Photosub Annual Meal – March 2019

The 2019 Photosub Annual Meal was held at the Farnham House Hotel and was attended by 33 club members and partners. As always it was a very social affair, one of the key goals of the club.

Following a fine meal and drinks the annual competition was projected. This competition comprises 5 categories:

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

There was a good turnout with 134 images from 17 club members, a record for the number of different members participating. The 134 images were distributed across the 4 projected categories (GW-Macro 21, GW-Wide 30, BW-Macro 36 and BW-Wide 47) with a total of 20 prints.

Kirsty Andrews of the Bristol Underwater Photography Group attended as the guest judge. Club Chair Martyn Guess welcomed Kirsty to the event…

After discovering diving in Thailand followed by several years with Leeds University Dive Club, Kirsty used a compact camera when working as a dive guide in Croatia in 2006. However the passion really took hold when she  joined the Bristol Underwater Photography Group about 6 years ago upgrading to a DSLR. On average Kirsty does about 100 dives a year, roughly half of which are in the UK. 

Being Bristol-based her local stomping grounds are Devon, Dorset and Cornwall, but she particularly loves various sites around Scotland and does a couple of pilgrimages North each year.  Further afield she has recently discovered the delights of the Lembeh Strait and is planning trips to the Red Sea, South Africa and Canada soon.

Kirsty likes characterful portraits of marine wildlife to show off the beauty of UK seas and she appreciates shots that do that too.

An accomplished underwater photographer, Kirsty has received numerous awards including UPY British Macro winner in 2017, images recognised in UPY in 2018 and 2019, and a BIUPC winner in Wide Angle (2017) and Mankind in the Sea (2018) categories.  She has had 3 Highly Commended images in the BWPA in 2018 and won the BSoUP Best of British portfolio twice, in 2018 and 2016.

The competition results are as follows:

Green Water Macro/Closeup

1st Place – Gill Marsh

2nd Place – Joss Woolf

3rd Place – Cat Briggs

Highly Commended – Pash Baker

Highly Commended – Rob White

Commended – Gill Marsh

Commended – Keith Lyall

Green Water Wide Angle

1st Place – Rob White

2nd Place – Martyn Guess

3rd Place – Nick Blake

Highly Commended – Mario Vitalini

Highly Commended – Nick Blake

Commended – Cat Briggs

Commended – Gill Marsh

Commended – Rob White

Blue Water Macro/Closeup

1st Place – Keith Lyall

2nd Place – Martyn Guess

3rd Place – Rob White

Highly Commend – Anthony Holley

Highly Commended – Mario Vitalini

Commended – Mario Vitalini

Commended – Rob White

Blue Water Wide Angle

1st Place – Rob White

2nd Place – Mario Vitalini

3rd Place – Martyn Guess

Highly Commended – Nick Blake

Highly Commended – Mario Vitalini

Commended – Georgette Douwma

Commended – Pash Baker

Print Competition

1st Place – Martyn Guess

2nd Place – Martyn Guess

3rd Place – Peter Tatton

Commended – Gill Marsh

The Len Deeley Trophy

Following the death 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 will be presented on an annual basis at the annual dinner. It will be 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 recipient …

When we discussed who to award the Len Deeley Trophy to this year it was a very quick and unanimous decision by the Photosub Committee and Pat.The recipient is one of the founding members of Photosub, a committee member and former treasurer and a stalwart supporter of the club. He was recognised by many as Len’s right hand man and behind the scenes has helped to organise many meetings and trips over the years without many of the members even being aware.

I asked a few of the members for quotes and stories and the one that stood out for me was Ken’s comment “He just gets on with the job!”. Another anonymous member said “If it is going to happen to anyone – it is normally him.

He was recognised as one of the few who would take both a full stills rig and a video rig on the same dive until he was stopped by Len!  – This was on the basis that he needed to learn how to use at least one of them!

Our award this year for his service and dedication to Photosub is none other than our unsung hero Bert Lee.

Bert has had many success’s over the years in annual competitions, winning many and even coming first and second at the annual splash in 1994. He is custodian of the prints display stands which were hand made by him. You don’t even have to ask they just appear at these events.

