The Northern Underwater Photography Group held their annual Splash-In competition on Saturday 16th August. A record number registered for the event, which was held in conjunction with the Anglesey Scubafest. Conditions on the day were particularly challenging for even the most experienced underwater photographer, with visibility reduced to less than 1m, but this did not deter those taking part. The idea of the Splash-In competition is that everyone has the same conditions to deal with and everyone has to capture their images on the day, in the sea, around the North Wales coastline. Each competitor then has to make their way back to the Anglesey Outdoor Centre to submit their images into the appropriate category: System Wide Angle, System Macro; Compact Camera Wide Angle or Compact Camera Macro. The competition only allows for very minor editing of the images, with no cropping or spot removal allowed. There was also a new special category included this year, to capture the mood of the event, above the surface, at Scubafest. This category was open to divers and non-divers alike.
Alongside the Splash-In competition, the NUPG 2014 Print Competition was also being judged. Competitors were invited to submit prints of their best images taken within the last 12 months into the following categories: British Wide Angle, British Macro, Overseas Wide Angle & Overseas Macro.
The competitors, along with an enthusiastic group from Scubafest, filled the room, which meant that the judging of both the print and splash-in competitions were voted for by a packed room of over 70 people. Over 80 images were entered into the Splash-In, and they were projected anonymously for the whole room to see. Once all these votes had been counted up, the runners-up and winners were announced. Each category winner received a trophy sponsored by a supporter of the event. Trophies included donations from AP Diving, Apeks, DiveLife, Dive Quest, Equator Diving, Frogfish Photography, Frogsborn Diving, INON UK, Mares and Underwater Visions.
Nick Robertson-Brown (the NUPG Chair) said, “It was great to see so many people involved with this event. The room was buzzing and the prizes went to underwater photographers that are just starting out, as well as to those with years of experience. The event just keeps getting better each year.”
The very last bit of judging that the crowd were asked to do was to crown the overall Splash-In winner. This was done by a vote off between the 4 splash-in category winners and was won by Jim Garland who had taken a lovely image of 2 nudibranchs whilst diving in a sheltered corner of the Menai Strait. The current was running at around 7 knots, so keeping in the lee of the island was paramount. Jim got a trophy to keep as well as the NUPG Championship trophy to put on his mantelpiece for the next 12 months. The results for the categories, with the individual sponsors, were as follows:
Overall Splash-In Winner 2014 (INON UK) – Jim Garland
Splash-In System Wide-Angle 2014 (Mares) – John Spencer (Runner-up John Spencer)
Splash-In System Close-Up 2014 (Underwater Visions) – Jim Garland (Runner-up Yo-Han Cha)
Splash-In Compact Wide-Angle 2014 (Apeks) – Sue Chapman (Runner-up Sue Chapman)
Splash-In Compact Close-Up 2014 (Frogfish Photography) – Jason Melton (Runner-up Alex Tasker)
Scubafest Image 2014 (AP Diving) – Nick Robertson-Brown (Runners-up Elaine White & Tony Gilbert)
Print Overseas Wide-Angle 2014 (Equator Diving) – Elaine White (Runner-up Nick Robertson-Brown)
Print Overseas Close-Up 2014 (Dive Quest) – Anne Medcalf (Runner-up Phil Medcalf)
Print British Isles Wide-Angle 2014 (Frogsborn) – Nick Robertson-Brown (Runner-up Caroline Robertson-Brown)
Print British Isles Close-Up 2014 (DiveLife) – Caroline Robertson-Brown (Runners-up Elaine White and Ken Byrne)
The Northern Underwater Photography Group (NUPG) is a friendly club based in Manchester that welcomes all underwater photographers. The club meets every month (on the 2nd Monday of the month) where they host talks by well-known photographers, get ideas and tips from fellow members and have a fun monthly competition, as well as holding more competitive competitions like the Splash-In, twice a year. Members range from the newest photographer just putting their first compact camera into the water to professionals with DSLRs – everyone is welcome. For more information visit www.nupg.org.uk. The NUPG’s Facebook page can be found here.
Main Photo: Overall Splash-In Winner 2014, Jim Garland