Brian Pitkin

Brian Pitkin

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Brian Pitkin who died peacefully on Tuesday 31st August 2021 after a short illness. Brian had been ill for some time and was taken into hospital on Tuesday morning as an emergency admission. Linda was at his side when he died and said “he had a gentle and peaceful death, with no apparent distress”.

Brian was widely known throughout the underwater photography community. As a member of Photosub he and Linda went on dive trips across the world accompanied by many of our members. 

Brian was a former BSoUP Chair, created the first BSoUP website, was webmaster for many years and also BSoUP President until his death. He was awarded honorary Life Membership many years ago.

Brian always made new members feel welcome and was often one of the first club members to speak to new joiners. Brian had definite opinions on what he liked and did not like and took the view “Would I want that hanging on my wall?”. He would provide encouragement and advice to both new and experienced photographers. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Our sincere condolences to Linda and all of Brian’s family.

Ken Sullivan

Ken Sullivan

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ken Sullivan who died peacefully on Monday 23rd August 2021 after a short illness.

Ken was a friend to so many club members and frequently organised dive trips attended by many within Photosub. He was a wonderful photographer, always keen to help and advise new and experienced photographers alike. He was also a skilled engineer designing and making equipment long before it was available on the retail market. Many of us will have asked him for help in producing and repairing our kit over the years.

Our condolences and thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.

Photosub Annual Meal – 2021

Following 18 months of Covid where all club contact was via email and Zoom meetings, the Photosub Annual Meal 2021 was the first opportunity for club members to meet and socialise face to face. Normally the annual meal is held at the Farnham House Hotel; however due to a lack of availability a catered “posh BBQ” was planned instead.

Sue and Martyn Guess very kindly provided the use of their garden into which 2 large marquees and 2 smaller gazebos were pitched. The 2 large marquees were joined using good old duct tape to create a very usable 6m x 9m “room” so that it felt like a single event. This included running repairs on one of the marquees that had been damaged by wind and flipped onto it’s back breaking a number of joints … yet again duct tape proved to be the solution. Tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, glasses and lighting were hired and an external caterer was engaged to prepare and cook the main meal and provide desserts.  


A very broken marquee!

The marquees fixed and erected …

… and tables all set

Hoping for a dry evening

The event was attended by 29 club members plus our guest judge Simon Rogerson and his wife Anna. The evening was not without incident as further members had planned to attend but one couple had a gas leak while another had cold symptoms and did not attend as a precaution. A puncture resulted in an irritating delay for Martha and Anthony but they were able to attend the event before all of the food had been devoured. 

Despite heavy rain showers the meal was a huge success and many members later commented about how good it was to catchup face to face.


Pre dinner drinks … Georgette & Bev

Joss & Ian

Sue, Martyn, Wendy, Jo & Roger
 

Dinner is served

 

Photos courtesy of Keith Lyall, Pat Deeley & Gillian Marsh

Following the meal the Annual Competition images were projected. The competition comprised the usual 4 categories with a total of 126 images submitted by 17 members. Due to a lack of diving in 2020, images from up to 5 years were eligible.

  1. Green Water Macro/Close Up (18 entries)
  2. Green Water Wide (27 entries)
  3. Blue Water Macro/Close Up (42 entries)
  4. Blue Water Wide (39 entries)

The Print Competition category was cancelled due to limited interest. Given the weather conditions and limited space this worked out for the best.

Our competition judge was Simon Rogerson, Editor of Scuba magazine who is well known to many club members, particularly through the annual trip to dive with the seals at Lundy. Images were provided to Simon ahead of the event to allow him to review at his leisure  and Simon also attended the meal as our guest providing feedback on his choice of images.

The competition results are as follows (C=Commended, HC = Highly Commended):

Green Water Macro/Closeup


1st Keith Lyall

2nd Joss Woolf

3rd Keith Lyall

HC Pash Baker

HC George Mitchell

Green Water Wide Angle


1st Martyn Guess

2nd Peter Ladell

3rd Nick Blake

HC Daniel Taylor

HC Pash Baker
 

C Nick Blake

C Pash Baker
 
 

Blue Water Macro/Closeup


1st Jo Horrocks

2nd Martyn Guess

3rd Pash Baker

HC Sue Guess

HC Martyn Guess
 

 


C Mario Vitalini

C Georgette Douwma

C Pash Baker

Blue Water Wide Angle


1st Martyn Guess

2nd Martyn Guess

3rd Gill Marsh

HC Jo Horrocks
 
 
 
 

C Martyn Guess

C Georgette Douwma

C Keith Lyall

Len Deeley Trophy

Following the death 5 years ago of club founder and driving force Len Deeley, a new trophy was created by Pash Baker and Jo Horrocks in memory of Len. This trophy is presented on a yearly basis at the club annual dinner. It has been classed as a “floating trophy” and while on some occasions it will be presented based on a competitive basis defined by the committee, on others it will be presented to a club member who has supported the club and promoted its aims and goals.

