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Meet Our Club: Northern Underwater Photography Club

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Want to join a dive club? In this new series, we take a look at grassroots diving and find out what’s happening on the club scene in the UK and around the world…


What is the name of your club?

Northern Underwater Photography Group

Where is your club based?

Our members are from across the North of England and Wales. Our monthly meetings are in Manchester.

Club affiliations (i.e. BSAC, PADI, SAA, etc.)

None, we have divers from all agencies and all levels; the passion we share is for underwater photography, be they images taken in the sea, in a rockpool or a quarry.

Where and when do you meet?

Above the Gurkha Grill, on the second Monday of every month. Click here for location.

How do you respond to the challenge of recruiting new members?

We have a specific section for compact cameras in our monthly competitions. We organise underwater photography print competitions and our splash-in event which are “Open to All”.  This year we are planning to do a couple of come and meet us dives, one in a quarry and one coastal. We welcome all divers, both those that like diving in UK waters and those that prefer warmer climates.

Our speakers and topics are chosen so that they will interest both new and current members. Our website is updated with various information regarding our upcoming meetings, competitions, meeting reports and other information. When we have a particular “famous” speaker we try and advertise this as widely as possible via the diving community using Facebook as our main contact point.

What facilities and resources does the club use/have?

Our main way of recruiting members is through word of mouth via the northern based diving community, but our greatest resource is our members’ knowledge and experience coupled with their willingness to share that with those who would like to learn! We have a private meeting room above The Gurkha Grill for our meetings and our own projector and screen.

What sort of diving do you do, and where?

Being an underwater photography club, we all like to dive to take photos, however it’s varied as we have divers who like to photograph in deep or shallow water, as well as photographing rust and/or squidge! Whatever diving you’re in to, you’re bound to find someone in the NUPG that is interested in doing the same.

Do you organise any club trips abroad, and if so, where?

We haven’t as yet organised a trip abroad, although we may do in the future.  As we are an underwater photography club based in the UK we also love to showcase what the UK has to offer! We do have members that have lots of experience in diving abroad and know lots of dive locations that are perfect for underwater photography.

Does your club have any special interests such as conservation, special projects, etc?

We love to support marine conservation charities in any way we can. We sponsor shark trust adoption certificates as our prizes for some competitions. Many of our members try and raise the awareness of over fishing, exploitation of our oceans and the menace of plastics in the environment.

Does your club have any claims to fame or any particularly interesting stories… or members?

We’re always proud to see our members doing well in various underwater photography competitions like the British and Irish Underwater Photography Competition, as well as local competitions like the St Abbs and Eyemouth Splash In. We often get well known speakers from the underwater photography diving community for our monthly talks.

What are the club’s plans for the future?

To try and reach out to more beginners. We never want people to think that they’re not good enough to join. The club is open to underwater photographers of all abilities, especially beginners! We may try and organise a photo diving trip in the future and we are looking at ways to update and increase the information available via our website.

Where can people find out more about your club?

Our website: www.nupg.org.uk/

Our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/northernunderwaterphotographygroup/

Finally… if you could sum up your club in just one sentence, what would it be?

We love taking underwater photographs… if you are interested in underwater photography you will be made welcome!

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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Henley Spiers: Black & White Photography at the September NUPG meeting (Watch Video)

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The September NUPG meeting saw Henley Spiers take to the virtual stage. Henley decided to divide the evening into two topic areas for discussion: Black and White Photography and Pelagic Encounters – his two biggest passions in underwater photography at the moment.  Henley showed off his stunning black and white images to the NUPG audience, talking about why he selected each image to convert to monochrome and was generous enough to share the photoshop techniques with the group too. He then went on to wow the group with images from the deep blue sea, with some simply stunning pelagic encounters. 

As always, the NUPG members also had a chance to show off some of their images in the monthly competition. This month’s theme was “Invertebrates” and it saw a range of ideas and images from the group.

The winning shot of a sea lion was taken by Maggie Russell

The runner-up was by John Spencer

Third place was taken by Justin Beevor

The next meeting was held on Monday 12th October, a talk from Simon Rogerson: Difficulties with Sharks. Check back soon for the video!

For more information about the NUPG please visit the website by clicking here.

