A BRIEF HISTORY OF OCUPS
The Orange County Underwater Photographic Society, OCUPS, was created in the late 1960s (circa 1966~67), by a small group of dedicated scuba divers, who shared a common interest in underwater photography. These aquanauts were members of LAUPS but, living in Orange County, got weary of driving all the way to Los Angeles to attend meetings. Thus, OCUPS was born. The original members included Sam Miller, Ron Merker, Fred Roberts, Charlie Gibbs, Denis Graver, and others. Each of these founders contributed money to establish a club fund, which was used mainly for mailing notices to members and for promotional activities. Sam Miller recalls that Ron Merker was the major donor, slapping down a twenty dollar bill, big money in those days, much to the delight and gratitude of everyone.
The fledgling club began meeting in the conference room of U.S. Divers, located on Warner Avenue. U.S. Divers was interested in underwater photography since the firm introduced the Calypso UW Camera to the US market in 1963, and they were the US distributor for its successor, the Nikonos.
In 1981, OCUPS held its meetings in a condominium club house in Long Beach, near the Veteran`s Hospital, with Reha Sax and Rasheed, at the helm. After about five months, the club moved to a community library in Huntington Beach for a year or two. Then, in the mid-late 80`s the club again moved to a Anaheim Library, on Sunkist, just south of Lincoln, where it thrived for about 4 years. Next the OCUPS moved to the library of a private school, off Euclid and the GG Freeway, and stayed there until 2003, when the organization moved to its present location, in Orange.
The passion for photography, with which the early members founded OCUPS, still continues. We welcome photographers of all levels and encourage everyone’s participation in club activities. We are proud to have a diverse membership, whose photographic skills and talents are consistently recognized in major photographic contests and highlighted in major publications.