Club Chair Martyn Guess introduced this years recipients, Roger & Wendy Eve. Roger & Wendy have been long time members of the club having met Len at a dive resort many years ago. This is the beauty of diving where a shared passion results in life long friendships. Roger & Wendy are regular attendees at club events, with Wendy renowned as the Queen of the Pavlova. Roger has been the club secretary for the past 3 years and just gets things done in a quiet but efficient manner. A well deserved award and thanks to Roger & Wendy for their unwavering support for the club.

Thanks

These events do not run successfully without the help of a number of club members. This event in particular required significant input from a number of people:

  • Simon & Anna Rogerson for attending the evening and for Simon’s judging and comments during the results presentation.
  • Martyn & Sue for opening up their house and allowing the use of their garden.
  • Martyn for organising the caterers and facilities hire.
  • Godfrey Bevan for the use of his marquee and gazebo.
  • Martyn, Sue, Keith & Jo for pitching the marquees/gazebos and arranging/setting the tables.
  • Sue for providing pre dinner nibbles. 
  • Martha for providing napkins and nibbles.
  • Ian Mills, Bev, Keith, Jo, Martyn & Sue for tidying up on the Sunday.
  • Keith for driving many miles around the South East to pick up the tents, Len Deeley Trophy and projector screen.
  • Roger for providing all event communication.
  • Keith for organising and running the competition.
  • The Photosub Committee (Martyn, Martha, Roger & Keith) for the many calls and emails to organise this event.

Thanks to all who who entered and congratulations to all winners.

Photosub May 2021 Meeting

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 social distancing measures, the Photosub Club members continue to keep in contact through video conferencing. On the evening of Saturday 16th May, 18 members attended a virtual meeting for a general catch-up and to present a series of images and talks, covering both underwater and topside subjects.

2021 Annual Meal & Competition Proposal

Chairman Martyn Guess opened the meeting and presented an alternate proposal to replace the annual Farnham Hotel meal which has become too expensive due to changes in the way in which the hotel operates. It is proposed to hold the meal in tents/gazebos at Martyn and Sue’s home on Saturday 31st July. Martyn has contacted a local caterer who will provide a complete meal service including table, plates and cutlery. Costings and a final proposal will be made to club members.

The annual competition will be held at this event. However as this evening replaces the club BBQ, it is proposed that the Green Water images (both macro and wide) will be images normally taken as part of the splash-in. Keith will provide more details in the near future, but as a heads up it is proposed that ANY green water images taken in 2021 will be eligible to increase the scope for entries.  

The remainder of the evening consisted of a number of presentations:

Show’n’Tell

  • Mike Davidge – Kenyan Safari
  • Gill Marsh – Humming Birds
  • Dario Navaro – Snorkelling Images from Bodrum, Turkey
  • Jo Horrocks – Garden birds drinking and bathing 
  • Roger Eve – Woodpecker feeding young

Mini Talks

  • Gill Marsh – South Georgia & Antarctica
    • A great presentation on a trip to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, specifically for the wildlife and immense scenery.
  • Keith Lyall – Diving Bonaire
    • An overview of diving in Bonaire, Caribbean and how the dive setup is conducive to ‘socially isolated” diving
  • Martyn Guess – Seals and Castles of Northumberland
    • Diving will the seals of the Farnes and photographing the many castles of the Northumberland coastline.

Thanks to:

  • Martyn Guess for running the evening
  • Martha Tressler for setting up the video call
  • Roger Eve for providing meeting arrangement details
  • Keith Lyall for creating the slideshow
  • Gill Marsh, Jo Horrocks, Martyn Guess, Roger Eve, Keith Lyall, Dario Navaro & Mike Davidge for providing images/presenting

Photosub AGM 2021

With the ongoing UK COVID19 lockdown, the Photosub 2021 AGM was held as a virtual meeting. 22 club members attended the meeting held on Sat 6th Feb 2021. 

