stories from our blue planet
Into the blue
Our blue planet is something that has always mesmerised me and after I got into paddle boarding, I decided to get an underwater camera set up, so that I could explore beneath the surface.
The seas around me in Thanet are not often very clear, apart from those rare moments where there are several days of no swell and the chalk particles in the water start to settle.
It is a different story in so many parts of the UK and snorkelling and sea swimming around Isle of Skye and Wester Ross has been jaw dropping. The clarity of the water is amazing and it is incredible to see so many different kinds of jellyfish floating along!
In 2002, I snorkelled in Silfra in Iceland, between two tectonic plates in the clearest water in the world. Fresh glacial water filtered through lava rock gives visibility of more than 100m!
And so this page begins as I explore so much of the world that we don't often get to see!
Exploring life under the surface
Underwater PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY
Common UK jellyfish
There are five main species of Jellyfish regularly seen in the uk. The compass, Moon, Lion's mane, barrel & Blue. I'm here with a blue Jellyfish.
How respectful are you to marine life?
What kit do you use?
I have a dedicated mirrorless camera that I use for underwater photography, keeping the kit separate from cameras for my other work. I am blown away by the FujiFilm X-T2 and this is housed in a bespoke underwater housing by SeaFrogs. That's me prepping the kit above.
Very. Part of the joy of shooting underwater is carefully watching and observing what the sea creatures are up to and capturing it in a way that does not bring any harm to them. It is actually pretty meditative, I can spend hours in the sea watching the beauty of a world we don't often get to see like this.
Do you dive?
Where is the best place you've shot?
No, I currently snorkel, so I am usually shooting the underwater world around 1m below the surface. However, I do take my camera out on my paddle board, so sometimes in very clear waters, I can shoot much larger sea creatures that are lower down than this.
Oooh. There is so much in the UK. Snorkelling in Scotland is really special, the waters are so clear and there is a trail to follow on the west coast with lots of spots. Silfra in Iceland was amazing, between two tectonic places and fresh glacial waters giving visibility of up to 120m. But I think most of all, the excitement of having some clearer water days in my local area of Thanet is something that is really magical. To connect with the nature on our doorstep and be able to share a window into that unseen world is something that is very special.
Do you shoot all year round?
Yes, I am kitted up with 5mm neoprene, so swim all year round. Although, in Thanet where I live, we only really get clear waters on a few days of summer, so I travel to shoot across the UK and beyond.
How do you stay underwater?
How do you avoid being stung by jellyfish?
I use a snorkel and then in summer a weighted belt with up to 10kg added and if I am in a wetsuit, I add 1kg weights to each ankle.
I always cover my skin that is going to be entering the water. All year, 5mm neoprene boots & gloves. In summer, I wear a rash vest and leggings (from Fourth Element which is made from recycled ocean plastic!). All other times of the year I wear a 5mm wetsuit, plus a hood in winter.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, I have commercial insurance for the kit and £5million public liability.
Visit Print Shop
Print Shop is an online collection of images, curated from moments in nature shot across the world.
They are printed at the UK's first carbon negative lab, ordered online and delivered directly to your door.
I donate 10% of the Print Shop profit to Marine Conservation Society.