Famed for once leaving his rug sack with camera on the Plymouth Ferry after a splash in, blaming everyone else for taking it, only to have it returned by the skipper the following day! He also half destroyed a plant and display stand at a check in counter in Manado when he turned around sharply still wearing his large rug sack and had to be picked up to his feet from the adjoining coffee shop by some of the members here tonight. Bert still dives having travelled with Ken in the recent past to Socorro and Nabucco Island and as Ken told me Bert is still very much part of his diving family.

Everyone I have spoken to about you Bert have memorable stories of trips with you over the years but above all else they share a common gratitude for your friendship. So, with our thanks for all of your help with the club over the years Bert, please come up and accept the Len Deeley Trophy.

Pat presents the Len Deeley Trophy to Bert Lee

Photosub Award Winners

Photosub Winners (L-R): Rob White, Keith Lyall, Martyn Guess, Mario Vitalini, Cat Briggs, Pater Tatton, Joss Woolf, Gill Marsh, Kirsty Andrews (Judge), Bert Lee


Our thanks to Kirsty Andrews for judging the competition, and for attending the meal and competition evening. 

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 evening, liaising with the hotel, and acting as master of ceremonies, Keith Lyall for running the competition, Sue Guess for providing the balloons, Pat Deeley for creating the table place tags and presenting the Len Deeley trophy, Roger Eve for event admin and corresponding with members, Bert Lee for providing the display stands (and Bob and Chris for helping with the setup), Sue Guess and Jo Horrocks for setting up the trophy table, and to Martha for handling general logistics and finances.

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

Photosub Open Competition 2018

Club members met on Saturday 17th 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 Martyn & Sue Guess’s home and was attended by 20 club members and a couple of guests.

After the usual socialising and excellent food, 33 images from 11 members were projected. The winners had been pre-judged by Jason Gregory. Jason is a keen UK diver and underwater photographer. Unfortunately Jason could not attend but provided a set of notes which were read out at the meeting. Our thanks go to Jason for taking time to judge the competition and providing comments on all images, and to Sue and Martyn Guess for hosting the evening.

I received 33 very high-quality images – my goodness you have given me a tough task! Great to see lots of ‘green water’ images among the classic tropical subjects. As we all know very well, there really is no accounting for taste – ‘in the eye of the beholder’ and all that. I have a bias towards how difficult I think the image was to take, and, as a diver most interested in UK locations, I also favour images that are, or appear to be from the UK or other temperate seas.

All of the images are very good quality which gave me a very difficult task choosing ‘winners’. In my final choosing I selected on the basis of the overall visual impact of the images. I have chosen ‘best 5’ and provided comments on all images.

Many thanks for asking me to judge this competition. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the images and offering comments. Unfortunately, its unlikely I will be able to deliver my thoughts personally. Please give my apologies.

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

1st Place: Frogfish in wide-angle landscape by Cat Briggs

Amazing lighting, the whole complicated scene is perfectly illuminated with the ambient light from the surface also perfectly captured. The shape of the sponges seems to form a shape that ties in with the structure above, and in turn provides a stage for the frogfish. Amazing content, colour, textures and forms, even small fishes arcing around the top of the frame get in to the scene. A treasure trove of a subject and photographed to the level of expertise it deserves.

2nd Place: Shrimp and Nudibranch by Martyn Guess

Snooting out (or by other means) the background may not be to everyone’s taste, but the result here is a stage spotlight on to a pair of creatures in almost theatrical garb, and both facing the crowd. It’s a stunning tropical two-for-one.

3rd Place: Scorpionfish by Jo Horrocks

Apart from a clear diagonal, this serendipitous encounter obeys no compositional rules. But, the confident hang-out of the golden scorpion fish results in a treat of colour and expression. We see natural colours and pin-sharp focus on the eye. Even the decaying weed supports dots of tiny mollusc interest. A moment well spotted and preserved.

Highly Commended

Hydroid and Amphipod by Rob White

A fascinating look into the hidden world of marine life at the super-macro level. What I assume to be a solitary hydroid, that has tiny, almost hidden, amphipod passengers. Photographic skill and marine life knowledge coming together to create a beautiful image that contains and reveals unexpected secrets.

