A longnose batfish yawns, Blue Heron Bridge, Florida
In 2008, as the seasons shifted from spring to summer, landlocked Jeffrey Richards set out into the cool waters of Lake George at the southeastern base of the Adirondack Mountains to learn how to breathe underwater. The massive lake situated east of the St. Lawrence River in Upstate New York is the closest body of water to the Albany-based System Administrator—and a natural choice for his dive training. Shortly after receiving his C-card, Jeffrey hopped on a plane to the Yucatan Peninsula’s Riviera Maya for his first taste of tropical diving.
Jeffrey soon found the diverse dive sites off Grand Cayman appealed to him most, and he has since spent many holidays submerged in Cayman’s serene waters. After his first visit to the islands, Jeffrey found himself inspired by photo pro Elly Wray and a video she had created of Stingray City. After watching the video, Jeffrey was convinced he needed to get himself an underwater camera rig. Since then, he has been engaged in underwater photography as regularly as possible and soaks up as much information as he can from underwater photography gurus such as Alex Mustard.
In the images that follow, Jeffrey’s affinity for the Cayman Islands is quite clear. From dainty macro critters to his dramatic, environmental marine life portraits, the variety of subject matter and terrain make this destination an underwater photographer’s dream—one which keeps Jeffrey returning. While there are always exceptions to the rule, it's quite important to photograph an animal at eye level—and I can tell Jeffrey pays careful attention to that when he shoots. His thoughtful, layered compositions add depth to his images and make them really pop.
A tarpon swims through silversides, Eden Rock, Grand Cayman
A stingray cruises under the dive boat, Stingray City, Cayman Islands
A yellow-headed jawfish mouth-brooding eggs, Sunset Reef, Grand Cayman
A ball of silversides inside the sunbeams in a cavern at Eden Rock, Grand Cayman
A blenny inside its coral home, Grand Cayman
A vibrant soft coral reef scene in Fiji
A nudibranch climbs over the reef, Fiji
A turtle has a snack on Grand Cayman’s Kittiwake wreck
A leather coral bursts with life, Fiji
A sponge with dive boat above, Babylon dive site, Grand Cayman
See more of Jeffrey’s splendid underwater photography here.