Every week we will feature an underwater photographer who’s photos have left us breathless.
This week’s feature is Matthew Smith!
“I have always had an attraction to the water and the tricks it plays on light for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of my brother and I snorkelling on family holidays to France and the Mediterranean Sea. I can clearly remember my first experience of watching shafts of sunlight weave and dance down into the deep blue, carved by the rippling ocean surface.
I bought my first film SLR camera in my teens to try and capture what I loved to see and I used it to shoot the coastlines of my home country of the United Kingdom. It wasn’t long before my curiosity and appetite for shooting the ocean meant I would have to get in and shoot underwater, so I saved and bought a waterproof housing for my camera so I could explore further.
As my photography skills grew I needed to travel more to get the images I imagined, so trips abroad to far off countries followed. Now residing in NSW Australia after emigrating from the UK in 2007 I have the worlds biggest playground at my feet, the Pacific Ocean….. And I have truly fallen in love with it.
Recently I have been working on a series of over/underwater images using different lighting techniques and have even designed & constructed my own special 18” (46cm) lens dome port to help me get really sharp over/under focus. To illuminate the “under” part of the image I often employ various snoots and diffusers to shape the light to best suit my subject.
What I really like about an over/under picture is that it gives an underwater image a sense of place. It marries the underwater world with our own familiar world, it links the unknown with the known.”
Camera: Nikon D300s
Nikon Lenses: 10.5mm F2.8 Fisheye, 12-24mm F4, 18-70mm F3.5, 40mm F2.8 Micro, 50mm F1.8, 100mm F2.8 Micro, 300mm F2.8
Housing: Aquatica plus various Aquatica and home made lens ports.
Lighting: 2 x Inon Z220 substrobes, Inon Diffusers, Blusnoot fibre optic snoot, various home made light shapers.
Awards & Achievements
Wildlife Photographer of the Year/BBC Wildlife Awards – Finalist Invertebrates (Results Pending)
ANZANG Australian Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards – 2 x Finalist Portrait & Animals In Their Environment (Results Pending)
International Photographer of the Year Awards – 2nd Place Nature Underwater (non-pro)
Fujifilm X Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards – 4th Place
National Geographic Photo Awards – Editors Favourite
Underwaterphotography.com – Bronze Medallist Over/under
Ocean Geographic Magazine Pictures of the Year Awards – Honourable Mention Creative Visions
Ocean Geographic Magazine – Image of Edition Issue 26
Veolia BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards – Finalist Wildscapes
If you would like to see more of Matthew’s amazing images, check out his website: www.mattysmithphoto.com (Careful, this might make you feel bad about your own photos!)
Visit his personal portfolio at www.ranmorphoto.com.
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