SEPTEMBER 13th:  Digital Sensor Cleaning plus Members' Presentations

OCTOBER 11th:  Not yet finalised



OCTOBER:  Available Light

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


September Meeting

The September Meeting (start time 2000hrs) will be at our normal venue:

Coniston Community Centre

The Parade, Coniston Road

Patchway, Bristol BS34 5LP

To find us:- Go up Coniston Road for approx 1 mile until you see a 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 or use

Please try and be on time as we 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.

The 'On the Night' competition theme is 'British'. Send digital files to Bob Anthony, our Competitions Member (, or bring your slides on the night (let Bob know if you will require a slide projector).  

Andrew Stagg of Intelligent Mobile Solutions will give a demonstration of the cleaning of digital slr sensors.  This should be very interesting to those who own or are contemplating buying such a camera.  I have been doing some research on the subject and my efforts are being chronicled in this Newsletter (see Miscellaneous).  It is an important subject and it will be good to see at first hand how it should be done.

Ralph Mortimore, one of our newer members, will be giving a presentation on his underwater photographic efforts over the past year or so.  Expect to see images from a variety of destinations including Marsa Alam and Sardinia.  Ralph is keen for some feedback so constructive criticism will be more than welcome.

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



August Meeting  

Joe Foxcroft - A Tribute

The main event of the evening was our tribute to Joe Foxcroft, a stalwart of the BUPG who was tragically killed in a climbing accident in June. It was standing room only as family members, work colleagues, friends, and dive buddies filled the room. The tribute was presented by Alan James and was accompanied by anecdotes and images from the last year of Joe's life. Joe had been quite a traveler and had fitted in trips to Sardinia, Guadeloupe, and West Papua over that time. There were lots of excellent images which clearly demonstrated Joe's ability as an underwater photography and a small selection are shown here. There were also some images of Joe on those rare occasions when he had been in front of the camera rather than behind it.

The opening image was one of Joe with a parrot that belonged to a family living on a remote island off the coast of West Papua. Joe was a great fan of all bird life and even had a pet parrot at home. He had been delighted to come across this one and spent most of the time, during the island visit, in its company.

Along with several BUPG members, Joe had traveled to Guadeloupe last September to photograph the great white sharks which frequent that area. He shot some great images, although this one was particularly impressive and Alan felt this was the shot of the trip.

Joe Foxcroft

Joe had a passion for sea snakes and would fin like mad to keep up with the continuously moving reptiles whenever he saw one. He had been very pleased during the West Papua trip to get this particular image.

Joe Foxcroft

Never content with the conventional, Joe would often look for different angles when photographing marine life and the next two images illustrate this. He frequently preferred the 105mm lens, as used here.

Joe Foxcroft

Joe Foxcroft

Although there were several shots of Joe underwater, he was always a reluctant model who preferred to roam the reef in his own company. Like the turtle in the final image of the tribute - a free spirit, that was our Joe.

Joe Foxcroft

Air Ambulance Collection

Following the tribute there was a collection which raised the sum of 321.50. in aid of the Gloucestershire Air Ambulance.

Monthly Competition

The theme for August was 'Black and white' and there were a fair number of entries.  Sadly, no Agfa Scala slides were entered.  This subject was chosen to introduce members to an aspect of photography that can sometimes be overlooked in a world where we usually strive to achieve the most colourful of images.  Images with good tone, texture, and shape work best in black & white and this was borne out on the night with some strong images of wrecks in particular.

Bob Anthony

The winning image by Bob Anthony was a shot of the wreck of the SS Lord Strathcona which sits upright in 38 metres in Conception Bay, Newfoundland.  An iron ore carrier, sunk by a U-Boat, it provides some excellent photo opportunities.  This is an available light image which looks very good in colour but perhaps even better in black & white.  It was simply converted to grayscale in Photoshop.

Another good wreck shot was by Sally Sharrock.

