Macro Magic
 
It's amazing what colourful creatures hide in the tiniest places under the sea.
 
Here's a selection of macro magical encounters all taken with a variety of point and shoot cameras, some with a macro lens, some are taken with just the camera and the housing.  They were taken either in natural light, using the camera's own built-in flash or lit with an external strobe.
      Underwater
        Seascapes
           
 
A selection of underwater scenes from sharks to humpback whales, turtles, dolphins and breathtaking colourful reef scenes.
 
All of these photos were taken using a variety of different point and shoot cameras with a wide angle lens, fisheye lens using natural light or one or two external strobes.
 
   Cooler Waters
           
The water may be cooler but the colours are just as, if not more spectacular.  These photos are taken here in Swanage, Dorset - Cornwall, Chepstow, Ireland and further afield in California and Alaska.
 
All of them were taken with a variety of point and shoot cameras and an Olympus Bridge Camera.
Anemonefish
Anemonefish

Finally I found Nemo! It has been my dream to capture one of these fish, but they are so difficult as they have a habit of moving so fast! This one was taken in Malaysia off the island of Mabul and just loved the purple tips of its' anemone surrounding it.

Anemonefish
Anemonefish

Anemonefish are extremely active fish and during the day loving swimming around their anemone, nipping anyone who comes too close! I waited patiently for over half an hour for this little one to stay still. The anemone was open at first, but gradually closed to show off the beautiful red. I loved the contrast against the blue background.

Painted Frogfish
Painted Frogfish

Frogfish really are amazing creatures. Exactly like their name, their feet look exactly like those of a frog. They lie in wait, incredibly well camoflagued, changing their colours to blend in with their surroundings so that their prey can't see them. With their mouths agape, a little line can be seen coming from their mouth with a look-a-like tiny ball on the end, so that passing fish think that it is their dinner.

Giant Frogfish
Giant Frogfish

Again coming in all different kinds of colours. Unusually, this one was swimming along. Frogfish do look quite cumbersome when they are moving in the water.

Mimic Octopus
Mimic Octopus

Mimic Octopus are one of the most spectacular creatures in the animal kingdom. It is the only underwater creature to be able to mimic their prey, turning themselves into look-a-like lionfish, jellyfish and other creatures to attract their prey. They grow up to 2 ft in diameter.

Nudibranch
Nudibranch

Nudibranch means 'naked gill' and there are over 3,000 different kinds of nudibranch all over the world. They are incredibly toxic and their bright colours deter predators.

Rays of Light at the Boardwalk
Rays of Light at the Boardwalk

This picture was taken at Mabul Island in Malaysia. I just loved the colours of the fan corals to the left and saw that the rays of sunshine were creeping through the surface as well as a ripple effect going on on the right side of the picture. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but am really chuffed that the combination of the different elements worked to create a beautiful contrast.

Bumpheads with Schooling Jacks
Bumpheads with Schooling Jacks

This was taken at Sipidan Island, Malaysia in just a few feet of water. It was an amazing feeling watching a huge school of jacks circle right in front and then see this family of bumphead parrot fish come through.

Red Sea Reef Scene
Red Sea Reef Scene

Egypt's Red Sea really is the perfect place for snorkellers and divers alike to practice their photography and diving skills in warmer waters close to home. This shot was taken whilst snorkelling and protrays the vastness of colour that these anthias provide in shallow waters.

Schooling Barracudas
Schooling Barracudas

Barracudas live in large schools and occasionally vortex. This image was captured by waiting patiently, following the school at a distance and then waiting for them to start circling. I tried to freeze the suns rays as much as possible to avoid overexposing the top of the image, but had to be careful in the strong current that I did not change depth.

Blue Water Mangroves
Blue Water Mangroves

Shallow waters provide a wealth of opportunities for photographs. This was taken in mangrove swamps in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, the home of the most bio-diverse ecosytem underwater. This area is known for crocodiles, but safe to say that I did not encounter any this particular day.

Sunburst at the Mangroves
Sunburst at the Mangroves

Looking up is particularly hard to do when you are only a metre under the surface, but it really helped to capture the overhead scene of the gorgeous mangrove bushes and help to freeze the sunburst.

Shy Crab
Shy Crab

Whilst I've been exploring underwater, I sometimes come across creatures hiding in the most amazing of places. This little crab has been in this pipe the past few weeks that I've been there, but as soon as he senses that you are close, he scuttles away. This time I waited patiently and managed to catch him at the entrance. I just love how his red eyes really stand out.

