You might recognize Photographer of the Week, Gemma Smith, not necessarily for her underwater photographs, but from magazine covers and articles talking about her many accomplishments as a technical diving leader and explorer. Because we are so used to seeing her in front of the camera—while penetrating some insanely long cave or crazy deep wreck—it is pretty awesome to see her perspective from behind the lens as well. Her underwater images shed light on a side of diving that is no doubt liberating for Gemma as she trades in the technical gear for a camera and a paddle around with sharks, rays and sea lions.
But what I take away from looking at Gemma’s journey is the fact that in order to be a solid underwater photographer, you need both an artistic eye and technical skills. Having a feel for the ocean and its creatures comes with experience and observation, and adding a camera to the mix only enhances the challenges. So how cool to have a technical diver who constantly balances exploration, gas mixes, depths and a whole slew of complications in her everyday life pick up a camera and remind us how fun and engaging the life underwater can be.
A large baitball off Cabo Pulmo, Mexico
A school of mobula rays off La Paz, Mexico
A silhouetted sea lion at Los Islotes, Mexico
A sleepy sea lion at Los Islotes, Mexico
Oceanic whitetip at Cat Island, Bahamas
The hidden beauty in the UK’s waters, Chepstow, Wales
Gemma in action
To see more of Gemma’s work, check out her Facebook page.