Diving into underwater photography

New month, new topic here on Photo Synthesis: underwater photography.


For the next four weeks I will be presenting photos of marine invertebrates and fishes from warm water locations around the world. These photos are the product of what has been, for me, a long journey of discovery -- about the sea, about marine life, and about photography.

My photos are documentary in nature, rather than works of art. That is not to say that I don't strive for a certain level of eye appeal, but my purpose always has been to record which creatures live where, what they look like in their natural environment, and how they behave.

I photograph behaviors related to feeding and reproduction, and I like to find and photograph animals in their various developmental stages. When I can, I record interactions among conspecifics, as well as creatures' relations with other species, e.g., predation, defense, commensalism, and so on. In short, I document creatures as they go about the business of living.

Since I live in Hawaii, I think of the central Pacific as my home waters, but I am fortunate to have lived in several different countries over the years. That afforded me opportunities to spend time exploring a number of different underwater domains to an extent not possible on, say, a week-long dive trip. Thus, over the next four weeks you will see photos from the Pacific, the Celebes Sea, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean.

As we go along, I will discuss some of the ins and outs entailed in the process of underwater photography. I invite readers to use the comments section to ask questions about either my photo techniques or the subjects (or both!), and I will do my best to answer.

I hope you all enjoy this Underwater August.

Image: Two-bar Anemonefish (Amphiprion bicinctus), Red Sea


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@ Alex - I certainly enjoyed your insect photos. I hope my underwater photos are at least half as engaging.

@ rjs - Yep, the Red Sea it was. You should know: you were there with me when I took that photo. ;-}

Nice to see your pics on this blog.

Keep it up Bobbie, I enjoy reading all of this, and find info about diving enlightening (since so many of the Sullivan boys like to dive). I like TheRightBlue.com too.

Thank you, HSE. I think you and I both know those 'diving Sullivan boys'. In fact, I think you and I are both related to them. ;-}

Hi Jerry. Hi Bobbie.

I am so happy to see the magnificent work you have been putting through all these years. At least 20 years of diving as both fun and life!

Thank God, family here is all doing great!

When you send me your email, I will send a couple of Crete summer time photos (we went by boat to Northwest Crete - Gramvoussa, (sea depth of 5K meters)and climbed till a Venecian castle of 13th century.

Hope to hear from you as well as see you one time in Athens and go around Sounion again.

Your friend

Takis K.

By Takis Kokkinopoulos (not verified) on 08 Sep 2009 #permalink

Takis! What a wonderful surprise to see your comment, and so good to hear from you. We tried to send you an email, but it failed, so I guess you have a new address. If you see this message, please go to our blog, TheRightBlue.com, and click on the 'Contact' tab to leave us a private message with your current email address.

Best to you and the family.