Key points from the AGM were:

Chairmans Report (Martyn Guess)

Well  – what a difficult year we have all had! Hopefully all our members have escaped the dreaded virus and are keeping well and safe. The Lockdown’s  during 2020 and into 2021 have played havoc with our day to day lives and also from the perspective of us all  at Photosub getting together to meet socially and share stories and discuss our passion  for underwater photography. We are not alone and many, many clubs and societies have had to adapt, and many are continuing to run  successfully through online meetings. This is the fourth online meeting for Photosub. They take a fair bit of organising and my thanks to all of the Committee for sticking with it and enabling us to at least meet online to have a chat and see some photographs

Hopefully at some point this year we will all be able to get together again socially and for some of us to dive together. Speaking for myself I can’t’ wait to get back in some nice warm blue water and am hopeful that the workshops I run will  start again later in the summer. A few of us have been able to meet and dive in the UK, Joss and I and Maria and Daniel were able to join a trip to Lundy that Peter Tatton organised for his dive club and a very enjoyable time was had. A few of us also met at Swanage and at Selsey ( where I saw my first UK Seahorse!) and all enjoyed what British Diving can offer. Sue and I spent some time at St Abbs and dived the Farnes with Alex Mustard and Nick More and had a very enjoyable few days taking landscapes images along the Northumberland coast last autumn. I suspect that summer 2021 will bring more of the same and it would be great to dive with other members.

If you count the last AGM, we had 3 online meetings during 2020.

The 2020 Photosub AGM was very different due to the COVID19 lockdown. Using video -technology, a virtual AGM was held from club members various houses. 20 club members attended the meeting held on Wed 15th April. This meeting had already been delayed from earlier in the year due to winter storms. 

In light of the 2020 Covid-19 social distancing measures, the Photosub Club members continued to  keep in contact  throughout  2020 via video conferencing. On Saturday 18th July, 24 members attended a virtual meeting for a general catch-up and to present a series of images, both underwater and topside.

12 members provided images which were presented during the meeting. As Chairperson  I  led the meeting with each photographer presenting their images and answering questions from other club members.

There were a varied collection of images including underwater images from the film days. In addition, Anthony Holley provided a short video of trout taken by putting his iPhone into the river at Mottisfont! I made  a short presentation on my use of a trioplan lens to create interesting bokeh backgrounds.

Under normal circumstances, the Photosub Annual Competition entries would have been projected at the club annual meal in March, the results announced, and the trophies presented during the evening. However, given the unique and unprecedented events of 2020, both the original dinner date in March and the revised date in September were cancelled in line with government guidelines. 

Consequently, an online virtual meeting was held on Sat 21st November attended by 22 club members. This competition comprised 4 categories:

  • Green Water Macro/Close Up
  • Green Water Wide
  • Blue Water Macro/Close Up
  • Blue Water Wide

The print competition category which is judged on the evening based on members prints was removed as not being practical. A total of 132 images were submitted from 16 members.

Our honoured judge was JP Trenque, who is well known to many members as a past Chairperson of BSOUP and a previous Photosub Competition secretary. JP is an award-winning underwater photographer, although has not been able to dive recently due to family and work commitments. However, judging the images has rekindled JP’s urge to get wet again and hopefully we will see more of him and his images in the future. Our thanks to JP for judging the competition, and for attending the virtual meeting to present his judging comments.

Results can be viewed at Photosub Annual Competition 2020 – Results

These events do not run successfully without the help of a number of club members. Thanks to Roger Eve for providing all event communication, Keith Lyall for organising and running the competition, and Martha for setting up and hosting the virtual meeting.

Thanks to all who entered and congratulations to all winners.

My thanks go out to all who participated during the last year under very difficult circumstances, for attending meetings, entering competitions and also for taking some great photographs. My special thanks as always go to your committee for their hard work behind the scenes, Roger for his work as secretary and for keeping all the members informed, for Martha for her advice and work on the club’s finances and for Keith for keeping the competitions going during Lockdown, and Social distancing. A thankless task sometimes chasing members for entries and then sorting them out and putting slide show presentations together. Most of all my thanks to all of you for being members and supporting Photosub.

Treasurer’s Report (Martha Tressler)

Subscriptions are down slightly as a couple members left and a couple more joined right at the end of 2019 (those subs recorded in 2019 but carried through 2020). It was a very low cost year with only costs for the website, a cancelled meeting in January and some engraving costs. We have a surplus for the year of almost £300. This coming year will also be low cost and it is proposed (and was agreed) that no subs be paid in 2021. Two members had already paid subs by standing order and they will be contacted by the Treasurer.

Election of Officers

The current officers were willing to be re-elected and as no others came forward the meeting agreed to the following:

  • Chair – Martyn Guess
  • Treasurer – Martha Tressler
  • Hon Secretary – Roger Eve
  • Competition Secretary and Webmaster – Keith Lyall
  • Committee Member – Bert Lee

2021 Activities

Tentative plans for 2021 will include:

  • Club Mid Year meeting – probably May and likely to be online
  • Club BBQ (and Splash-in Results) – Martyn/Sue Guess have offered to host, probably in Aug/Sept
  • Club Annual Meal – Martyn to contact the Farnham House Hotel to determine possible dates.
  • Open Competition – typically November

Given the current COVID situation the organising of face to face events will require assessing in line with the situation and guidelines nearer the time and will be communicated to club members when known.

