannot bring more images for projection, just that they will not be considered for the competition – if that makes sense.

The highlight of the evening will be a presentation by Dr Alex Mustard.  It is entitled:

“DIGITAL: a new way of thinking about underwater photography”

Alex informs me “My intention is to talk about how digital cameras have allowed underwater photographers to evolve their standard photographic techniques and to invent completely new ones. For me just comparing digital to film misses the point. My approach is to accept the differences, understand them and exploit them to take new kinds of images. This talk should appeal to both film photographers keen to learn what the digital lot are up to, as well as to digital photographers, who I hope will get inspiration and ideas for their own photography”.

For those who have not seen his work, check out   Additionally, Alex will be judging our 2004 monthly winning images.  This should be an excellent night, so sort out your fish faces (you all have some) and come along on the 8th.

 BUPG Splash-In:  7 May 2005

Details now finalised - it is a shore dive at Babbacombe on 7th May, so get that in your diary.  Watch this space for competition details.

BSOUP Plymouth Splash-In:  2/3 July 2005

Sally has booked a boat for the first weekend in July.  A maximum of 10 divers and it will be £30 per day.  If you do not have your name down for this event then it is probably too late, as the list closed in January.  However, contact Pam Bowden or Sally to check if there are any spare places.

BSOUP Splash-In: St Abbs, August 27/28th 2005

I am advised by Alan & Heather that this event is fully booked.  That is to say the accommodation and boat are fully booked but it would be possible to make the trip and find your own accommodation and perhaps find another slot on a boat, or do some shore diving.



January Meeting

The January Meeting was an excellent evening based around the subject of Portfolios.  It was a well attended meeting including new member Rob plus a couple of prospective members.  Alan had been very busy putting together lots of prints and a digital presentation showing how to, and how not to, put together a portfolio of six images.  Rather than use Photoshop for assembling the portfolio, Alan recommended Powerpoint as being by far the easiest and most effective software for this particular application.  He showed how simple it was to sort the images into a file and then try out different layouts, backgrounds and borders.  He went on to discuss what worked, and what he felt did not work, amongst the portfolios he had prepared.  This created a lively discussion that was enjoyed by all.  As an aside, it was interesting to note how colourful the British portfolios were.

Alan stressed the importance of having six images that were not only strong individually but which complemented each other, forming a balanced portfolio.   Several members had put portfolios together and these were projected - it was pity we had not had Alan’s advice beforehand! Had there been a prize for the worst choice of background then Bob Anthony would have won it with his six Great Whites on a background of lurid yellow – the comment from the floor of ‘shark infested custard’ was most apt.  Yours truly would have won the prize for the worst border colour in my choice of blue – ‘kills it stone dead’ was Alan’s verdict!

The techniques learned will be put to good use, as we will be having our own annual portfolio competition.  For 2005 it will be in December, which will mean it is a few days before the BSOUP Open Portfolio Competition thereby giving anyone a chance to make some final tweaks.  The 2004 BSOUP Competition was won by Dr Alex Mustard but he was given a good run for his money by Alan and by David Stephens who were fourth and third respectively (see below). 



Images no longer available                                   




There were a few technical difficulties that caused the evening to extend beyond our normal finish time but those who stayed the distance enjoyed the experience.  There are still some other aspects to this subject that Alan would like to present and this will be included in a future meeting.



Web Site

The web site is progressing, albeit rather slowly.  Hopefully, this Newsletter will by now be displayed on the web site.

Monthly Competition Themes

Having had little response to my pleas for suggestions for competition themes I can only assume that you will be happy with whatever is chosen.  To that end, David and I have had a chat and finalised the themes for 2005.  We have chosen themes that should cover most of what we regularly photograph but also a few that are less common.  The idea is to encourage some different techniques to be tried out.  These particular themes are later in the year to give us some time to work towards them.  Here is the list:

January             No competition

February           Fish Face

March               Mammals  (plus annual print competition)

April                  Invertebrates

May                   Wrecks

June                   Cephalapods

July                    Open

August               Black & White

September         British

October             Available light

November          Innovation (eg over/under, different lighting, blur etc, etc)

December          Annual Portfolio competition

The July competition is ‘Open’ just in case you have a great shot that does not fit any of the other categories.  I am sure we will have some wide interpretations of the themes but it makes for some amusing banter.  I hope everyone will have a go at the less common themes.


Everyone will have been saddened by the tragedy on Boxing Day and I am sure many of us have fond memories of some of the affected areas.  Bob and I were due to go to Khao Lak next month having had a great time there in January 2004.  However, it will be a long time before Khao Lak gets back on its feet as it was the hardest hit of all the Thai resorts.  Instead, we are going to Phuket which is 95% back to normal.  If you have not already viewed the following web site  I would recommend you do so.  I am happy to say that all the staff at the dive centre we used, survived the tsunami.  Two of them – Paul (a great guy from the USA) and Keith Angles (a true Brit) have written of their experiences in the News section of the above web site and it makes very sobering reading.

Keep bubbling (rebreathers excepted)