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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Susannah H. Snowden-Smith
By Joseph Tepper, March 17, 2016 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

All it took was a sixth grade class in underwater archaeology for Susannah H. Snowden-Smith to know what she wanted to do for the rest of her life: Excavate and document ancient underwater wrecks and ruins.

Working alongside the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Susannah has shot images from a first-century BC Roman shipwreck and Bronze Age wreck off the Turkish coast—amongst others—that inspire the imagination of any underwater explorer, young and old.

Outside of her career documenting maritime archaeology, Susannah has also accrued an impressive collection of marine life images from the Caribbean, which have garnered multiple awards, from Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016, the Underwater Digital Shootout, and the New England Associated Press.

Godavaya Shipwreck: A 2,000-year-old complete pot is examined by Sri Lanka Department of Archaeology underwater archaeologist Amalka Wijesuriya. The pot was excavated on the seabed at 108 feet, in grid square M11. He raised the artifact at the end of the dive

Kizilburun, Turkey: An over-under photograph captures divers on a first-century BC shipwreck excavating an artifact. The artifact is a piece of the ancient shipwreck wood in a specially constructed crate

Using Nightsea filters, Susannah discovered that the eyes of a banded coral shrimp fluoresce a vibrant green. She used a small aperture to focus only on the eyes. The coral it's on also fluoresced. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


Juvenile smooth trunkfish: This creature was bobbing around coral and sponges, but nothing that was an attractive background. So Susannah opened up her aperture to f/3.2 to make a soft background. Roatán, Honduras

Over-under split shot of the Doc Polson wreck, Grand Cayman. If you look closely, you can see divers exploring the wreck

“This Is Why I Live Here!”: A stingray is seen through the surface of a breaking wave, as it washes into Susannah’s dome port. Photographed on a rough day at the stingray sandbar, Grand Cayman

“When Turtles Fly” (“Turtle #2”): Photographed at Spott’s Beach, Grand Cayman

Spanish hogfish are beautiful, bright yellow with a blue head and back. For this photograph Susannah chose to go for an artistic look, using a slow shutter speed and waiting until the fish was racing over of a field of jagged lettuce leaf coral to provide additional texture. Roatán, Honduras

Based out of the Cayman Islands, Susannah also gives talks about her work both at home and abroad. Her clients include the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Newport Life Magazine, Mystic Seaport, and INK Magazine.

For more of Susannah’s work or to inquire about purchasing prints, make sure to visit her official website.

Susannah surfaces after a dive doing what she loves—documenting marine ecology and maritime archeology



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