You will hear an interview with Alex Mustard, an underwater photographer who has just published a successful book featuring his work.
- What does Alex say about filming wildlife underwater?
- When he was photographing free-diving, Alex
- What does Alex say about his favourite shots in the book?
- How does Alex feel about photographing dangerous creatures underwater?
- Alex says that anyone wanting to take up underwater photography should
- For Alex, the main attraction of going to Sardinia is
Women: My guest today is the photographer Alex Mustard who specialises in underwater shots. He is cooperation with the expert diver and writer Nick Hannah resulted in the book entitled “The Art of Diving”
Women: Alex welcome. There is some great shots in the book, but how much is luck and how much judgement
Man: With wildlife shots is not always the case that you can get the animals to behave in the way you want when you spend a lot of time in the ocean that you get to predict behaviours and you’ll get used to knowing when and where you’re going to get particular shots. I was able to plan a great deal, but often there’s only a split second to capture the shot you have in mind. With the photographs of divers, it’s different. You’ve got more control because the Dive is a coordinated effort as well planned even the smallest things are so hard to communicate underwater that absolutely everything has to be organised before.
Women: And did you get any surprises doing the book?
Man: One of the areas have always thought we were going to struggle with was freediving. you know going down to great depths without oxygen or equipment. I didn’t really get free diving until I saw it for myself, but when you watch it in the ocean when you’re sitting there at 15 or so metres in very clear water and you see the divers come down those lines past you disappearing into the blue, it’s incredible. They disappear for several minutes while you watch, realising how much breathing you doing until they come back up again on a single breath. I wanted to get across in the shot just how fragile the freedivers looked framed by the vastness of the ocean.
Woman: What are your favourite shots?
Man: There’s a whole zone of shots the ones of divers having a good time on the water.
For some unknown reason the most sensible, important people from nurses to managing directors, can’t resist mucking about once they’re underwater. I’ve never really seen this in photos before and it soon became a main theme of the book to get across the playful, graceful and fun nature of being underwater when someone sees a turtle while scuba diving they do an impression of a turtle. The amount of times you end up bursting out laughing into your regulator happens every single day.
Women: Did you have any scary moments?
Man: There’s a golden rule underwater you always need to know what’s behind you some wildlife is potentially dangerous, but there are very few things in the ocean that are actively aggressive. We’re not their natural prey. They’ll be curious but the first response is really to attack us. I think the secret is to respect the fact that we’re intruders in their environment. If you go looking for trouble I’m sure you can find it, with sharks or whatever. And some people do just that may be thinking ‘I’ll get good shots’, but that’s not the sort of underwater photography I want to get into.
Women: What advice would you give to budding underwater photographers?
Man: Underwater photography is becoming incredibly accessible, most digital compact cameras are relatively cheap and most canal we used with very good plastic housing. The most important thing is to choose your subjects very carefully, find something colourful that you can get close to that not going to swim away and that’s medium-sized. If it’s not too big or too small you’ll be more likely to get it in the shot. More professional shots require wide-angle lenses to get the best results and you might want to consider using different colour filters, but with most of compacts you will produce great-quality Snaps
Women: So what’s next for you Alex
Man: Well in July I’m planning a trip to Sardinia. It’s where some of the nicest diving in the Mediterranean is to be found all custard within easy reach of the airport at Olbia. There are a few wrecks but that’s not really the draw for me. It’s more the underwater landscapes like the soft corals and the fish life they support and of course, the waters lovely and warm should get some shots.
Women: Well all the best for that Alex and thanks for joining me today.
Man: Thank you.