I have just returned from a scuba diving trip to the Red Sea (Deep South) which provided me with the opportunity to photograph and record many species of marine life and corals. The Red Sea is known and loved by divers for the richness and diversity of its undersea life and, no doubt due to the endeavors of the Egyptian Government to protect and preserve several areas of the Red Sea, it does not seem to be suffering from the effects of climate change that have been documented in other parts of the sea (especially the Great Barrier Reef). For someone like me, an avid diver and an artist/photographer, the Red Sea is therefore artistic gold.
I took two cameras with me, my brand new Sea Life DC2000 and my trusty Go Pro Hero 7 Black. My plan was to use the GoPro to record the footage for a short film and the Sea Life for stills, for this web site and my art page on Facebook, Instagram etc. In the end, I abandoned the Sea Life and relied totally on the GoPro. The reason for this was because there were quite strong currents, which makes it impossible to stay still for long enough to grab clear, non-blurry pictures. The other issue, for divers, can be lack of neutral buoyancy, which makes it impossible to stay in one level place in the water. I am quite good on getting myself weighted correctly and breathing all my air out so had it not been for the currents, which kept me and the marine life, moving at most times, I would have developed my knowledge of the Sea Life camera but the Go Pro rarely fails me and I feel that I was able to extract some fairly decent frames from the footage I shot over a seven day period.
I have posted the fish pictures on my Art Page on Facebook and on Twitter/Instagram and chose to feature corals on this page. A lot of divers see these in their peripheral vision and admire them, of course they do, but very often, especially in the Red Sea, they are looking for the ‘big fish’ – the sharks, the dolphins, the rays etc., and the corals are not always documented with as much enthusiasm. My hope, here, is that these two sample pictures demonstrate the wonder of the coral gardens in the Red Sea. It’s difficult to describe them in words that can do justice to them. Some of the corals look as if they are from another world and they go on and on, forever. Sometimes, the garden becomes a forest and you find yourself weaving through giant ‘trees’ and under mountains. It’s absolutely spectacular. The colours, textures, shapes, patterns, forms, structures, sizes and so on, are so unusual, diverse and so plentiful that you wish you had enough air in your tank to be able to stay underwater for weeks, just to try to assimilate the scale of everything.
I will add to this collection, when I have had the time to catalogue everything but this is an introduction to my collection of coral images, that I hope you will enjoy. Maybe it will inspire some viewers to take up scuba-diving, to get a closer look at this magical underworld.