Tube Worm by Georgette Douwma

Dainty dandelion fluffy swirls, pink forms with cyan & mint ambiance and an eye-catching vortex centre. Those familiar with these animals know how easily disturbed and lost from view. Delightful abstract prettiness.

Photosub BBQ and Splash-in Competition Results 2018

25 club members attended the 2018 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 2018 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 31 images submitted by 11 members.

In keeping with tradition we were joined by Penny & Spike Piddock. Penny Piddock (DPAGB EFIAP) is the Chair of Dorchester Camera Club and a non-diving member of BSOUP, as well as a Western Counties Photographic Federation approved Judge. Penny lives in Weymouth within sight of the sea and has always been interested in the marine environment from rock pools to the deep ocean. Her photographic interest covers most genres but Penny a particular interest in Nature and People. Penny judged the images in advance and provided her picks prior to the meeting so that a final results presentation could be prepared.

Penny’s provided a view as how she judges images …

As with any competition for art subjects as much as the judge tries to be objective there is always going to be an element of subjectivity & a reluctance to give all the awards to equally good very similar images. This is always a problem where a group of people take photos in similar conditions of the same subjects. I have looked for pictures with good technical content but most important is the sense of originality & pictorialism. The photographer should put something of themselves into the image & present it well.

If they can show me something different & make me want to look at it several times I think it probably works as an image for others. We all think our own are good, otherwise we wouldn’t bother to submit them but we are seeing them from our own experience of the occasion & the memories that go with them.

I like to look at them all fairly quickly in the first instance then think of the ones that are so memorable I can still see them in my mind’s eye. Having the images in advance makes this possible and also the opportunity to look with a more critical eye after a day or two.

All the submitted pictures have something to commend them but I have to make choices and rate one against another. Only one person ever agrees 100% with the judge and he or she may well disagree with the comments.

I know it is not good form to tinker with another person’s image unless requested to do so but for some of these I think showing you is probably better than words. I hope you don’t mind. It is only my opinion and please feel free to ignore it & go with your own preferences.

There is very little difference between my chosen images in fact it was difficult enough to choose a  short list.  My top three stood out to me from the first viewing. Well done to the awarded images & hard luck to those who have missed out this time. I have followed a practice I use with competitions where I am not limited to 123 & a couple of Highly Commended and given Highly Commended to all my ‘held back’ pictures to give due credit to the photographers.

Following a welcome from Chairperson Martyn Guess, the images were projected. This year we tried projecting the images outdoors which was highly successful rather than members have to cram into a room. The projection was followed by results announced in reverse order, including a number of Highly Commended images. 

So to the results:

  • 1st place Lundy seal taken by Keith Lyall
  • 2nd place Jellyfish and sunburst taken at Lundy, by Nick Blake
  • 3rd place Smoothhound taken by Cat Briggs

Congratulations to the winners and thanks all that participated. Images are below …

Thanks go to:

  • Keith and Jo for hosting the event.
  • Penny Piddock for judging the competition.
  • All participants in the competition.
  • Gill, Bert, Sue and Wendy for providing desserts.
  • Rob and Pash for a great job washing up and drying.
  • Photosub committee members for their various roles in organising the evening

Winning Images

Included are narrative comments from Penny for placed images.

1st Place – Keith Lyall

Another delightful seal in its environment. Good use of mono & the seal trainer has worked his or her magic again with the apparent farewell wave to the viewer. Very sympathetic processing and excellent camera work. For me among so many excellent shots this one ticked all the boxes with a strong narrative and pictorialism combined with photographic excellence.

2nd Place – Nick Blake

Graphic shot with a super pictorial quality. I particularly enjoyed the composition and the way it fills the frame with no background distractions with the backlit tendrils. There is a black line around the body that defines it. Can anyone else see the face of Shakespeare peeping through from the back? It was a good choice to use it as to mono shot making thus enhancing the graphic quality.

3rd Place – Cat Briggs

I’m prepared to be corrected but this looks to me like a smooth-hound and is a very fine example that could be used to illustrate the fish. Perfectly situated in the frame perfectly exposed and composed so we are drawn towards the eye. Good use of wide angle. Colour looks just right. The fore-ground definition to show a bit of scale and fading off in the background is well controlled..
Nothing to distract from the fish in its location.

