Introduction

When my passion for underwater photography first began I was living inland, some miles from the British coastline. At this time I was always looking to capture the kind of shot which I could produce when photo-diving in tropical waters. I found it difficult and very frustrating.

My UK work was nowhere near the quality of my tropical work, but then I realised that my mistake was trying to produce the same kind of image in England as I did overseas.

Since moving to the south west coast of Australia four years ago I have taken tens of thousands of images in our green temperate waters and have honed

FIG. 10.1 The part of the Earth's surface between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer or between the Antarctic Circle and the Tropic of Capricorn; characterised by temperate climate.

my photo skills considerably. Significant concepts which helped me to improve my quality, were:

• If you are diving in green water then use the green water as your negative space.

• Green is a great colour;it's not blue but use it to your advantage.

• Green backgrounds will enable your images to stand out from the countless number of blue and black backgrounds so often populated by scuba magazines.

Take a sample of water from a tropical coral reef and you will find it to be relatively clear and colourless.

Take a sample from a temperate reef and you will find the water has a green hue tinge to it with thousands of tiny particles;in effect, a veritable saltwater soup.

The majority of these particles are plankton, the basis of ocean life. It's these particles that result in backscatter, which anybody who has taken underwater photos using a flashgun will be familiar with.

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