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Relative newcomer scoops award for the British & Irish Underwater Photography Championship 2020

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Forty one competitors submitted ninety four images in BSoUP’s annual British & Irish Underwater Photography Championship, a tough on-the-day competition that demands competitors to take, process and submit images taken anywhere in UK and Irish waters in the space of only 24 hours.

Judges Paul Colley from the UK and Diarmuid O’Donnavan from Ireland were impressed with the quality of entires, particularly in the category for Mankind’s Impact on the Environment, which has now started to attract serious interest from competitors.  Entry numbers were up on the previous year, although down on historical norms, possibly due to the impact of the pandemic and ongoing restrictions with social distancing, which has made boat diving in particular more difficult.

BIUPC Champion 2020: Georgie Bull

Some well-known faces continue to show their ability, including three-time champion Trevor Rees who took top spot in both the close-up and environment categories, Mark Kirkland who once again took the runner-up position for the wide-angle category, and a fist full of other photographers who are well known on the UK and Irish circuit.  However, it was relative newcomer Georgie Bull, only narrowly missing to qualify for the newcomer category, who produced a stunning image of sunlit seagrass to take top marks from both judges and scoop the title BIUPC champion 2020.

Close Up 1st: Trevor Rees

Due to a combination of competitors and images failing to meet the strict vetting criteria for this unique on-the-day competition that has electronic image verification procedures to allow submission from anywhere in UK and Ireland, there were a significant number of spoiled entries, particularly in the newcomer category, which accordingly was not awarded this year.  But the full list of winners, runners-up and highly commended images shows quite clearly the impressive results that can be achieved in just one day’s diving.

Compact 1st: Grant McCarry

At the on line awards ceremony hosted by the British Society of Underwater Photographers, Georgie expressed her huge enthusiasm for our underwater world and her delight and surprise at winning.  She was awarded with the Peter Scoones trophy in memory of one of BSoUP’s founding fathers, a BSoUP trophy to keep for life and a certificate embellished with her winning image.

Environment 1st: Trevor Rees

BIUPC 2020 Roll of Honour

Wide-angle winner and BIUPC Champion 2020: Georgie Bull

Close-up winner: Trevor Rees

Restricted Camera winner: Grant McCarry

Mankind’s Impact on the Environment winner: Trevor Rees


Wide-angle runner-up: Mark Kirkland

Wide-angle highly commended: Mike Orth

Wide-angle highly commended: Rick Ayrton


Close-up runner-up: Kirsty Andrews

Close-up highly commended: James Lynott

Close-up highly commended: Jonathan Bunker


Restricted Camera winner: Grant McCarry

Restricted Camera runner-up: Ronan Murray


Mankind’s Impact on the Environment runner-up: Rob Bailey

Mankind’s Impact on the Environment highly commended: Rick Ayrton


For more information about the BUICP visit the BSOUP website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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BSAC launch #DiscoverUKdiving video competition

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BSAC is launching a new video competition which aims to get the diving community sharing and discussing the highlights of UK diving to inspire others to give it a try and discover it for themselves.

They are inviting you to share short UK diving or snorkelling videos – tagged #DiscoverUKdiving or #DiscoverUKsnorkelling – to be in with a chance of winning a Fourth Element Hydra Neoprene Drysuit worth £999 (or an alternative non-diving suit if a snorkeller wins). There are other prizes up for grabs too, with a Fourth Element duffel bag going to second place and a year’s BSAC membership for third.

The #DiscoverUKdiving video competition aims to get the diving community talking about the highlights of UK diving and/or BSAC club life by sharing short videos to surprise and inspire others to discover it for themselves.

BSAC is looking for videos that show an exciting moment, unique insight or anything that exemplifies why diving in the UK is so much fun and can encourage others to take up UK diving. People will be invited to vote for the entries they find most inspiring on the competition gallery website.

BSAC CEO Mary Tetley said: “We want to show others who haven’t experienced UK diving why we love it so much, and we need your help! Use your phone, GoPro or pretty much anything to share a short video that encapsulates why you love diving in the UK. Ideally, showing off UK diving the BSAC way!”

The competition will be open for entries until midnight on Monday 30 November.

The videos can be either be above water (e.g. a RIB ride out to a dive site), below water (e.g. exploring a wreck with your buddy) or a combination of both. Each video should be short (no longer than 15 seconds) and you can enter up to three videos. The winner will be the entry that receives the most votes. Voting will remain open for a further week and close on Monday 7 December. The winners will be announced the week of 14 December, good luck!

Full terms and conditions, including how to enter as well as how to vote on your favourite video can be found here.

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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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