Visitors to the NMA until 7 July will be encouraged to vote for their favourite image from 112 prints which have all been taken by photographers from both the UK and abroad and capture the magnificent sights of their underwater travels. The competition will be judged in three categories: Advanced, for those photographers who have previously won a national or international underwater photographic competition, or who are professional/semi-professional photographers; British & Irish; and Overseas.
The competition is being staged in association with The Wildlife Trusts which will be looking for an image from the collection to front its Marine Bill campaign.
The display will culminate in the BSoUP and NMA British Splash-In championship which will see photographers all dive in local waters on the same day to secure their best underwater shots. One winner will be crowned as the UK’s top underwater photographer by a panel of judges on the evening of July 7 and will find themselves jetting off to the Red Sea to enjoy a week long live-aboard diving trip donated by Tony Backhurst Scuba Travel.
Andrew Robertson, general manager of the National Marine Aquarium said: “The oceans and the marine life they contain still remain a mystery – we are constantly finding new species and learning more about their environment. Here at the NMA, we aim to educate people about all aspects of marine life and our exhibits go a long way in bringing people closer to the seas’ creatures. The BSoUP exhibition is a fantastic visual way to relay more about the underwater world and we are delighted to be hosting this competition.”
There are four categories in the Splash-In championship: close-up, wide angle, fish and humorous/creative. Run every year since the late 1960s, the competition’s format has been adopted for similar underwater shootouts that now take place around the world.
Martha Tressler, chair of BSoUP explains more: “Underwater photography requires timing, skill and a lot of patience, but most of all it requires passion. Each year we are overwhelmed by the images that are captured and it is a joy to celebrate this talent with both the print competition and the Splash-In championship. Our previous events have been a huge success and they continue to grow each year with a new generation of photographers emerging. I am sure we will continue to see even more exciting and creative imagery as the lower costs of digital camera technology allow more people to try underwater photography and encourage new talent.”