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Underwater Photography News from DIVE 2016, Part 6: And finally….



There was so much to cover at the Dive Show, that it is time for us to do a round up of the remaining equipment stands and also include BSoUP in our ramblings. BSoUP are an ever present stand at the show and the volunteer members manning the stand are always ready to give advice to budding underwater photographers and experts alike. This year the BSoUP stand had been updated, with new images and an audio-visual display. The images showed off as many underwater photograph techniques as possible and also tried to show off the work of as many of their members as they could. BSoUP is going strong, with “buoyant membership figures” of close to 300 members and counting. Also on display at the BSoUP stand were examples of the underwater photography books by members, and this alone is a great testament to how talented and knowledgeable the group is.


The BSoUP stand at DIVE 2016

Along with the BSoUP stand, the members also run the underwater photography competition that is held at the Birmingham Dive Show each year. From over 100 entries, the best 80 are mounted and displayed in four categories: British & Irish, Overseas, Advanced British & Irish and Advanced Overseas. Everyone that attends the show is invited to vote for their favourite images and this is always a popular feature of the show. Once the votes have been counted up, the winners will be announced, probably sometime in early November. In addition, an expert judging panel will also select their winning shots and their favourite will be crowned overall champion. As soon as we have the results we will get them up onto so that you can see if your favourite shot won.


Show visitors checking out the entries in the underwater photo competition

Cameras Underwater are regulars at the Dive Show and it is always hard to grab an interview with the team, as they are always very busy. We grabbed a rare quiet moment to ask the team what they thought of the show. With exciting new cameras at both ends of the spectrum, the Canon G7X MkII and the Canon 5D Mk IV were creating a great deal of interest. In the lighting arena, the team really loved the Exposure Action 100 and on the wet lens front they also showed-off the Epoque ESL-TG4 Soratama lens, made for the TG4 camera. This creates a “bubble” effect on the image and will be a popular and fun lens for those looking to create something a little bit different in their images. The team “love coming to Birmingham and seeing lots of customers, old and new”.

Brett Thorpe from Blue Orb

Brett Thorpe from Blue Orb

Blue Orb are newcomers to the show, and were showing off the popular Fantasea range of housings. With the Fantasea G7X MkII, recently returned from our latest review session, on display, there was certainly lots of interest. But Blue Orb had even more recent goodies, with the dual branded Fantasea / AOI Super Wide Angle Lens which “works wonderfully with all the Fantasea housings”.  Another new lens, which had just arrived before the show opened, is the Fantasea / AOI Super Close Up lens which is a +12.5 diopter for those who love their super macro photography. When we met up with Brett, owner of Blue Orb, he said the show was “going really well. Lots of people, and very busy”. With Blue Orb also offering plenty of dive equipment, including the new XDeep Zen travel Wing, the stand was packed every time we went by.

Sea & Sea also have a photography equipment section amongst their dive gear. They were showing off new housings for the Nikon D500, Canon 80D and the Sony A6300. Sea & Sea was one of the first stands we visited and Geoff Sharples told us that it had been a “good start to the show” and that it was “busier than expected”. We hope to get some Sea & Sea equipment to review for Scubaverse in the near future, and with a new buoyancy arm system that can also be used as a handle coming out, perhaps we can get our hands on this soon!

That is it from us from DIVE 2016. There was certainly plenty for all the underwater photographers that visited the show. Our next stop is Las Vegas for DEMA, so we hope to have lots of new photo-related gear to talk about!

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


BSAC launch #DiscoverUKdiving video competition



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)



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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