October 2017 Monthly Meeting

Kirsty Andrews, winner of many competitions including The Wide Angle Category in The 2017 British & Irish Underwater Photography Championship travelled from Bristol (via the Farnes!) to see us and gave a very interesting presentation on diving in the South-West of England.

She began by telling us about when she started diving and how she got interested in UW photography with joining BUPG being the time she made the jump from using a Canon Ixus to a second-hand Nikon DSLR.

There were photos of some of the wrecks and fantastic reefs in The Scillies and then Kirsty talked about the logistics of getting photos of Blue Sharks off Cornwall giving insights of how she took her shots of these magnificent fish and also that it was on one of these trips that she witnessed a large school of massive blue fin tuna swim by, not an everyday occurrence in those waters.

Kirsty continued her presentation giving examples of many dive sites all around the South West including Plymouth, Bovisand and The Helford River and the iconic Swanage Pier including the practicalities of diving these sites with photography in mind from both the shore and from boats.

The presentation was well illustrated with some fantastic photographs. More unusual fish seen included a John Dory on a night dive night, Trigger Fish on the James Eagan Layne, a sea spider with eggs at Bovisand, and other areas where Thornback rays and smooth hound sharks can be found. She also ventured slightly further north giving us information on Pembrokeshire dive sites in South Wales.

The competition followed, the theme being “Unedited” and it proved to be very close. Caroline Robertson-Brown was first with her picture of an Oceanic Whitetip Shark taken at The Brothers in the Red sea with a Nikon and a 10/17mm lens, whilst Keith Major’s winning compact shot,taken with a Panasonic FX35 using ambient light only, of a Batfish from the Whitsunday Islands in Australia came in second whilst four people tied for 3rd place. They were Elaine White with a very atmospheric shot from The Cenotes in Mexico taken with a 10/17mm fish-eye lens.  Richard Kempton with his shot of a scorpion fish that he almost touched before he saw it! Nick Robertson-Brown with his shot of a sealion at La Paz that required a very fast shutter speed of 1/500th of a second as they are much faster than are common or grey seals in the UK and Ken Byrne with a lovely shot of Devonshire Cup Coral at Black Rock Rathlin in Northern Ireland. Congratulations one and all.

Runner-Up Open and Overall Compact Category Winner Keith Holmes

Joint 3rd Elaine White

Joint 3rd Richard Kempton

Joint 3rd Nick Robertson-Brown

Joint 3rd Ken Byrne

There then followed a discussion on all the photos that had been submitted, if and how you would edit them to improve them.  A special mention has to be given to Denise Major who submitted a lovely picture of an anemone with an underwater camera that when she uses the camera in the underwater case, lacks the ability to change the shutter speed, aperture or ISO, all of these had to be decided before the dive! – well done.

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