Under the Boardwalk, Swanage Pier
Under the Boardwalk, Swanage Pier

I just love the shapes and colours of the different kelp under the pier. This day the sun was shining through the surface and I did my best to try to capture it together with the kelp and the pier structure. I absolutely loved the challenge but I have to say that I felt a bit dizzy afterwards and my neck ached from hovering in the water for so long on my back trying to get this picture.

Pipefish
Pipefish

Pipefish are related to the seahorse species and can grow up to 18 inches in length. They are found around our coastline and feed on tiny crustaceans They are very well camoflauged and as they are relatively weak swimmers, their hard scales and ridges are their armour from predators. Taken with a Canon Ixus 950, INON Macro Lens and an INON Z-240 strobe.

Tompot Blenny, Swanage Pier
Tompot Blenny, Swanage Pier

Tompot Blennies can grow up to between 20-30 cms and lives on the seabed of rocky areas up to a depth of 20 ms. They can be found on all our coastlines. They are often very inquisitive and as you can see very photogenic. I like to call them our "UK Nemos." This was taken with a Canon Ixus 950, INON Macro Lens and one INON Z-240 strobe.

Velvet Crab
Velvet Crab

I just love their red eyes. This one was a little shy and scuttled back into his hole after this photograph.

Compass Jellyfish
Compass Jellyfish

I was so chuffed to find one of these and couldn't stop taking pictures of it. Sadly there was a lot of backscatter on the Fleur de Lys and removed this in photoshop. Taken with an Olympus EL-P3, Close-Up Lens and one external strobe Z-240.

Duracell Battery
Duracell Battery

It really is amazing how different items are found daily in the same place. It was horrible to see the contents of the battery emerging from the top and just prayed that no creature underwater would have tried to nibble it. At least it's in my shop window now to help educate passers-by about our oceans.

Plastic
Plastic

Plastic is the one of the worst things to have in our ocean. Turtles mistake it for jellyfish and choke on it as can birds and swans in our rivers, whales and dolphins accidently swallow it and as it can take years to degrade, if ever, it just carries on killing and injuring wildlife until it is collected. So if you see a piece of plastic, even on land, please help by picking it up and placing it in a safe place. It can travel quickly and end up in our rivers and the sea.

Knife
Knife

I found this by the steps off Swanage Pier in just a foot of water when others had swum straight past it.

Towel
Towel

This was the second one that I'd found in just two days. It is now sitting as a decoration in my studio window.

Egg
Egg

Not sure where the other half went to, but it looks like they enjoyed it!

Bucket
Bucket

I've kept this to display in my studio window too to hopefully inspire passers-by to all do our bit to help our oceans.

Emma with Rubbish
Emma with Rubbish

Emma at the end of her dive carrying a lot of nets!

20 kgs rubbish
20 kgs rubbish

And here they all are. Nets are the biggest problem facing our underwater marine world as they often capture innocent marine mammals and very often, whales, dolphins and turtles get stuck in them.

Sunglasses
Sunglasses

I'm very happy to say that these were reunited with their owner recently.

Rubbish
           
It's always been my passion to help keep our oceans clean.  Recently I've been doing some dives specifically to get rid of any rubbish that appears under Swanage Pier.
 
When I was diving recently with Emma Christison doing a SeaSearch survey, I photographed her collecting over 20 kgs of nets and lines in just two dives under the Pier and at the Fleur de Lys nearby (happily she did save 2 crabs who were caught up in it all and so great to see them swim off to keep enjoying their ocean home).
 
This has inspired me to dive as much as possible under the pier to help keep the rubbish out of our oceans. I was chuffed to reunite a pair of sunglasses with their owner recently and can't wait for my next dive to see what I encounter.  I hope that you will be inspired too to help keep our oceans clean.
 
Welcome to the Visions Collection - I hope that you enjoy these images as much as I did making them.   Whatever the time of day, weather or wherever your journey takes you, there's always a photo moment in all of us, even with your camera's phone.  Seeing my course guests' photos brings a huge smile to my face and I look forward to seeing yours too.
 
All images are available as greetings cards at £2.50 each and can be framed with 7 x 5 inch prints for just £25.

A4 framed print with either a black or cream finish      £40
A3 framed print as above                                                       £80
A2 framed print as above                                                       £140
 
 
 
 
They can also be custom-designed into canvas or acrylic prints to bring to life an empty wall in your own home.  Just drop me an email at purbeckvisions@gmail.com for more information and prices.
 
Would you like your own image on canvas?  I can help with that too, so just drop me a message or visit my gallery website at www.thevisions-studio.co.uk for a price list.