AOB

There being no other Business the AGM part of the meeting was closed at 20:30.

Thanks to all who joined the meeting, to Martyn for use of his Zoom and chairing the meeting, Roger for the numerous email communications, Martha for the Treasurer’s report and Keith for coordinating the follow on show and tell session.

Show and Tell

Following the AGM, a Show and Tell session was organised where a number of members offered to present some of their memorable images. There was a varied agenda including still images and videos with Q&A by the members. This made for a different a varied evening.

Show’n’Tell

  • Mike Davidge – Mike presented a variety of memorable images.
  • Dario Navaro – Dario presented some shots from his lockdown in Bodrum, Turkey
  • Joss Woolf – Joss used lockdown to extract a few images from previous trips to Komodo and Raja Ampat.
  • Anthony Holley – Anthony presented a few shots from his 70th Birthday present which was a flight in a Spitfire from Biggin Hill heading South to Beachy Head.
  • Martyn Guess – Martyn presented some shots from UK dive trips between UK lockdowns including a B&W shot of a Blue Shark which was recognised in the 2020 UPY competition. 

Short Presentations

  • Lundy & UK Diving – Peter Tatton
    • Peter presented a mixture of still and video from various UK trips in 2020, including Kimmeridge, Lundy and Norfolk Weybourne
  • UK Garden Visitors – Jo Horrocks
    • Jo ran a video of various birds and squirrel visitors to the garden during lockdown. The video was taken using a Bushnell camera trap which was adapted using lenses to allow closer focus. 
  • Overview of Landscape Photography – Keith Lyall
    • Keith presented an overview of the equipment and techniques for landscape photography.

The meeting ended at 22:15. Thanks to all who attended and contributed to the meeting.

Photosub Annual Competition 2020 – Results

Under normal circumstances, the Photosub Annual Competition entries would have been projected at the club annual meal in March, the results announced and the trophies presented during the evening. However given the unique and unprecedented events of 2020, both the original meal date in March and the revised date in September were cancelled in line with government guidelines. 

Consequently an online virtual meeting was held on Sat 21st November attended by 22 club members. This competition comprised 4 categories:

  • Green Water Macro/Close Up
  • Green Water Wide
  • Blue Water Macro/Close Up
  • Blue Water Wide

The print competition category which is judged on the evening based on members prints was removed as not being practical. A total of 132 images were submitted from 16 members.

Our honoured judge was JP Trenque, who is well known to many members as a past Chairperson of BSOUP and a previous Photosub Competition secretary. JP is an award winning underwater photographer, although has not been able to dive recently due to family and work commitments. However judging the images has rekindled JP’s urge to get wet again and hopefully we will see more of him and his images in the future.

The competition results are as follows accompanied by judges comments:

Green Water Macro/Closeup

1st Place – Martyn Guess
That’s a bit saucy!  Beautiful clean shot of the mating nudis. Great light and composition. I chose it as my winner over the tompot blenny simply because I have a lot of tompot blenny images, but very few of mating nudibranchs in the UK.

2nd Place – Jo Horrocks

There were quite a few pictures of tompot blennies and it was difficult to choose my favourite one. The obvious reason I preferred this one is the eye contact. There is so much cheekiness in this picture. But it’s also an image where the foreground, although blurred adds to the image. And more importantly, the bokeh in the background. The softness on the caudal and pectoral fins make it a much stronger shot. This could easily have been the winner.

3rd Place – Cat Briggs

This crab is just so cute. And the anemone behind it shows that there can be a lot of colours in temperate waters. A little bit more light on the anemone would probably have made this image a runner-up.

Highly Commended – Keith Lyall

Great wrasse portrait. Very nice lighting 

Highly Commended –  Keith Lyall

Another very nice UK nudibranch. 

Commended – Pash Baker

This octopus scores highly on the cuteness factor. It’s just a little bit too dark, unfortunately.

Commended – Rob White

Nice clean shot and very colourful. I turned the picture around and thought the peacock worm would have looked better as a landscape

Green Water Wide Angle

1st Place – Gill Marsh

This is very Charliehoodesque ! Bang on the dome. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Charlie had something to do with this! Cracking “in your face”, “nose on the dome” shot. With great interaction. 

2nd Place – Mario Vitalini

The fin movement gives this shark such an elegance. It’s a very arty shot and probably would have been my winner if the sun rays at the top had been a little bit more pronounced.

