Breathtaking Underwater Photographs of Matty Smith

Drawn to water and its interactions with the light ever since early family snorkelling trips, Matty Smith purchased his first SLR camera in his teens to capture what he loved to see around the UK coast. As his photography skills grew, he started to travel more widely to get the photographs he imagined. Currently based in New South Wales, Australia, his photographs have received international recognition.

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About Matthew

“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 dark blue, carved into 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 world’s biggest playground at my feet, the Pacific Ocean… And I have truly fallen in love with it.

Lately I have been working on a series of over/underwater images using different lighting techniques and have even designed & constructed my own unique 18” (46cm) lens dome port to help me get really clear over/under focus. To illuminate the “under” part of the image I usually employ various shoots and diffusers to shape the light to suit best my subject.

What I like about an over/under the picture is that it gives an underwater image a sense of place. It marries the underwater world with our familiar world; it links the unknown with the known.”

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A sickle fin lemon shark beautifully accented by two juvenile golden trevallies

A sickle fin lemon shark beautifully accented by two juvenile golden trevallies

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It's taken me several early mornings to develop this lighting technique. Using high powered underwater strobes place beneath the blue bottles I hit them with a burst of light, the crystal clear deep water reflects no light but the bluebottles pop with that amazing electric cyan blue colour! And framed against the silhouette backdrop of the bay and the orange glow from the sun I think they look quite amazing wouldn't you agree? Well done mother nature you did it again!

It’s taken me several early mornings to develop this lighting technique. Using high powered underwater strobes place beneath the blue bottles I hit them with a burst of light, the crystal clear deep water reflects no light but the bluebottles pop with that amazing electric cyan blue colour! And framed against the silhouette backdrop of the bay and the orange glow of the sun I think they look quite amazing wouldn’t you agree? Well done mother nature you did it again!

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