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.


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.