1How did you get started in underwater photography?
2What came first – diving or photography?
Photography came first. My dad is a photographer so I was brought up with a house full of photos, cameras and lenses. The first photos I ever took were of grey seals at Gweek seal sanctuary in Cornwall when I was five. I’ve always been fascinated by the underwater world and have travelled the globe to photograph many different species of whales – from grey whales in Baja to blue whales in Sri Lanka.
3What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?
4Favourite location for diving and underwater photography?
5Most challenging dive?
6Who are your diving inspirations?
7Which underwater locations or species are still on your photography wish list?
8What advice do you wish you’d had as a novice underwater photographer?
Someone once told me that it’s not worth buying underwater camera equipment if you can’t dive. Due to an annoying health reason, I’m not allowed to scuba dive so I felt disheartened. However, I ignored the advice and invested in the Ikelite housing and dome port. Every underwater photographer has a favourite subject – mine is large marine life, mainly whales.
After many years of following the migratory routes of grey and humpback whales, I had my first encounter with a humpback mother and calf. I now take small groups out to the south Pacific to experience swimming with whales while collecting vital research data from the fluke sightings and photos.
I was also recently named winner in the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019 ‘British Waters – Living Together’ category. It was a split shot of mackerel underwater and tourists on the harbour above. So my advice would be to try looking at a subject from a different perspective.
Underwater photography has so many different aspects. There’s so much to think about. It’s not just about knowing the best settings for your camera, but also the preparation beforehand.