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Photographer of the Week – Simon Theuma
By Matthew Sullivan, January 18, 2024 @ 08:00 AM (EST)

A wonderful macro mosaic of a commensel shrimp riding on a sea star, Australia. This image won the Underwater category in the Close Up Photographer of the Year 2023 Competition
 

Simon Theuma is an underwater and wildlife photographer hailing from the coastal town of Shellharbour in New South Wales, Australia. Originally from the island of Malta in the Mediterranean, Simon’s connection to the underwater world was inspired by the man himself, Jacques Cousteau.

Beginning his underwater photography journey in 2000, Simon started capturing underwater images around the Maltese Islands and at destinations like the Red Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, Truk Lagoon, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Thailand, and the Philippines. Beyond his own personal photography pursuits, Simon shares his expertise through engaging workshops, mentoring aspiring photographers to develop their skills and artistic vision.

Simon’s focus lies in highlighting the rich biodiversity of marine life, particularly along the his local Shellharbour coast. In his own words: “When I enter the underwater realm, all thoughts of the world above disappear, and I am enveloped by nature itself.” He encourages viewers to immerse themselves in the vibrant colors and ornate patterns of marine life, shining a light of discovery on these “jewels of the sea.” He aims to evoke positive emotions and provoke contemplation on the purpose of all the dazzling colors and intricate patterns in the underwater world.

Simon’s goal is to inspire others to become conscious caretakers of our planet, employing photography as a powerful tool for advocacy, education, and environmental awareness.
 

A damselfish keeps an eye on its precious clutch of eggs, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
 

A large sea fan growing on a piling beneath Arborek Jetty, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
 

The wisdom-filled, curious eye of a minke whale, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
 

A trio of clownfish strike a pose near their anemone, Koh Bon, Thailand
 

The hustle and bustle of life on a healthy reef in Koh Bon, Thailand
 

A portrait of an iconic Australian species, the weedy seadragon, Shellharbour, Australia
 

A pair of wildly colored blue-kneed sea spiders, Shellharbour, Australia
 

A hermit crab shelters in a small hole in coral, Richelieu Rock, Thailand
 

Mantas dance with a freediver at the aptly named “Manta Sandy” dive site, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
 

A intricately patterned eastern cleaner clingfish clung to a small algae flap, Shellharbour, Australia
 

It doesn’t get much cuter than a pregnant pygmy seahorse! Bohol, Philippines
 

An oceanic blacktip makes a quick turn, Protea Banks, South Africa
 

A wild (and creepy) horror movie-esque polychaete worm, Wollongong, Australia
 

To see more of Simon’s beautiful images, please give him a follow on Instagram and visit his website., www.simontheuma.com.au.

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