MARCH 8th:    A Photoshop session with Heather Hammond + Annual Print Competition

APRIL 12th:    An evening with Martin Edge


MARCH:    Mammals

APRIL:    Invertebrates

Important - Please note the changes to the competition format as detailed in Latest News

For the full list of monthly competitions for 2005 see the January Newsletter.


March Meeting

The March Meeting (start time 2000hrs) will be at our new venue:

Coniston Community Centre

The Parade, Coniston Road

Patchway, Bristol BS34 5LP

To find the Community Centre:- Go up Coniston Road for approx 1 mile until you see a brown road sign on the left for 'The Parade Shopping Centre' and 'The Surgery'.  Turn right into Blakeney Road and then immediately right again into the car park for the Surgery.  The Community Centre is directly opposite the Surgery.  Click here for map.

Please try and be on time as it looks as if we will have to keep the main doors locked while we are using the building.   However, there is an intercom entry system so you should be able to get in if running late.

Please bring along your entries for the Print Competition (see Competition Rules).  Awards will be given to the first three places in each category and to the overall winner

The 'On the Night' competition theme is Mammals, so dig out those dugongs, dolphins, whales, seals, etc.  Even images of divers will do - if you have nothing else.  

The main event of the evening will be a presentation by Heather Hammond who will enlighten us on the mysteries of Adobe Photoshop.  This will cater for all levels from beginner to advanced.  Feel free to bring along a laptop to use during the presentation.  For some top Photoshop tips click here

Alan James will also give a short presentation to finish off the subject of 'Portfolios'

BUPG Splash-In:  7 May 2005

Our very own Splash-In will be shore-based at Babbacombe.  The rules will be published in due course.

BSOUP Plymouth Splash-In:  2/3 July 2005

The boat has been booked by Sally Sharrock and is probably full by now.

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

Possibly one place available if you get in quick - contact Heather Hammond.



February Meeting

The February Meeting was an excellent event which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Our guest speaker was Dr Alex Mustard who also acted as the judge for our 2004 Image of the Year, chosen from the winners of each of the monthly competitions throughout the year.  The winner of the best digital image was Alan James with his beautiful shot of a turtle showing surface reflection.

                                                                                                                                        © Alan James

The winner of the best slide image was David Stephens with his excellent shot of  a red mouthed grouper being groomed by several shrimps.

                                                                                       © David Stephens


Alex chose this shot as the overall winner and presented David with the Bristol blue glass trophy.


                                                                                                 © Sally  Sharrock           

The main theme of the evening was a talk by Alex entitled: -

"DIGITAL:  A new way of thinking about underwater photography"

Alex started by saying that " Just comparing the differences misses the point.  We should accept, understand and then exploit the differences."  He went on to highlight in great detail many different aspects including: how the lcd screen can be used in a variety of ways eg reviewing (exposure, lighting, blur (when panning), background colour, complementary colours), using it to show the results to models for greater understanding of the photographers requirements, using it to allow the camera to be used at arms length with shy subjects.  

Flash synchronisation was covered, with Alex's preference for front curtain synch rather than rear curtain synch for better control over composition. The problems of photographing sunbursts with digital cameras is well known and Alex showed a number of examples taken at high shutter speeds (1/500th second and higher) which showed less blowout than usual. He explained that flash synchronisation is possible at these high speeds on some compact cameras (and to some extant on the Nikon D70) as the shutter is a 'virtual shutter' which switches the ccd on and off rather than a conventional shutter with blinds.

Alex explained how he is a fan of available light and the use of corrective filters.  Using Kodak 40 or 50cc red gel filters down to 41/2 meters and a fluorescent gel filter in the 5-10 metre depth range gave some impressive results.  The colour penetration is much further when compared to the short distance offered by the light from a flashgun.  Also, no backscatter!

Special effects created in camera, versus post processing, were covered along with recommendations for format choice and use of Raw converters.  A discourse on the use of telephoto lenses underwater ended the presentation.

The resume above does not do justice to what was a very impressive presentation.  The highly informative content was accompanied by many stunning images and it would have been impossible not to have been inspired.  Even those who shoot on film still have found much of interest.  Hopefully we will be able to persuade Alex to visit us again at some future date.  Thank you Alex.

The other event of the evening - the monthly competition, went a bit smoother than before but stillcaused a few problems with downloading of images and with swapping between digital and slide projectors.  This has prompted the changes highlighted in Latest News.  The subject of 'Fish Face' proved very popular amongst digital users and there were a considerable number projected.  However, slide numbers were down with only five slides entered - a sign of the times or perhaps due to the absence of some film users?  The winning digital image was of a sweetlips with cleaner wrasse by Arthur Kingdon, only just pipping Heather Hammond's shot of a stargazer after a second vote.

                                         ©Arthur Kingdon

The winning slide, of a yellow moray, was by Bob Davies.

                                                                                                                 © Bob Davies



Competition Successes

Several members of our group have been successful in the Sport Diver magazine Underwater Photographer of the Year Competition. Namely:

Bob Davies - winner Open Category Amateur (with a shot of a frogfish).

David Stephens - runner up in the PADI Professional category (with the grouper image shown above).

Alan James - Overall Winner and winner of the Digital Professional category (with a shot of a lionfish with surface reflection).

Congratulations to all.

BSOUP Competitions

BSOUP are now accepting entries via email for their monthly competition - Heather Hammond took a third place last month with a shot of a barracuda shoal.  Their March competition (March 16th) is for Themed Portfolios and this ties in with Alan James who is the guest speaker at that meeting and who will be giving a presentation on portfolios.  I am sure Alan would be pleased to see some of our work being entered.  Check out for further details.


  Keep bubbling(rebreathers excepted)