Although it is my passion, it has to be said that underwater photography is more important than most people realise in inspiring passion to save our ocean.
There have been many discussions, most likely in most dive shops around the world, that stem from divers bragging about the delights of their daily dive to the rest of the staff that did not go out that day.
No photos, no proof.
With underwater photography there is no denying that you have seen something special. For all divers, any photos we see can inspire us to dive somewhere new or even train to dive new areas, such as certain wrecks or deeper sites. It also sparks up a new love for diving.
I had been working as a dive master for a couple of years before I got into photography and once I did I lived diving even more than before.
Firstly, it meant that I had something to show people after my dives as well as it increasing my concentration. I began to strive to see as many obscure species and smaller creatures as I could that would largely go unnoticed by other divers. As my photography progressed, I began to be able to capture these creatures in a different way. The longer you sit with and try to get that perfect shot of a creature, you start to see their personalities and behavior patterns. Once you start to understand their normal behavior patterns, you can then take pictures that can create different feelings and emotions in people and show a whole new side to something they have never seen before.
Photos of different places and dive sites will also give us ideas of where to plan our next dive holiday and to get us excited about exploring new parts of the world, that without diving, we would never have even thought of visiting. This helps to sustain a tourist industry that is "off the beaten path".
For me, the biggest reason that underwater photography is so important is that in an age where everybody has a camera phone and millions of photos are taken every day, the underwater world is still relatively unseen. There are many people in this world that have never and will never get the opportunity to scuba dive; they will also not have the opportunity to see the things that live in our seas. With the state our environment is in right now, it is important we all try to save our planet and under the waves is just the same. If people have not seen the beauty of our marine life it is harder for them to want to save it. As Jacques Cousteau said "people protect what they love". By showing as many people as you can all the amazing marine life we have, they will start to care and also want to save it even if they have never been diving before. Everybody, from first time photographer to seasoned professional, can show their friends and family images that will amaze and inspire them and could really help save our planet.
You can see more of my work on my Instagram @peachsnapsphotography
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
– Jacques Yves Cousteau –