Neil Wood’s freedive Cowboys and Indians wins Photo Competition.

Neil Wood'sÊfreedive Cowboys and Indians wins Photo Competition

As so many of our members enjoy underwater photography, we thought we’d offer a different kind of freedive competition this summer. The challenge was to capture the essence of freediving in one picture. We received six entries, all expressing that essence with a different perspective. Camilla Argent shot the beautiful outline of a shark underwater, expressing a grace we’d all like to have underwater. Samphire Amps and Neil Wood captured fun and smiles as the essence for freediving. Similarly Luke Clayton expressed his passion for freediving through companionship, reminding us we should never dive alone. David Watson entered a striking image of a diver resting on a wreck, expressing the desire many of us have to explore the underwater world and that diving is not just about a competition line and tags. And lastly Paul Sutton submitted a beautiful blue-water scene that we’ve all seen in one way or another as we slowly ascend from a dive, experiencing serenity below the waves. The winner was chosen by vote on the BFA facebook page. And the entry you chose above all others was… [drum roll] Neil Wood’s freedive Cowboys and Indians. Neil is a member of Bristol Freedivers, who celebrate the birthday of their club each year by diving at the local lake in fancy dress!

Neil wins a photography workshop with acclaimed photographer Daan Verhoeven ( and a copy of Mark Harris’ new book Glass and Water (available at His photo will also be used for next year’s membership e-cards. We’d like to say a big thank you to Mark and Daan for kindly donating these prizes, thanks all who entered their photographs, and everyone who voted.

Glass and Water: The Essential Guide to Freediving for Underwater Photography by Mark Harris

Glass and Water:  Freediving for underwater photography - Author Mark Harris

Glass and Water is the first book on underwater photography for freedivers. With contributions from expert underwater photographers this book teaches the skills, knowledge and equipment necessary to successfully pursue underwater photography without scuba gear.

Glass and Water is not a replacement for existing books on underwater photography as it focuses on freediving techniques, equipment and photo opportunities which are better suited to freediving (rather than scuba).

‘It’s most unlikely that you’ll come away without learning something brand new and innovative. I know that I did’: Martin Edge.

In ‘Part 1: Equipment and Basics’ Mark shows how by choosing or adapting freediving and photographic equipment some early hurdles can be avoided. He also explains some underwater photography basics and opportunities for freedivers.

‘Part 2: Technique’ explains how using appropriate freediving techniques can increase the length of time available for taking photographs underwater and help to manage camera equipment.

And in ‘Part 3: Perspectives’ Mark and a range of informed contributors reveal how to photograph particular animals and their personal approaches to freediving photography. This includes the author’s ‘Virtual Dive’ which pulls together everything covered in the book.

The book includes photos and/or contributions from Fred Buyle, Sue Flood, Danny Kessler, Dr Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler, Laura Storm, Andrew Sutton, and Shane Wasik. There is also a Foreword by multi-award-winning underwater photographer Dan Bolt and a Glossary of key terms.

‘Glass and Water should be as essential as a pair of fins and a camera for underwater photographers. Mark shares his tremendous expertiseÉ the methodical and well-illustrated techniques will benefit anyone wishing to produce great images in the sea’: Brian Skerry, National Geographic.

Mark Harris is a former British champion freediver who has instructed, coached and judged at international level, consulted on and taught students how to freedive for roles in both television and film and ran London’s main club, London Freediving for almost a decade.

Available now in paperback for £16.95 (ebook forthcoming) from, online and from retailers.

Get Snapping this Summer!

BFA Underwater Photo Competition

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (

This summer we’re hosting an Underwater Photo Competition with the great prize of a workshop with renowned freediving photographer Daan Verhoeven. The winning image will also be used on next year’s BFA membership e-cards.

So many of you have told us that you’re keen photographers in your membership applications so now’s the time to get snapping!

To enter the competition we ask that you email us your best image by midnight on Saturday 15 August. The address is Your photo should capture the essence of freediving, as you see it.

We’ll then post your photos onto the BFA Facebook page for one week of voting, allowing everyone to give their view on the best shots.

Prize details: The day workshop with Daan can take place in Cornwall or Chepstow NDAC, but not covering any travel or accommodation expenses and must be taken by the end of 2015.

Just a few rules:

  • The competition is only open to current BFA members
  • One entry per person
  • Pictures should be taken on breath-hold

Good luck!