Photosub BBQ and Splash-in Competition 2023

14 club members attended the 2023 Photosub Club BBQ hosted by Keith & Jo at their home in Cranleigh. Unfortunately we were hit by the current unseasonable weather so although food was cooked outdoors on the BBQ, socialising and eating was indoors. 

The evening also included the results of the 2023 Photosub Splash-in. Images were eligible any time in the calendar year up until the date of the competition and could be taken anywhere in the UK or Ireland. This allowed for more members to participate and get around the usual issue of the British weather preventing diving as well as a dwindling number of active UK divers in the club. There were 14 images submitted by 5 members.

In keeping with tradition the competition was judged by a non diving judge, Emma Stokes. Emma lives in Kent and is an award winning landscape photographer, selling much of her work at local fayres. (

Emma judged the images in advance and provided her picks prior to the meeting so that a final results presentation could be prepared. Unfortunately Emma was unable to attend the BBQ, but provided notes relating to her choice of images. 

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: Tompot Blenny by Jo Horrocks
  • 2nd place: Seal by Pash Baker
  • 3rd place: Puffin by Gill Marsh
  • Highly Commended: Tompot Blenny by Rob White
  • Commended: Shrimp and Anemone by Rob White

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.
  • All participants in the competition (Keith, Jo, Gill, Rob, Pash).
  • Wendy and Roger for providing the pavlova.
  • Jan for providing the Lemon Cake
  • Jan and Linda for washing up
  • Keith for organising and running the competition.
  • Photosub committee members for their various roles in organising the evening

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

Here are my choices for the winners and runners up, it was all very close and difficult to decide on the final placements as all the images were worthy winners in their own right and I don’t have any particular reason why any are placed lower or higher than others!  For me, the story-telling element played a big part as well as the overall image, composition etc.

1st Place – Jo Horrocks

I loved this photo as soon as I saw it.  When story-telling and photography come together it’s always a winning combination and it felt like this little blenny was playing hide and seek with the photographer, well camouflaged among the orange seaweed, whilst peeking through at its ‘admirer’.  The depth of field used works perfectly highlighting the detail on the blenny’s face and it’s appendages against the soft backdrop, with the foreground softened to great benefit to frame the subject beautifully.

2nd Place – Pash Baker

For me this photo says a lot more than just being a photo of a seal.  The colours, composition, textures and shapes keep the viewer very well engaged throughout the whole image and the contrast of the characterful seal peeking out through the seaweed simply adds to the above.  The beautiful colours of the seaweed, anemones and the teal water all complement each other and the sunlight from above and movement of the seaweed ribbons both add further dimension to this lovely photo.

3rd Place – Gill Marsh

I have heard that puffins have great character, and this image captures that perfectly.  I have seen so many fantastic comical photos of puffins in flight so this underwater image stands apart, and the simplicity of the black white and orange against the turquoise waters give it a very striking first impression.   I do not know if puffins are inherently inquisitive but this one seems to be having a good old nose at the photographer adding to the comical interest.

Highly Commended – Rob White

The striking nature of this head-on photo caught my eye.  The wonderful detail, colour and contrast really helped this little blenny stand out against the dark background behind.   It is beautifully exposed, with the black depths behind providing a glimpse of the hidden depths that these little creatures inhabit.

Commended – Rob White

It must take some time to spot these little shrimps amongst the anemone, but what a find, and this photo captures the two perfectly.  I love the way that the delicate nature of this little creature is mirrored in the delicate nature of the anemone’s tenticles. The light and exposure work really well to bring out the translucent nature of both creatures, it really is a lovely capture.