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Neil Griffin

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The Worldwide Art Gallery. All Rights Reserved
© All the artworks appearing in this gallery are copyrighted to the stated artist.
underwater photograph - seal
dive Papua New Guineadive the Great Barrier Reefdive Victoria

Underwater photography sounds easy - you jump in the water, you see the fish, you take the shot - nothing to it really. In reality the underwater environment places hurdles in front of the photographer which require specialised equipment and techniques in order to persue his craft.

Modern cameras are precise instruments full of lenses, circuit boards, on board computers and mechanical linkages and do not enjoy being dunked in salt water.

To protect my Nikon 801 from the environment it is mounted into a waterproof housing. In a factory somewhere in Canada a technical magician changes an unobtrusive block of aluminium into a masterpiece, protecting the delicate camera with a series of gears, levers and gismos allow me to change focus, aperture, shutter speed and other camera functions during the dive.

One thing that I cannot change during the dive is the camera lens. This means that prior to the dive a decision must be made to use a wide angle lens for larger fish, marine mammals and reef scenic shots or a telephoto lens for small reef critters or the shy fish that are harder to get close to.

Murphy's law frequently comes into play when you discover the most amazing small fish, brilliantly coloured and possibly a new discovery to science, and in your hands is a wide lens primed for the chance to photograph a passing whale. I still have nightmares from a dive at Pixie Pinnacle on the Great Barrier Reef. Whilst looking through my macro lens viewfinder and composing a potentially award winning shot of a juvenile lionfish suddenly everything went black as a huge manta ray hovered overhead! I could have taken a full frame shot of its eye or a pimple on its backside but nothing that would do this majestic animal justice.To make matters worse the manta scared away the lion fish and I have never seen another manta ray.

Even the clearest water shot is not as clear as air, which requires our adventurous marine photographer to get as close as possible to the subject in order to capture the clearest photo. Sometimes the marine life has other ideas, keeping its distance from the noisy, bubble blowing, big camera flashing diver. A playful seal that swims right up to the camera or a coral garden rivetted to the reef are priceless. For anyone afraid of sharks come diving with me, 36 frames of Kodaks best would keep even 'Jaws' at a long distance, no matter what tricks you try or how much bait you put near the camera.
underwater photos - whiskers
I hope that you enjoy my photographs as much as I have enjoyed taking them. In fact I hope you like them so much that you buy them, but that is up to you. Special thanks to my support team and in particular Peter and Val Fear at Dive Victoria for their five star dive charter service, Rod Smith from Alpha Diving Products who manufacture the best underwater lighting systems and specialty diving equipment and my lovely wife Megan who likes all my photos.

The future of the ocean is in your hands.

David Glennie

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