DECEMBER 13th:  Double competition, members' presentations and mince pies!


DECEMBER:  Double event:- Annual Portfolio plus 'Open' Monthly competition


December Meeting

The December 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.

This will be a double competition night so there will be lots of good images to see. The 'On the Night' competition theme is 'Open' so everyone has something suitable to enter. 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). This will also be our Annual Portfolio competition which is for digital entries only. Send your portfolio file to Bob Anthony as above.

November Meeting

Monthly Competition

The theme of 'Innovation' did not attract too many entries but well done to those who made the effort (not yours truly, I am embarrassed to say). Alan James had experimented with improving surface reflections by having one of his strobes out of the water. He had shot several excellent images of jellyfish whilst on his recent trip to Sardinia and it was one of these that won on the night.

Alan James

Alan used a D70; a shutter speed of 1/250 th second and an aperture f22 darkened the background. Full power was needed on the strobes.

Second place was taken by Ralph Mortimore with an image inspired by an oil painting.

Ralph Mortimore

Another popular image was a well taken pool shot by Helen Ayrton.

Helen Ayrton


Members' Presentation - Ian Lightfoot

This was Ian's maiden speech and covered his underwater photographic efforts over the past two and a half years. This was an entertaining presentation and the improvements over the period were clear to see.  Not only is Ian relatively new to underwater photography, he is also relatively new to diving and the learning curve has been rather steep.

He decided early on that a digital compact camera with supplementary lenses was the way to go - hearing post-dive whingeing about not having the right lens, put him off a dslr. So, off to the local, friendly under water photography dealer he went - equipment was purchased and, feeling he needed some guidance, a course was booked. This was in Sardinia and Ian's efforts were commendable but he wanted to do better. After more practice, and the purchase of a second flashgun, it was back to Sardinia the following year for another course. The results were much better - better shadow control, more saturation and more dynamic images. Indeed, his end of course portfolio was of a very high quality:

Ian Lightfoot

Ian also showed an image of a nudibranch which he had found whilst carrying out an extra dive in Sardinia. The nudibranch had caused a great deal of excitement amongst the local divers. It was well over a foot long and turned out to be rather rare.

Ian Lightfoot

Recently, Ian returned to Sardinia to take part in an international underwater photography competition along with Alan James, who was acting as one of the judges, and several others. The day before the competition was a practice day and Ian took full advantage of it. On the day of the competition, things did not go quite how Ian had planned but, nevertheless, he took first prize in the Wide Angle category with an atmospheric shot of water surging between red rocks. It might not have been what he wanted but it impressed the judges and was sufficient to win around 1500 worth of Mares kit - well done Ian.

Ian Lightfoot

A pleased looking Ian collects his winners' certificate.

This was an entertaining and, occasionally, emotional presentation by Ian who was keen to stress that he was grateful for the help, guidance and inspiration he had received since becoming a member of BUPG. I have no doubt that there will be more competition successes to come.

Portfolio Tutorial - Alan James

Alan explained to the audience how he goes about preparing a portfolio and used as an example his recent entry in the BSOUP British Portfolio competition. Starting off with a selection of suitable images, all thumbnails, he whittles it down to a handful. Using Powerpoint, six images are then tried out to see how balanced the portfolio looks e.g. outer images looking inwards (flipped if necessary), images showing the sea bed placed on the bottom row, colours balanced side to side etc. Having selected a final six, it is then a matter of choosing backgrounds and borders; Alan showed a series of Powerpoint slides where he had experimented with different colour backgrounds e.g.. light grey and dark grey but he found that he was always coming back to his original preference of a black background with a white line border. However, you may have a preference for something else.

Alan James

Alan did go on to say that, despite his careful preparation, his entry had not done very well in this year's competition so you may wish to ignore his advice! Somehow, I don't think we will.

Whaleshark Bonanza

Several members showed images from the recent trip to the Seychelles and some are included here. Firstly, a very nice slide by Pam Bowden, taken with a Nikonos V and 12mm lens:

Pam Bowden

Bob Anthony had experimented with a 'magic' filter and had some good results:

Bob Anthony

Bob Anthony

Arthur Kingdon added to those he had shown last month including this simple but nicely lit shot:

Arthur Kingdon

Alan James also added to the images he had shown last month with this shot of a whaleshark and a shoal of fusiliers. The fusiliers complement the whaleshark very well and give a good impression of size:

Alan James

Ed Whiting also showed some very nice slides but no digital files were available for this Newsletter - hopefully some will be available for next month.


Nikon Battery Recall

If you use a using a D100, D70 or D50, you may wish to check out the recall information on the following link;

Photo Competition

It seems to me that underwater photographs are springing up in the most unlikely of competitions. Check out the 1000 winner of the Science in Action category on the following link:

A good image but not dissimilar to some we have seen within the group.

BSOUP Competitions

There is no excuse now for not entering the BSOUP competitions as they are now accepting entries via email. 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.