Highly Commended (in no particular order)

Daniel Taylor

Poser. Does the photographer give them lessons in posing? The framing by the ray sets it off perfectly against the background. The backlit whiskers shows them up well and the colour is good. Camera craft and subject knowledge very evident.

Jelly with a strong pictorial effect. The almost mono image has a translucence about it is very attractive against the dark background with the rays gently setting it off. Good use of light.

Peter Ladell

This Lion’s Mane jelly is a very fine specimen. That small fish is living very dangerously and I think although small it does add to the image particularly as it is against the plain background. The photographer has chosen the exposure well and the use of the white key line shows it has been a considered composition. I like the way the light is coming in from the top left. Excellent detail.

Beautiful colours on the Ballan Wrasse resting on the Dead Mans Fingers show the environment well. I like the position you have chosen so we can also see the holdfasts of the kelp.

Martyn Guess

Another photographer with a good eye for a pictorial image.  Good colour combinations and rays set it off well and composition is perfect.

Another lovely mono showing the effect of having a lighter subject against a dark background. This is a successful image with a strong centre of interest and a good feeling of movement. There is no doubt what we are expected to look at but at the same time we have enough detail in the background to show the environment.

Nick Blake

The sense of scale is what drew me to this one, The cave/canyon looks huge. The rays lighting the diver are important. The natural framing by the cave walls & the recession of shades through the cave adds interest.

Looks like a back-lit echinoderm bobbing along & in this case very pictorial image with a graphic shape very well observed and produced. Whatever it is what I am judging is the finished product, which I like for its simplicity.

Gill Marsh

It is a super graphic shot very different from the mono earlier but with an equally strong sense of pictorialism. The green & white work well together unnatural but in this instance appropriate for the artistic interpretation.

Jo Horrocks

A striking Mono portrait as a change from the more pictorial images. A pleasing composition and good eye contact. The whiskers are in the perfect place and you get the feeling it is going to reach out & touch you. Lovely shot.

This compass Jelly looks as if it is intent on capturing prey with all the fringing showing. The radial pattern of brown markings and the shape it forms is very attractive. For this image I don’t think it is important to have a straight surface line. The angle is a valuable for the composition.

Photosub BBQ and Splash-in Competition Results 2017

Approximately 20 club members attended the 2017 Photosub Club BBQ which was hosted by Godfrey and Judith Bevan at their home in Battle, East Sussex. A warm sunny evening allowed members and guests to relax and enjoy the surroundings of the Bevan’s lovely garden. In addition Les Kemp and his wife Diane were invited as they now live in Battle. Some members will remember Les from the early Cranleigh Club days.

Following the success of recent years, images were eligible from 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 were 21 images submitted by 8 members.

In keeping with tradition we were joined by Rick Moye and his girlfriend Jayne. Rick is a local professional photographer specialising in landscape photgraphy. Rick judged the images in advance and provided his picks prior to the meeting so that a final results presentation could be prepared. Rick was very impressed by the overall standard and particularly surprised at the colour in the images; his expectation had been of very dull images, so congratulations to all participants.

Following a welcome from Chairperson Bob Soames, the images were projected followed by results announced in reverse order, including a number of Commended and Highly Commended images. Rick provided narrative comments against his selections.

So to the results:

  • 1st place Plane wreck and diver, taken at Vobster by Keith Lyall
  • 2nd place Split-shot of seal taken at Lundy, by Gill Marsh
  • 3rd place Brittle Star by Peter Ladell
  • Highly Commended Tompot Blenny taken at Swanage by Jo Horrocks
  • Commended Jellyfish, taken at Lundy by Martyn Guess
  • Commended Jellyfish, taken by Peter Tatton
  • Commended Seal, taken at Lundy by Gill Marsh

Congratulations to the winners and thanks all that participated. Images are below …

Thanks go to:

  • Godfrey and Judith Bevan for opening up their house for the event, and to their daughter Xanthe and partner Gavin for helping with the catering.
  • Godfrey for organising the judge.
  • Rick Moyes for judging the splash-in competition.
  • All who provided desserts.
  • All participants in the competition.
  • Pat for the loan of the projection screen.
  • Photosub committee members for their various roles in organising the evening.