3rd Place – Rob White

Beautiful lighting. I like the use of the diagonal, enhanced by the sun rays in the top left. In this image, I feel like I’m floating in midwater with the compass jellyfish

Highly Commended – Martyn Guess

This pup just wants to play! It’s a great shot could easily have been in the top 3. 

Highly Commended – Martyn Guess

I like this pike. The movement is well captured. This could also easily have been one of my top 3. Why the use of monochrome?

Commended – Carole Mapstone

This shows what UK diving is mostly about. A good ol’ rusty wreck with plenty of life on it. A club diver’s dream. Great colour of the water and great lighting. I would have used the rule of thirds a bit more in this image, maybe cropping it a bit so that the pillar in the middle and the blenny aren’t so central.

Commended – Keith Lyall

That’s a very interesting shot. I like the diver with the torch. I would have added a little bit of contrast to make the blacks blacker.

Blue Water Macro/Closeup

1st Place – Martyn Guess

To me, that’s simply stunning. It’s one of the best images of commensal emperor shrimp and nudibranch I’ve seen and I would love to have an image like this one. It’s clean, simple and immediately tells a story about the symbiotic relationship. The shrimp’s eyes and elbows in the same plan as the nudi’s gills pack a lot of interesting features in the small focus window.

2nd Place – Keith Lyall

This scores 10/10 for cuteness! I remember years ago, I think it was at the Alternatives in Sharm, spending a long time at dusk watching an octopus gather shells around him and “lock-up” for the night. I found this fascinating.  Another day, still at the Alternatives with Linda Pitkin, we put our cameras down, watched and played with another octopus for ages. His curiosity won over his shyness and he interacted with us. It was one of those moments that stay with you forever. The strong composition and the very nice lighting make this a very strong image. Rather than being an octopus portrait, it tells a story. One can see the shells are used as a shelter but this tiny octopus seems very relaxed and peaceful. It’s almost as if it opens his door to the viewer.

3rd Place – Rob White

It’s probably obvious now, but I love an image that tells a story! And there is so much to talk about when I see a fish in a discarded bottle. Litter or second life? Although I should stay away from anthropomorphism, one could dwell on the fish’s expression. I love the lighting through the glass. I cropped the image slightly to see if bigger would work better but I think the dark background works very well as it is. The focus is spot on. It’s a cracking shot.

Highly Commend – Cat Briggs

That’s a very nice portrait and I love the bokeh in this image. The colours are very pleasing, and the expression the lizard fish’s mouth makes it a strong image.

Highly Commended – Mario Vitalini

Another beautiful portrait. Great composition and nice eye contact. Pushing the exposure ever so slightly might have made it a more striking shot, but this is a photo I certainly would have loved to take.

Commended – Mike Davidge

  like this image because I’ve always struggled to get a picture of an ornate ghost pipefish without burning the highlights. It’s a very nice clean shot but I would just have liked to see more context around the animal rather than a close crop.

Commended – Mike Davidge

Cardinalfish with eggs are great subjects. I love the lighting on this image and the fact that the aperture was left just open enough so that the background isn’t completely black. As the caudal fin was slightly cropped, I think a tighter crop would have made the image more “in your face”.

Blue Water Wide Angle

1st Place – Martyn Guess

I love the movement in this picture. Is it all done in camera with slow shutter speed and rear curtain sync? The expression on the shark is great too. I try not to get too tempted by anthropomorphism but sometimes, it’s just too tempting!

2nd Place – Gill Marsh

This image reminds me of why I’m missing diving so much. I used to love bobbing around on the surface or just below at the end of dives and take taking pictures of the top of the reef. That’s the kind of image that makes people want to protect the marine environment. It’s a very simple shot, full of colours and just makes you want to be there. I love it.

3rd Place – Keith Lyall

I had overlooked this image the first time I went through the slideshow because it didn’t have the striking colours that other pictures had. However, that’s another shot that makes me want to be there. I love schooling fish and they’ve given me good results in competitions in the past. I love the serenity of this image. It feels like I’m back on a trip to Sipadan or somewhere. We quite often try to avoid exhaled bubbles in our images, but here, I think they add to the image.

Highly Commended – Pash Baker

It’s a technically great shot of the turtle going through Snell’s window. The lighting is beautiful and the subject is very engaging. The only reason it didn’t end up in the top 3 is the diver and bubbles in the background which distracted me a bit from this otherwise beautiful image.

Highly Commended – Mike Davidge

This oceanic white tip reminds me of a great image Len Deeley had taken, which had quite a lot of success in competitions. It’s a great classic portrait, which is beautifully lit. I marked it down slightly because I think it’s over-sharpened. I think a slightly softer image would have been stronger. 

Commended – Joss Woolf

This is such an atmospheric shot. I like the light on the batfish. I tiny bit more light on the soft corals would have made it a lot more striking.

