OCTOBER 11th:  Digital Sensor Cleaning plus Members' Presentations

NOVEMBER 8th:  Not yet finalised


OCTOBER:  Available Light

NOVEMBER:  Innovation

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


October Meeting

The October 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 'Available Light'. 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.

Fiona Bowles will give a short presentation on the Galapagos.


September Meeting

I am not a superstitious person but our meeting on the 13th September had more than its fair share of bad luck: Our main speaker, Ralph Mortimore, was called to London on an urgent business meeting that very morning and our guest speaker, Andrew Stagg, was on his way to our meeting when his car broke down. However, the meeting was rescued by Bob Anthony and Pam Bowden who each managed to put together a presentation with only a few hours notice. Both Ralph and Andrew are keen to entertain us in October so let's wish them better luck for then.

Bob Anthony - Diving In Newfoundland

Despite the short notice, Bob put together an excellent presentation based on his latest expedition to Newfoundland. He created instant envy by opening the presentation with an image of a 7 metre RIB at Gander airport, after it had been flown in courtesy of the RAF. The expedition was based in St John's and diving was mainly in Conception Bay. This is where some of the best wreck diving in the world can be found. Four iron-ore carriers were sunk here during WW2 and their remains lie upright on the sea bed, with the shallowest in thirty metres and the deepest in fifty metres. The extremely cold water usually ensures excellent visibility and some stunning pictures were shown.

@ Bob Anthony

Bob's buddy had a scooter and Bob hitched a lift to get from one part to another of these 400 foot wrecks. Above, is the Rose Castle whose decks are at about 35 metres.

@ Bob Anthony

Another view of the decks of the Rose Castle - different buddy, no scooter.

@ Bob Anthony

Lying some 20 metres off the stern of the Rose Castle is a torpedo (minus warhead) which failed to detonate. Bearing in mind this is at 50 metres and around minus 1 degree C, it is an excellent effort.

At about 48 metres, inside the engine room, is the repeater telegraph. Canadian laws prohibit the removal of artefacts so there is a lot more left to photograph on these wrecks than you would usually expect.

@ Bob Anthony

The wrecks also attract a lot of fish life, particularly lumpsuckers which favour the ends of the winch drums for laying their eggs. Also frequently found are sculpin (shown below). Lions mane jellyfish are common and a bit of a hazard, particularly when you are hanging on a line decompressing but they are photogenic and Bob showed several shots of them.

@ Bob Anthony

Although humpback whales are regularly seen on the surface, Bob told us that he has yet to manage to photograph one underwater. However, he did show some nice images of dolphins.

Pam Bowden - Nuweiba

Pam Bowden also came to our rescue and brought along a good selection of slides from her recent trip to Nuweiba where she dived the house reef. Unfortunately there are no scanned images available at the moment to show Pam's work but there were some excellent shots of nudibranchs, groupers, trigger fish etc. There were cleaner shrimps in abundance and the images served as a lesson in what can be achieved if you concentrate your diving on a small area. It was also a reminder of what good value this destination is, particularly for the underwater photographer.

Monthly Competition

The theme this month was 'British' and there were a good number of entries as would be expected. The range of colourful images would have surprised anyone unfamiliar with what our waters have to offer. The winning image, showing a jellyfish with surface reflection, was by Cathy Lewis. Being so close to the surface had allowed Cathy to lift her strobe out of the water and illuminate the jellyfish, plus some adjacent weed, from above. The result was a first class image.

@ Cathy Lewis

Pipped by one vote was Trevor Rees whose image of a firework anemone created lots of interest. Found off the west coast of Scotland, they favour a muddy bottom and share their habitat with Dublin Bay prawns - not what would normally be considered a good dive site by your average club diver!

@ Trevor Rees

Tying for third place were a very colourful scene from the Scilly Isles, shot by Fiona Bowles using her Olympus C40Z plus slave flash, and a tompot blenny by myself.  This is much photographed individual, living under Swanage pier in an old scaffold pole.

@ Fiona Bowles

@ Arthur Kingdon


Hot News - Sardinia Photo Trip

Click here for details of an exciting opportunity to take part in an international photo competition.

CD Cleaning (continued)

As this topic is now scheduled for our October meeting, I will simply repeat what I wrote in our previous Newsletter.

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.

Air Ambulance Collection

Our Treasurer has received, on our behalf, a letter of thanks from the Gloucestershire Air Ambulance for our donation of 321.50 which was raised at our meeting in memory of Joe Foxcroft.

Slide Scanning

I have recently shot a roll of film! No, I haven't abandoned digital - I had some process paid sensia which was taking up beer room in the fridge so thought I would use some of it. What did catch my interest amongst the literature which came back with the slides, was the cost of scanning as charged by Fujifilm: a cd of 'high resolution' files costs only 5.99 when done with film processing but, even more interestingly, was the cost of scanning mounted slides - 10.99 for up to 39 exposures. Add 1.50 for p&p and you get a cost of 32p per slide. Now that is pretty cheap and Fujilabs are one of the most reliable processors around so you might want to consider using them if you have slides but no scanner.

New Photo Competition

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

BSOUP Competitions

There is no excuse now for not entering the BSOUP competitions as they are now accepting entries via email. Apart from Alan and Heather (who have had done very well in the competitions this year) the rest of us have shown little interest. We have a great deal of talent within the group so why not give it a go? Let's show the London lot what we can do in the south west! Check out for further details.