Winning Images

First Place - Keith Lyall

First Place – Keith Lyall

Taken at Vobster in Somerset, the nose section of the plane sits at about 14 metres. 2 off camera strobes were located just behind the windscreens of the cockpit. The shot was taken in essentially natural light with just enough power to trigger the off camera strobes. Channel mixer adjustments we made in Photoshop to remove the typical greenness associated with UK wide angle shots.

2nd Place - Gill Marsh

2nd Place – Gill Marsh

3rd Place - Peter Ladell

3rd Place – Peter Ladell

Highly Commended Images

Highly Commended - Jo Horrocks

Highly Commended – Jo Horrocks

Commended Images

Commended - Martyn Guess

Commended – Martyn Guess

Commended - Gill Marsh

Commended – Gill Marsh

Commended - Peter Tatton

Commended – Peter Tatton


Photosub Splashin Results 2014

The club BBQ was held on Sat 16th August at Swindon Sub-Aqua Club and there was an excellent turnout of 31 members and guests. The venue was really excellent and a tribute to Gill Marsh and the other members of SSAC who have been able to have this purpose built venue developed to such a high standard. A special thanks to Gill and Andy who hosted the evening, producing really excellent food, and also thanks to James and Roger from SSAC who ran the bar and helped out with the organisation. If you get a chance I would encourage you to pay a visit to SSAC sometime as the venue is quite unique.
The guest of honour for the evening was Anna Stowe (see her own work at ) , with her partner Mike Buy. Anna judged the competition in advance and brought her choice of winning images in sealed envelopes. All 17 images entered by 8 club members were projected and then the envelopes were opened to announce the winners.
The results were as follows:
  • 1st Len Deeley with an image of a Tompot Blenny on James Eagan Layne wreck
  • 2nd Keith Lyall with a close focus wide angle image of a Velvet Swimming Crab shown in its environment taken at Selsey Lifeboat station
  • 3rd Martyn Guess with a close up image of a Velvet Swimming Crab taken at Selsey Lifeboat station

We will try to give plenty of notice for the date of the next Photosub Splash in so that members can clear their diaries for it and, hopefully, we can have a greater number of members entering next year.


Photosub Annual Dinner 2014

The Photosub Annual dinner was held at the Farnham House Hotel (near Guildford). 34 club members met for drinks, socialising and a 3 course dinner. The annual competition this year was judged by Photographer and Lightroom guru, Saeed Rashid. Saeed teaches photo journalism at Bournemouth University and is himself an underwater photographer of over 13 years; he runs photo trips with Blue O2. There are 5 categories:

  • Blue Water Projected
  • Blue Water Advanced Projected
  • Green Water
  • Green Water Advanced
  • Print Competition

There was a good showing in all categories:

  • Blue Water Projected (15 entries)
  • Blue Water Advanced Projected (44 entries)
  • Green Water (11 entries)
  • Green Water Advanced (24 entries)
  • Print Competition (23 entries)

The results can be found on the results page.

Thank you Saeed for taking the time to judge the competition, to Len Deeley for organising the evening and the competition and to Bert for the print stand. Finally thanks to all members who took time to enter the competition and congratulations to those placed in the competition.

Blue Water Projected (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

2014 BW 1st

2014 BW 2nd

2014 BW 3rd

Blue Water Advanced Projected (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

2014 BWA 1st

2014 BWA 2nd

2014 BWA 3rd

Green Water Projected (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

2014 GW 1st

2014 GW 2nd

2014 GW 3rd

Green Water Advanced Projected (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

2014 GWA 1st

2014 GWA 2nd

2014 GWA 3rd

Photosub AGM – 2014

Approximately 20 members attended the Photosub AGM meeting on 18th Jan 2014. Reports were made by Keith Lyall (Chairman) and Kam Arya (Treasurer), followed by re-election of officers.

The AGM was followed by an excellent selection of food, and projections of video from Jo Horrocks and images from Joss Woolf and Len Deeley. Thanks to Joss for hosting the evening and slaving over the stove to provide excellent food.

The minutes of the AGM can be found here. The minutes also give information on various dive trips and events planned for 2014.