Beginners make a Splash at St Abbs

1st prize and best beginner Wide Angle and best in show by John Ferguson at St Abbs splash in
1st prize and best beginner Wide Angle and best in show by John Ferguson at St Abbs splash in

Underwater photographers flocked to St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve over the weekend to take part in the annual Splash In.

The competitors were spoilt for subject matter with kelp forests, coral encrusted shipwrecks and all manner of colourful marine life to capture in their photographs.

This year’s Splash In was the 26th year the competition has been held by the Reserve, which recently celebrated its 29th birthday, and like in years gone by there was some very keen competition.

Along with the usual categories of Macro (close up of the Reserve’s inhabitants) and Wide Angle (underwater scenic shots), competitors could enter for the special John Goldie Themed Category, which was nudibranchs (brightly coloured sea slugs) this year.

Organisers invited three judges along to the event to help choose the winners: Voluntary Marine Reserve chairman Lawson Wood, Jim Greenfield, a regular St Abbs diver and photographer Jack Laws.

They chose the winners of the Macro and Wide Angle categories while the Themed Category and overall best image of the competition were voted for by the audience.

Diving conditions were less than perfect for the photographers but despite this some brilliant photos were snapped.

It was a good year for beginners with John Spencer winning first prize and Best Beginner for his beautiful macro photo of a Ballan Wrasse.

John also won the Themed Catergory with his shot of purple nudibranch. (as featured above). John Ferguson won first prize and Best Beginner in the Wide Angle category with his original split-shot photo, of St Abbs (pictured above at the top) which was also voted Best Image in Show by the audience, following in the footsteps of last year’s overall Splash In winnerJason Gregory.

Marine Ranger Laura Smith commented: “The Splash In is a great opportunity for divers to showcase their photographs and for people to see the colour and diversity of the marine life off St Abbs and Eyemouth.

“This year the competition attracted a fantastic amount of support from our generous sponsors, who donated over £3000 worth of prizes for the lucky winners.

“We are very grateful for their continued support!”

All of the winning photographs from this year’s Splash In competition can be viewed on the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve website www.marine-reserve.co.uk.