Commended – Pash Baker

Whales are definitely on my bucket list! I like the composition and the effort to get the animal in the centre of the sun rays. I think his image would have benefitted from more contrast and maybe even being turned into a black and white monochrome.

Thanks

Our thanks to JP Trenque for judging the competition, and for attending the virtual meeting to present his judging comments. 

These events do not run successfully without the help of a number of club members. Thanks to Martyn Guess for managing the organisation of the albeit aborted evenings, Roger Eve for providing all event communication, Keith Lyall for organising and running the competition, and Martha for setting up and hosting the virtual meeting.

Thanks to all who who entered and congratulations to all winners.

Photosub Show’n’Tell 2020

In light of the 2020 Covid-19 social distancing measures, the Photosub Club members have been keeping in contact through video conferencing. On Saturday 18th July, 24 members attended a virtual meeting for a general catch-up and to present a series of images, both underwater and topside.

12 members provided images which were presented during the meeting. Club Chairperson Martyn Guess led the meeting with each photographer presenting their images and answering questions from other club members.

There were a varied collection of images including underwater images from the film days. In addition Anthony Holley provided a short video of trout taken by putting his iPhone into the river at Mottisfont. Martyn presented a short presentation on his use of a trioplan lens to create interesting bokeh backgrounds.

Thanks to:

  • Martyn Guess for running the evening
  • Martha Tressler for setting up the video call
  • Roger Eve for providing meeting arrangement details
  • Keith Lyall for creating the slideshow
  • Jo Horrocks, Martyn Guess, Roger Eve, Wendy Eve, Joss Woolf, Peter Tatton, Keith Lyall, George Mitchell, Dario Navaro, Martha Tressler, Anthony Holley & Mike Davidge for providing images

Photosub AGM 2020

The 2020 Photosub AGM was very different due to the current COVID19 lockdown. Using video technology a virtual AGM was held from club members various houses. 20 club members attended the meeting held on Wed 15th April. This meeting had already been delayed from earlier in the year due to winter storms. 

Key points from the AGM were:

Chairmans Report

There were 4 social events during the year, all well attended and also the usual 3 competitions which once again were very well supported with some excellent quality images.

  • The 2019 dinner was once again held at the Farnham House Hotel. 33 club members and partners attended. There was an excellent entry from members with a total of 134 images across all of the categories from 17 club members and 20 prints. Our Judge for the competition was Kirsty Andrews from the Bristol Group who attended the dinner. Kirsty is a very keen UK diver/photographer and is now doing more overseas trips as well.
  • Thanks to Martha and Anthony for opening up their house for our June meeting. Those that attended had an enjoyable evening.
  • The Splash-In Competition and summer BBQ was once again held at Jo and Keith’s House in Cranleigh in September with 28 Members attended. The Splash – in entries were judged by Emma Stokes who is a professional Landscape and Wedding photographer.
  • The November meeting and Photosub Annual Open Competition was very kindly hosted by Pat Deeley. It was a very pleasant social gathering with 33 people attending. There were 44 images from 15 members projected and pre-judged by Paul Statham and Pat Williams.

Thanks to all those who attend our events and participate, and for taking such great photographs. Also, for entering our competitions and perhaps most importantly for being so friendly and sociable. My special thanks go also to your committee members who do such unsung work behind the scenes and keep the club functioning.

Treasurer’s Report

It was proposed that subs remain at £15 for diving members and £8 for non-diving members. The meeting agreed this. Subs are now due and those that have already paid were thanked.

Election of Officers

The current officers were willing to be re-elected and as no others came forward the meeting unanimously, and with relief, agreed to the following:

  • Chair – Martyn Guess
  • Treasurer – Martha Tressler\
  • Hon Secretary – Roger Eve
  • Competition Secretary and Webmaster – Keith Lyall
  • Committee Member – Bert Lee

2020 Activities

Annual Dinner: This was postponed and rescheduled to 16th October. 

Other Meetings: It might be possible to have an online meeting with photo presentations during May/June. We would hopefully be able to hold a BBQ in late August. If any members would be willing to host a meeting please contact a member of the committee. A date and venue would be explored by the committee. With the dinner in October there would not be a November meeting. We would expect to be able to hold our usual January meeting.

AOB

Keith Lyall (Competition Secretary) proposed a change to the exclusions clauses for the Autumn Competition and the Prints & Digital Competition (Annual). Current wording stated

Exclusions: Photos that have previously come first, second, or third in any national or international competition cannot be used. Photos that have achieved first, second, or third in any national or international portfolio competition can be used. Entries that have come first in any Photosub competitions are not eligible.