Sally Sharrock

Also picking up some votes were a couple of close-up shots.  An anemone with a beautiful range of tones by Jim Drake and a nudibranch by Heather Hammond which worked surprisingly well in black & white.

Jim Drake

Heather Hammond

Annual General Meeting

1.Reports by the Committee

a.  The Treasurer reported a balance of 587.70 at year end (28.06.05).  Outgoings during the year had included 190 for trophies, 110 for guest speakers and 32 for our first bill for the Community Centre.

b.  The Secretary reported that there had been a number of changes during the year namely: location of meetings,  the format of the meetings and the setting up of the web site.  He detailed what differences these changes had made to how the Group was administered.  There was general approval from those present for the changes.  He outlined the current, very informal method by which the committee works and asked for approval to continue in the same manner.  This was agreed by those present. He thanked fellow committee members and those other members who had assisted him during the year.

c.  The Competitions Member thanked David Stephens for his efforts in the role for much of the year.  He went on to outline the changes to the competitions format that had taken place and outlined some ideas for the future.

2.  Election.

With no other nominations, the present Committee members were re-elected for 2005/6

3.  Subscription Rate for 2005/6

The Treasurer outlined how our expenditure had increased over the past year and now outstripped our income.  To continue with a similar level of expenditure an increase in subscription to 20 would be required.  However, this level would not allow for any purchases of equipment if required.  The meeting agreed to set the subscription at 20.

4.  Format of Forthcoming Competitions

There was a lively debate on this topic, much of it centered on the film versus digital debate, particularly on the question of how much digital manipulation should be allowed.  It was clear that the film users felt at a disadvantage.  Opinions amongst the digital users also varied as to how much manipulation should be allowed.  However, the meeting agreed to continue as at present with no restriction on manipulation.  Editors note - I am sure we have not heard the last on this topic.

5.  Format of Forthcoming Meetings

There was a feeling that we needed more talks by our own members.  The Secretary explained that this would happen over the next few meetings as we had no more guest speakers booked for the foreseeable future.

6.  Any Other Business

Heather Hammond outlined some problems that had arisen with their laptop computer and requested that any member wishing to use the laptop should ensure that their disks should be scanned for viruses and spyware beforehand.

Splash-In Presentation

This was the first opportunity, since our own Splash-In competition, to present the trophies to the winners of both categories.  Alan James presented the Overall Winner trophy to Sally Sharrock and the Best Beginner trophy to Jim Drake.



CCD Cleaning (continued)

I recently visited Swindon and went around the camera shops to see what I could buy as far as ccd cleaning products were concerned.  Having checked out various web sites, I was armed with a little knowledge of what was available (a dangerous thing perhaps?).  Jessops offered a blower brush, denied any knowledge of any other products and said that the camera should be returned to Nikon for cleaning.  London Camera Exchange also suggested a blower but when I asked about other products eg methanol swabs, the owner (?) became quite hostile and stated that 'they did not sell controlled products'!  He also let me know his strong opinions on litigation following any damage that could be caused.  Fortunately, the staff at T4 cameras were not so narrow minded and, although they currently did not sell any products, they gave me details of a company who do.  They also said they would be interested to hear of my progress on this topic.  The details they gave turned out to be for a company based in Bristol called Intelligent Mobile Solutions  I have been in touch with them and it looks as if the owner will come along to one of our meetings and demonstrate the products - watch out for more details.

New Photo Competition

For news of an exciting new competition, check out this link:

BSOUP Competition Success

BSOUP have just run their first International Focus On competition and it was a great success. The competition attracted entries from the UK, USA, Canada, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Venezuela, Thailand, Philippines, British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.  Despite the high number of overseas entries, our very own Heather Hammond took third place.  This was a great result - well done Heather.  Check out all the winners at

There is no excuse now for not entering the BSOUP competitions as they are now accepting entries via email - In addition to the above, Alan James took first place in May with a shot of a Scillies seal and Heather Hammond took a third place in January with a shot of a barracuda shoal. Check out for further details.