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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
I just love their red eyes. This one was a little shy and scuttled back into his hole after this photograph.
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.
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 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.
I found this by the steps off Swanage Pier in just a foot of water when others had swum straight past it.
This was the second one that I'd found in just two days. It is now sitting as a decoration in my studio window.
Not sure where the other half went to, but it looks like they enjoyed it!
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 at the end of her dive carrying a lot of nets!
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.
I'm very happy to say that these were reunited with their owner recently.