To encourage more diversity in competition entries Keith proposed that entries that have come first, second or third in any Photosub competitions are not eligible As recently there have been a number of repeat entries using placed images. The motion was approved overwhelmingly. The new wording will read

Exclusions: Photos that have previously come first, second, or third in any national or international competition cannot be used. Photos that have achieved first, second, or third in any national or international portfolio competition can be used. Entries that have come first, second or third in any Photosub competitions are not eligible.

There being no other Business the meeting was closed at 2100 BST.

Thanks to all who joined the meeting, to Martha for investigating and setting up the video conference and to Martyn for chairing the meeting.

Photosub Open 2019

Club members met on Saturday 16th November for the annual Open Competition. This final competition of the year pits blue water against green water, macro against wide angle. The evening was hosted at Pat Deeley’s home and was attended by 33 club members.

After the usual socialising and excellent food, 44 images from 15 members were projected. The winners had been pre-judged by Paul Statham and Pat Williams who were able to attend the meeting. Our thanks go to Pat and Paul for taking time to judge the competition and providing comments on all images, and to Pat for hosting the evening.

The winning images are as follows with judges comments in italics:

As joint judges, we each considered all entries and formed a shortlist.   We then combined our shortlists before discussing what had attracted us to them and deciding on results.  It was a very difficult choice as the original shortlist had 17 photographs and inevitably personal preferences come into play.

1st Place:  Nick Blake

A stunning image, with interesting features all over the frame combining into a coherent whole.  The positioning of the diver relative to the reflection and light rays draws the eye and gives the impression of effortless flight.

2nd Place:  Rob White

The viewer is drawn into this image by the eye contact with the fish and the models perfect positioning and focus.  Models’ eyes can sometimes look unnatural and posed in photographs but here it is as if the photographer is not there and the model is enjoying the peaceful interaction with the bumphead.

It is interesting that the photograph may not be technically perfect, with only one fish eye fully visible and the diver’s bubbles rising, but the composition, colour and exposure overcome any minor issues.

3rd Place: Nick Blake

While this kind of shot of a stingray is fairly common, what distinguished it for us was the angle from which the shot was taken. It almost looks as though the photographer dug a hole in the sand to get below the subject!  The curve of the ray’s wing is pleasing as is the reflection on the surface and the dappled light on the sand. 

Highly Commended

Peter Tatton

We loved the “graininess” of the photograph as well as the amazing subject.  We loved the way the baby is nuzzling against its mother.  Technically very accomplished as the dolphins must have been moving at speed.

Pash Baker

Appears technically perfect in terms of focus and depth of field shooting such a tiny subject with super-macro.

Rob White

Would have been placed by one of the judges despite being a relatively simple subject.  The colour and lighting are perfect.

Pash Baker

Impressive shot with good exposure.  Brightness in top right corner slightly distracting.   Again, technically very good as the subject must have been moving quickly.

Commended

Martyn Guess

Beautiful shot of photogenic subject with good colour, surface interest and feeling of motion.  Difficult given the angle but having two eyes in view would have made this even better.

Nick Blake

We loved the composition of this shot with the seal leading the eye backwards and a good sense of the environment.

Random thoughts

Jo Horrocks

This is personal preference but we found the (apparently) distorted pier leg on the left hand side very distracting.  If this had been cropped out, this photograph would probably have been placed as it shows great interaction between the fish and the photographer with great colour and surface interest.

Sue Guess

Wendy Eve

We assume these are of the same subject as boxer crabs carrying eggs are pretty rare.  Photo 10 (snooted) is obviously impressive to capture what is usually a small, skittish subject in this way but is almost hoisted by its own petard in that the snooted light is not consistent across the anemones!  Photo 31 on the other hand provides interest between the background and the markings on the crab but raises the slight concern that the subject has been moved by a helpful dive guide.  We have all been in this situation but nonetheless it left us feeling uncomfortable.

Photosub BBQ and Splash-in Competition Results 2019

28 club members attended the 2019 Photosub Club BBQ hosted by Keith & Jo at their home in Cranleigh, Surrey. In addition to the BBQ and socialising, the evening also included the results of the 2019 Photosub Splash-in. 

Images are eligible any time in July and could be taken anywhere in the UK or Ireland. This allowed for more members to participate and help get around the usual issue of the British weather preventing diving. There was a good turn out with 30 images submitted by 10 members.

In keeping with tradition we were joined by a non diving judge, Emma Stokes. Emma is a professional photographer specialising in landscape photography, wedding photography and running photography 121 courses (Emma Stokes Photography). Emma judged the images in advance and provided her picks prior to the meeting so that a final results presentation could be prepared.

