Super-macro image of a tiny common froglet in Spirogyra algae, Surrey, England
This week’s featured underwater photographer Laura Storm grew up in Kenya, a land of incredible contrasts where her love for adventure, nature and wildlife flourished. It was in Africa that she first learned to dive at the age of 12, and she went on to become a deep-water safety diver and videographer for freediving events around the world. After seven years, she decided to step down from her safety diver duties and pursue her love for underwater photography instead.
In 2010, Laura set up Planet Plankton, an independent initiative committed to advancing marine conservation and raising awareness for the oceans through photography and photojournalism. She now lives in London with her favorite aquanaut, former British champion freediver Mark Harris, and works together with her husband on various projects including his recent book Glass and Water: The Essential Guide to Freediving for Underwater Photography.
British freshwater systems are another of Laura’s passions, and she hopes to bring these important habitats into the public eye. Her image of a tiny common froglet was just awarded first place in the 2020 Underwater Photographer of the Year (UPY) British Waters Macro category and some of her other UK freshwater work that you can see here has also been recognized for its originality.
Indeed, her entire portfolio impresses me, because it features many different subjects and environments and demonstrates a variety of techniques taken both while freediving and on scuba. Wide-angle shots of large oceanic predators look awesome alongside macro shots taken in UK waters, and this combination of unusual and iconic subjects results in a striking selection of images.
Despite having grown up in England, I clearly underestimated some of the amazing photographic opportunities that Laura has gone out and discovered there! Maybe the next time I return home, I will ask her to take me diving in one of her favorite ponds and show me how its done. Until then, I look forward to seeing what other interesting critters she can find—and capture with such creativity.
Goby games on a beautifully patterned honeycomb coral, Siquijor Island, Philippines
Duckweed (Lemna minor), one of the world’s smallest flowering plants, captured using a super-macro lens and a homemade creative slate backdrop, Surrey, England
Common frog tadpole captured using a super macro lens and a homemade slate background, Surrey, England
The beautiful light rays in Cenote Kukulkan, Yucatán, Mexico
Freediving in the Atlantic with a rare and exotic summertime sunfish visitor, Isle of Coll, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Bigeye jacks and big surf at dusk, Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico
Lemon shark sunburst, Tiger Beach, Bahamas
A terracotta statue encrusted with freshwater algae, snails and zebra mussels, Buckland Lake Nature Reserve, Cliffe, Kent, England
Atlantic spotted dolphin calf captured while freediving around Bimini, Bahamas
European white water lily, Bosherston Lakes, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Tiger shark patrolling its seagrass territory, Tiger Beach, Bahamas
Mauve stinger jellyfish captured on a black-water dive, Tañon Strait, Philippines
So cheeky and photogenic—it’s the best being in the water with seals! Port St. Mary, Irish Sea, Isle of Man
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