Lundy splash-in results
Right over left: Jo Crewdson's photo of a seal was the overall winner
The winning images from the one-day splash-in photography competition in Lundy, Devon
A scuba diver who learnt the basics of photography just a day before entering an underwater ‘shoot-out’ competition is celebrating after her image of a playful grey seal won first prize. Jo Crewdson,from Appledore, Devon, saw off a host of experienced photographers during the 5th annual on-the-day Splash-In, held on the tiny island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel.
'I got my camera last year but only really used it in automatic mode so I decided to swot up on the relationship between shutter speed and aperture the day before the splash-in,' said Jo, who has been diving since the age of sixteen. 'Once I was underwater I was playing about with the camera’s settings when a seal came along and began swimming around my buddy and me. We had some great interaction and I just kept shooting away and got the right shot.'
Renowned for its profusion of marine life, including pink sea fans, red coral fingers and lobsters, Lundy is Britain’s foremost Marine Protected Area (MPA). Travelling to the 3 miles-by-half-mile-wide island – population 29 – is a challenge, and competitors must complete a round-trip of 44 miles by boat from mainland Ilfracombe to participate in the splash-in contest, in which divers have 9 hours to take their photos and submit them to the judges.
'Entrants were allowed to submit a maximum of five images in four categories: Mega to Macro, Spirit of the Marine Protected Area and Marine Abstract,' explained splash–in organiser and Lundy Marine Warden, Beccy MacDonald. 'This year we also added a special category to coincide with the opening of English Heritage’s diver trail on the protected remains of an American Civil War paddle steamer, the Iona II which sunk off Lundy 150 years ago.'
Mike Deaton’s picture of a fellow photographer at the sternpost of the wreck gained first place in the new category, while Jonny Aird’s monochrome close-up Devil Crab bagged first place in the Abstract section. Jo Crewsdon made top spot in the Mega to Macro category with her whiskered seal pup ‘Cheeky Chappy’ staring directly into the camera lens and the Spirit of the Marine Protected Area with another seal photo, 'Right over left' - which also won the overall prize.
'Our Atlantic grey seal population has always been a popular and playful subject for divers and it is something that draws so many divers to visit the island,' continued MacDonald, 'and I do really think that Jo's shot encompasses what Lundy and its Marine Protected Area is all about.'
Mega to macro category
Jo Crewsdon, Cheeky chappy
Marine Abstract category
Jonny Aird, Devil Crab
Iona II wreck category
Mike Deaton, Diver on the Iona II