Sun Star. St. Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve.
Sun Star.
Activities. Activities.
Ticker tape.
Dahlia Anemone.

Splash-In 2004

Exploring the Seashore

Introduction
Seaweed
Sponges & Sea Anemones
Worms
Limpets & Sea Snails
Crabs & Barnacles
Spiny-Skinned Animals
Seashore Fish

Coastal Walks

Eyemouth to St. Abbs
Bird Watching

Sailing

Local Facilities
Map of Eyemouth Approaches

Photographic Competition

Splash-In Rules 2007
Splash-In 2006
Splash-In 2005
Pointer to current page.Splash-In 2004
Splash-In 2003
Splash-In 2002
Splash-In 2001
Previous Winners

On the weekend of the August Bank Holiday (August 28th & 29th) the St Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve held the annual underwater photography competition, the Splash-In. The competition came along just ten days after the 20th anniversary of the VMRís official opening on 18th August 1984 by Professor David Bellamy. Not only was that cause for celebration but it was also the first time we included a digital category, and very popular it proved too.

The weather in the week leading up to the event was beginning to cause serious concern. Just the weekend before a huge swell was rolling in and making diving near impossible. It died down through the week and despite strengthening winds conditions began to improve. By the Friday the wind was blowing straight out the west and flattened the seas altogether. Our prayers had been answered!

So by the time Saturday morning rolled around the seas were calm, the water was looking as crystal clear as ever and a queue of eager photographers was forming!

We ran the film side of the competition exactly the same as in previous years; entrants collected their film at 8am and had until 2pm to return it to us. Their films were processed that day and given back to them in the evening. This was the first time we were allowing digital entries and needless to say, some teething problems were inevitable. The way we had set it up was going to be problematic not only for the photographers but also hard work for us. On the sound advice of Alan James it was all made much more straightforward and so the necessary changes were made. The vast majority of the divers welcomed this but some were convinced we were doomed from the beginning and decided not to enter. You can't please everyone though can you? And so after the initial madness of registration it all calmed down as divers rushed to waiting boats to get out and find some willing subjects.

The categories we set were marine life portrait, reserve atmospheric, and the most humorous shot in memory of local diver and photographer John Goldie. The way we ran it was that there would be a prize for first and second place in each category for both digital and film. This made ours the first competition of its kind in the UK, others having just tacked on a "best digital shot" to their film competition. So with so many prizes available (a total of around £1,500 worth of prizes were begged borrowed and stolen) it was all to play for.

Given that digital entries were allowed this year we had a dilemma about the number of entrants. It was eventually decided to allow a maximum of 20 entrants in both digital and film and to limit each photographer to just two entries each. On the Saturday morning we had to turn away two late entrants for the film competition and had registered an impressive 13 digital competitors.

After a very successful days diving in calm seas with visibility over 10 metres, the images were all processed, downloaded, and being carefully selected into the appropriate categories.

Before we knew it the slide show on the Sunday evening was upon us. St Abbs village hall had never been so full with well over 100 people anxious to scrutinise this years entries. By yet another miracle our brand new (we only got the laptop fixed 10 days before the competition) digital equipment was all working hunky dory and beautifully displaying the digital images. Luckily none of those heart-stopping moments when the screen remains ominously blank! The VMR was very lucky to receive support from the Eyemouth and East Berwickshire Partnership Community Grant Scheme in order to purchase our new digital equipment. European money being put to a very good use! There was a wide range of shots in each of the digital categories, many of which were of very high quality. A number of our entrants were using the latest digital SLRís and the results were impressive. The digital images were shown followed by the film entries, the assembled masses busy scribbling the number of their favourite image on their voting slip. Once all the images had been shown the audience got a break and enjoyed a glass of wine and had a mingle over at the marine reserve visitor centre. Whilst all that went on frantic vote counting took place back at the Hall.

The votes were tallied and all the winning entries rearranged for display once again and to allow for the vote for the overall winner. First up was digital starting with Marine Life Portrait. Both first and second place in this category were of lesser (or curled) octopus. The runner up shot by Ken Sullivan of the octopus on a bed of brittlestars and the winner, by Alan James, a beautiful close up shot of the animal at rest. Next was the Reserve Atmospheric category. This year we merged this category with the old diver scenic category, which we had decided to drop. So it was down to wide angle shots, nice and atmospheric, with or without a diver in shot. In second place was a silhouette of a diver over a rocky reef by Pete Ladell. Tracey Stephens won the Reserve Atmospheric category with a shot of the kelp forest in natural light showing just how clear the waters around St Abbs can be. Finally for the digital side of things it was time for the John Goldie Most Humorous Shot. The winner was something of a landslide as it was only Ken Sullivan who entered the category! A shot of Nemo at home amongst dead manís fingers won him first prize.

