A new book by Alex Mustard, one of the world's leading underwater photographers, is packed with beautiful images of colourful sea creatures and advice on how to capture photos like these. The book is called Underwater Photography Masterclass, and that's exactly what it aims to be. From information about diving equipment and cameras, to advice on controlling light underwater, this book provides all the background you need before you take the plunge.
Mustard says the book is packed with tips that he picked up shooting all around the world: "It includes everything from how to get a pygmy seahorse to face your camera to why you want to flinch first when playing chicken with a basking shark," he says.
Mustard says there are many reasons for his fascination with underwater photography, not least because water covers much more of our planet than land. He says one of the great joys is being able to move freely in three dimensions. "This means I can approach my subjects from whatever angle I choose, selecting the best viewpoint for a photograph," he says. "Imagine how different photography on land would be if everyone could fly?"
Mustard is now one of the world's few full-time underwater photographers, but he started out a marine biologist, getting his PhD when he was 25. He says his scientific training helps him find and identify his subjects and make sense of their behaviour. However, he says it's a challenge not to photograph like a scientist. "Images have to work visually," he says. "I try to capture personality or character in an animal."
Underwater Photography Masterclass features 280 stunning images across 192 pages. It is packed with advice on subjects such as how to go about diving for your images, how to select the appropriate underwater photographic equipment and how to control the lighting. The book presents techniques for the full range of diving conditions, from clear tropical water, to chilly murky conditions.
Underwater Photography Masterclass by Alex Mustard, published by Ammonite Press, RRP £19.99, is available in bookstores and online at thegmcgroup.com.