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SeaLife launches new underwater housing for iPhone

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SeaLife is introducing a new compact and lightweight underwater housing for Apple’s iPhone.  The new SeaLife SportDiver housing will allow divers to take photos and video with their iPhone down to 130 feet or 40 meters.  The SportDiver can encase iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, Xr, Xs, Xs Max, 11, 11 Pro Max, and SE (2nd Gen) models.

The heavy-duty housing is constructed of Polycarbonate, stainless steel, aluminum and optical grade glass.  And while the SportDiver housing is “heavy duty”, it is not heavy, weighing less than 1.5 pounds (641 grams), and is lightweight for travelling and offers almost neutral buoyancy in water depending on which iPhone model is used.

The SportDiver is easy to hold and use and offers a large shutter lever and rear control buttons for easy operation, even with dive gloves.  Snorkelers and Divers can get more creative with their photos or video shot by using advanced camera settings. Adjust Zoom, Exposure (EV), Auto/Manual Focus, White Balance, Tint, Lens selection, RAW+JPEG mode, Live Photo and Background Blur (on available iPhone models).

The SportDiver housing includes the free SeaLife SportDiver camera app for iOS 12 and up and unlike other smartphone housing apps, there are no annoying in-app purchases or ads.  You can easily switch between photo and video mode.  The SportDiver App uses the iPhone camera technology native to each iPhone® model.

The App Playback mode shows full size photos and videos with vertical thumbnail strip to easily locate your images. Videos start playing automatically when selected. All files are also saved to iPhone camera roll.  The SportDiver housing automatically connects to your iPhone and the SportDiver app using Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) 5 wireless technology. No cables or buttons touch the phone and offers ultra-low power consumption for both the phone and the housing which is powered by two AAA batteries that last over 50 hours of continuous use.

For enhanced imaging results, a removable underwater color-correction filter is included with the SportDiver which restores natural underwater colors.  The filter easily attached or removes underwater and includes a safety tether to prevent loss.  The SportDiver housing features triple 1/4-20 tripod mounts which mounts to any light or light tray with standard tripod threads such as SeaLife’s own range of Sea Dragon underwater photo/video lights.  SeaLife also offers the SportDiver and Sea Dragon underwater light combined dubbed the “SportDiver Pro 2500 Set”.

For the phone’s safety and protection, the SportDiver has a sturdy holding spring and rubber grip tabs that securely hold the iPhone® in place and add shock-protection.  The SportDiver has “Dual Leak Alarms” which include an internal moisture alarm and a vacuum pressure alarm which alert the diver with on-screen warnings, audio and LED signal in the unlikely event the waterproof seal is compromised and there’s a loss of housing pressure or moisture is detected.  The door of the SportDiver is sealed with a TPE O-ring and a robust cam-lock sealing latch that easily and securely locks waterproof door.  To prevent interior fogging from residual moisture, the SportDiver uses the anti-fogging agent “Moisture Muncher” capsule which prevents fogging and internal condensation.

Deliveries of the SportDiver iPhone housing are planned to start in November, 2020.

Item                Description                                                                                         US Retail

SL400               SportDiver Underwater Housing for iPhone                                       $299.95
SL401               SportDiver Pro 2500 Set with Sea Dragon 2500 underwater light    $649.95

Included with SeaLife SportDiver, Model SL400:

  • SportDiver Underwater iPhone Housing
  • Underwater Color-correction filter
  • Vacuum pump
  • Rubber Grip Tabs (12x Small, 12x Medium and 12x Large)
  • Spare O-rings (1x Main O-ring and 1x Vacuum Check Port O-ring)
  • O-ring lubricant
  • O-ring removal tool
  • Deluxe wrist strap with clip
  • Moisture Muncher sample pack (1 capsule)
  • AAA alkaline batteries (2)
  • EVA Carry Case

Included with SeaLife SportDiver Pro 2500 Set, Model SL401:

  • SportDiver Underwater Housing for iPhone, model SL400 as above
  • Sea Dragon 2500 Underwater Photo/Video light, model SL671
  • Sea Dragon 2500 Underwater Photo/Video Light head
  • Flex-Connect Single Tray w/ standard ¼-20 mounting screw
  • Flex-Connect grip
  • 25Wh Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
  • AC Power Adapter, charging tray, and international plug adapters
  • Spare O-rings, O-ring lubricant, O-ring removal tool
  • Sea Dragon EVA Case

For more information about Sealife Underwater Cameras visit the website by clicking here

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