Surreal Seascapes


The start of the new millennium saw many innovations.  Digital photography was taking off and photo manipulation was the rage.  Images of fish in the desert or lions underwater could look authentic with the aid of photo editing software. 

That did not reconcile with James’ idea of a great image.   One of the things I’ve found admirable about James is that he has been a photographic ‘purist’, which has often meant that more images end up in the waste basket than in the archives.  If the picture wasn’t perfect, without any manipulation, it was worthless.

He had been capturing underwater images for almost 20 years and frankly, was getting bored.  He wanted to expand his horizons and capture some fantastical images underwater, but still keep them pure.

What we see is what you see.

He had the idea to take laminated colour cards underwater with him and see what he could come up with.  He wasn’t sure what he was going to get, but at least it would be a real image.

The results can be seen above in the Surreal Seascapes Slideshow. 

What began as an experiment has given him a new found interest in diving and artistic expression.  From simple images against static subjects with one colour card he was encouraged to try more, and now never travel without them.

The underwater reality is changed with the introduction of alien colours to the landscape.  Textures and shapes come alive against the foreign background, and yet the merging of the two creates a surreal result where one compliments the other.