We then moved on to the film entries. Marine Life Portrait proved to be both a very popular and hotly contested category. The votes were quite evenly spread but two shots came out with equal number of votes and so were given joint first place. Pam Bowden took a very eerie shot of dead manís fingers covered in a bed of brittlestars. Sharing first place with this shot was another photo of a lesser (or curled) octopus caught in fine detail by Ian Taylor. In the Reserve Atmospheric category beginner Tony Stannardís wide angle shot of a reef covered in dead manís fingers and kelp forest won him second place. He was beaten to first by an excellent picture of a diver silhouetted against the surface taken by Brian Jubb, a very well composed and framed image. We ended the show on a humorous note with the John Goldie Most Humorous Shot. Luckily in the film category side of things we had more than one entry this time and as usual the preparation that had gone into some of the shots was impressive. Paul Taylor came second with a photo of Thunderbird 4 making as appearance at St Abbs. Winning this category with a vast majority of the votes was Len Deeleyís well planned and executed image of a diver encountering some "real" dead manís fingers. So with that the slide show was all over bar the shouting and it was down to a vote of hands for the overall winner of digital and film. Tracey Stephenís image of the kelp forest was voted the best overall digital photograph Tracey was awarded with a place at the Visions in the Sea conference courtesy of Ocean Optics and a trophy kindly donated by Rhona Goldie. The winning entries in film were shown and then the votes counted for the overall winner. Clear winner this year was Brian Jubbís image of his buddy silhouetted over a reef. Brian also won a place at the Visions in the Sea conference and the John Goldie quaich.

And so with all the images shown and the winners decided it was time for the prize giving. The one and only Lawson Wood joined us for the evening and he not only started the evening off with a potted history of the last 20 years of marine conservation at St Abbs but was also on hand to help give out our prizes to the winners. As mentioned above the prize haul this year was impressive with a total of around £1,500 worth of vouchers, dive gear, and a range of prizes donated by local businesses. For a full list of all our sponsors see below. The winners all gratefully received these fantastic prizes.

And so to the future, all being well the VMR will continue to educate and inform those that visit the waters of Berwickshire and promote their safe keeping. This years competition really showed the diversity of colour and form to be found off our shores, a remarkable resource well worth our respect and above all, our protection. A little closer to hand, the future of the Splash In. This year showed just how quickly digital technology is changing. It also showed us there is a great demand for more recognition of this medium as a viable means of getting high quality images. Next year we will establish guidelines for entrants with regard to editing their images. None at all was allowed this year but we have to allow a certain amount next year to enable the photographers to make the most of the technology available to them.

Thanks to this years sponsors:

Huge thanks to all our sponsors for their generous support. Thanks must go especially to Amanda at Sub Aqua Divers (Scoutscroft) for letting us take over their shop and to Willam and Bob at the St Abbs Diver Centre for their incredible work getting us prizes from Cressi, Helios, Beaver, Divers Warehouse, and AP Valves.

2004 Digital Competition Results

Marine Life Portrait

1st Prize
Alan James
2nd Prize
Ken Sullivan

Reserve Atmospheric

1st Prize
Tracey Stephens
2nd Prize
Pete Ladell

The John Goldie Most Humorous Shot

1st Prize
Ken Sullivan

Overall Winner

Tracey Stephens

Best Beginner

Dave Skinner

2004 Film Competition Results

Marine Life Portrait

Joint 1st Prize
Ian Taylor
Joint 1st Prize
Pam Bowden

Reserve Atmospheric

1st Prize
Brian Jubb
2nd Prize
Tony Stannard

The John Goldie Most Humorous Shot

1st Prize
Len Deeley
2nd Prize
Paul Taylor

Overall Winner

Brian Jubb

Best Beginner

Tony Stannard


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by Alan James.

by Alan James.

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by Tracey Stephens.

by Tracey Stephens.

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by Ken Sullivan.

by Ken Sullivan.

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by Pam Bowden.

by Pam Bowden.

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by Brian Jubb.

by Brian Jubb.

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by Len Deeley.

by Len Deeley.

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