Emma provided an overview of the images and her approach to judging:

Firstly, I would just like to say how impressed I was with the variety and quality of photographs taken.  I for one had never imagined such colourful species were living around our coast.  It’s a great insight into our local underwater world and I feel honoured to have been asked to judge the competition, so thank you.  I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through them.

As a landscape and nature photographer I find I am drawn to close up detail as much as the bigger picture.  I was particularly drawn to the story telling elements of the images, especially where it seemed that the subject seems to be engaging with the viewer.  Equally though I was drawn to those in which the creatures were photographed in their natural surroundings encouraging the viewer to look over the whole image. Composition, tones and light are to me the finishing touches and can make a photo really stand out when everything else is equal.

With this in mind I have carefully selected the first, second and third place and some extremely close highly commended and commended images.  I could have chosen many more!  It should be noted that it was extremely difficult to separate some of these placements and all entrants should be extremely proud of their work. What a very talented bunch of photographers!

Following a welcome from Chairperson Martyn Guess, the images were projected. After last years success, we again projected the images outdoors. The projection was followed by results announced in reverse order, including a number of Highly Commended and Commended images. 

So to the results:

  • 1st place Leeches Spider Crab by Cat Briggs
  • 2nd place Crab hiding in Jewell Anemones by Peter Ladell
  • 3rd place Seal by Nick Blake

Congratulations to the winners and thanks all that participated. 

Thanks go to:

  • Keith and Jo for hosting the event.
  • Emma Stokes for judging the competition (and helping with the washing and food layout).
  • All participants in the competition.
  • Sue, Carole, Pash, Martha, Pat, Jeanette and Wendy for providing desserts.
  • Rob and Pash for the washing up/drying, and helping with cooking the food.
  • Photosub committee members for their various roles in organising the evening

The winning images are as follows, with Emma’s comments:

1st Place – Cat Briggs

The winning image for me was this eye-catching photo of this little creature (crab?) looking straight into the camera.  There is something quite mesmerising about its inquisitive gaze and it really draws you into the photo.  This is added to by the bold centrally placed composition which really does make you take notice.  The vibrancy of the colours adds to the overall impact of the image and the floating anemone adds a graceful contrast to the scaly nature of the little crustacean.  I love the intimacy of its positioning within the anemone, a fine example of this creature in its environment.  Altogether it is a wonderful example of the beauty found within the UK waters. Congratulations on such a striking photo.

2nd Place – Peter Ladell

This photograph is such a visual treat and I love the fact that it is filled from corner to corner with colours and texture.   The well-positioned crab hiding among the anenomes gives the viewer a true feel for life under the sea and for me it was a treat to see such a colourful scene from UK waters.  It really is an excellent example of this sea creature in its environment and the photographer should be proud.

3rd Place – Nick Blake

Third place goes to this wonderful photograph of this inquisitive and playful seal.  It really is a great capture of this lovely native mammal.  It’s not very often we have the pleasure of seeing this amazing creature up close, so it is a treat to look at.  The dappled light upon the seal’s fur seems to mirror its mottled tones and it looks as though it has stopped mid-swim to look at the camera. The photographer has really captured the intelligence and the fun character of this friendly mammal. 

Highly Commended

Jo Horrocks

It took me a while to notice the crab in this picture as if the crab has become part of the camouflage of this amazing creature.  The subtle tones and close up detail of this unusual animal made it stand out and I love how It looks strangely peaceful despite being mid-feast. The photographer has really captured the striking colours of this beautiful creature which contrast with the harsh reality of nature under the sea.

Peter Tatton

This anemone stood out for me due to its vibrant colours, textures and the outstanding exposure and sharpness of the image.  The anemone looks like it is illuminated from within, but what really makes the image is the carpet of small starfish covering the floor as far as the eye can see.    What an unusual sight, again a wonderful display of stark contrasts and textures within one small area in UK waters.  It is a fantastic example of the amazing underwater world we have close to home, congratulations.

Commended

Keith Lyall

This flash of colour is quite something against the dark background.  It is quite a surreal photograph which instantly appealed to the abstract photographer in me.  There is nothing subtle about it and I love the angle of the fish and the way it is peering into the camera.

Cat Briggs

There was a lot about this photo I liked.  At a glance, the overall composition works well even without taking into account the beautiful foreground detail and provides compositional balance to the photo.  The sea urchins and anenomes provide some excellent foreground detail and colour and the last thing my eye rested on was the blue and green fish at the bottom of the photo swimming towards the camera.  All in all a wonderful photo!

Daniel Taylor

This is a superb portrait of a Blenny.  It seems a popular subject to photograph and quite rightly so. The lighting, composition and understated capture of this little fish caught my eye.  It is very well exposed with the fish lit against the dark background and the way it is resting on the sea floor as if staying out of harm’s way added to the overall essence of the photo.