NUPG August 2018 Monthly Meeting Report

Over 20 people turned up to this month’s meeting to listen to Sean Chinn presenting an informative and very entertaining talk entitled ‘Underwater Photography: My Journey’.

Before 2011 he had little knowledge of photography or diving. He began his underwater journey in 2011 in a chilly Stoney Cove and since then has improved his photographic and diving skills through a mixture of education, trial and errors. He explained that after returning from a dive trip in Bali in 2013 he had come back frustrated with his “blue” pictures and although the diving had given him the buzz he knew he wanted to do better.

A couple of lessons with Caroline and Nick Robertson-Brown of Frogfish Photography combined with the purchase of a strobe and video light for his Canon G1X led him to get much better pictures in November 2013 when he went diving in the Red Sea. There followed a trip to The Bahamas which re-enforced the belief he was shark mad and loved diving with these creatures. He also won his first ever competition with Scubashooters

The next couple of years saw him progress exponentially, he upgraded his photography equipment to with a mirrorless Olympus OMD-EM10 set-up and continued travelling the world revisiting the Red Sea, diving in The Maldives, Indonesia and The Philippines, Mexico and The Revillagigedo Islands as well as the UK. His tales of diving at night with sharks at Roco Partida brought gasps of astonishment! He survived to tell the tale and it is clear how he has progressed with his photos showing he has become proficient in both wide angle and macro photography and the post processing of images. He won a couple more competitions and he explained what happened when his “Tiger Shark at Tiger Beach” Competition Winning shot went viral as well as his experiences on his first official press trip to Aqaba in Jordon in 2017.

His talk had the audience laughing out loud on many occasions as he recalled many of the classic mistakes he made with regards cameras and how to use them as well as running before he could walk as he was learning to dive as well as learning to take photographs at the same time!  He shared his frustrations on learning how to use new bits of equipment such as dioptres and snoots. Finally he reiterated what every underwater photographer and diver knows, you never ever stop learning, there is always something new out there.

If you want to find out more about Sean you can visit his website http://greatwhitesean.com/

A great inspiring talk that reminded us, as if we need to know how lucky we are to witness and be able to record the underwater world.

Despite the good turn-out for Sean’s excellent talk, entries were a bit light for our monthly image competition. Those present were mostly in favour of reverting to two images per entrant, so that’s how we’ll run it next month.

John Spencer took 1st place with this lovely reef shot

whilst Yo-Han Cha and Paul Ansell were joint runners up with shots taken in Capernwray and The Cenotes in Mexico respectively.

An honourable mention went to Maggie Russell with her shot of seaweed as hers was the only entry taken with a compact camera!

The meeting ended with congratulations once more being given to Yo-Han Cha and Glenn Philips for their winning entries in this year’s Annual Splash-In competition held on the 4th August.

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