Underwater Photography competition

Thursday 17th November 2011

Sea slug image by Trevor ReesSea slug image by Trevor Rees

A tiny sea slug, no longer than two inches long, has stolen the show in one of the UK’s most celebrated underwater photography competitions.

As the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) announces the winners of the 2011 BSoUP/DIVER print competition, The Wildlife Trusts declare Trevor Rees’s sea slug image as the overall winner of the British and Irish categories, which they judge.

The sea slug, or nudibranch, Flabellina lineata, has delicate tentacles with white tips. It is widespread around much of the UK coastline. As well as being enchanted by the subject, judges were impressed by the technical skill involved in capturing a quality close up of such a small species underwater.

Trevor said: “Flabellina lineata is a great example of how attractive an underwater slug can be compared to a land slug.

“My image was taken in Loch Creran on Scotland's west coast in about six metres of water. During the dive there were a lot of these creatures feeding in the rich current swept waters of the loch. They were present on rocks and weed with this one found on kelp. A low angle enabled me to get a striking head on portrait using a housed SLR camera with a macro lens.”

Judging took place at the Dive Show in Birmingham (on Sunday 23 October). The Wildlife Trusts looked for photographers who captured the essence of Living Seas – the fascinating and colourful wildlife and habitats found around our coasts.

Robert Bailey secured runner-up status with his portrait of a rare yarrell’s blenny. This fish has bushy tentacles and is uncommon around the UK’s coastline. Judges were delighted to see such a beautiful portrait of one.

Robert said:

“The picture was taken in Loch Long in Scotland in late spring. The image was taken in fairly shallow water – less than 10 metres. The blenny was sitting on the bottom and was comfortable with my approach. It stayed long enough to allow me three shots. I used a 60mm macro lens with a Nikon D300 and Sea & Sea housing, and one Inon Z240 strobe with a snoot on the light.”

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“Each year, the BSoUP competition entries demonstrate just how spectacular the wildlife living in our seas is. It can be easy to dismiss the UK’s seas as dull and grey – but images like Trevor’s sea slug illustrate how much beauty is there to be discovered if you take a closer look. From the far North to the south west, there are thriving habitats to be explored. We are currently urging Government to designate 127 sites as Marine Conservation Zones around England. The BSoUP competition images help to raise awareness of what is at stake if we don’t give all these sites the protection they urgently need.”

Prizes include membership of The Wildlife Trusts, along with a trophy.

A selection of images from The Wildlife Trusts’ category in previous print competitions can be viewed at www.wildlifetrusts.org/bsoup.

To view all the winners in the 2011 competition visit the BSoUP website.

Details of all winners
1st place: Trevor Rees - Nudibranch (Flabellina lineata), Loch Creran, Scotland
2nd place: Robert Bailey - Yarrell's blenny, Loch Long, Scotland, Nikon D300
3rd place: Dan Bolt – Kelp, Lundy Island, Devon, Olympus E-PL1
4th place: Samantha Muir - John Dory, James Eagan Lane, Plymouth, Sony NEX5
5th place: George Stoyle - Nudibranch (Polycera quadrilineata), North Rona, Scotland, Nikon D700
6th place: Saeed Rashid - Seal in kelp, Farne Islands, Canon 400D

British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) www.bsoup.org
Formed in 1967, the British Society of Underwater Photographers is the largest such society in the UK and also one of the oldest in the world. It was formed to create a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about underwater photography as well as to put the activity on the map. Today the Society has over 300 members ranging from divers who have just started to take photographs underwater to world-renowned professionals.

 

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