Nick Robertson-Brown. FRPS
Caroline Robertson-Brown. Msc.
Review by Steve Millard
Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown have put together a photographic tour of 32 of the world’s best wildlife dive sites. This in itself a very subjective view, but the choices they have made are all in my opinion worthy of inclusion. The book promises to be a diver’s wish-list for finding the very best underwater wildlife experiences.
So, what makes these authors uniquely qualified to write on this topic?
I have been fortunate enough to work with Nick and Caroline on many successful projects, so I know personally of their expertise, motivation and drive. For those who haven’t been lucky enough to bump into them at one of the many destinations they have covered since they started diving in 1995, Caroline has a BSC (Hons) in Biology and MSC in Animal behaviour, Nick has a BSC (Hons) in Environmental Biology, a DipEd in teaching and is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. They run www.frogfishphotography.com in Manchester, they help out with several environmental charities, and took on the role of Underwater Photography editors for this very website at the start of the year.
Each of the 32 chapters list the key species in the area to look for, so you can choose what wildlife you would like to see and pick the right area. The handy fact panel also gives details of what equipment to take and more importantly perhaps, when to visit, as many of the dive sites have seasonal variations. It has a few top tips for each site, and also alternate dive sites if the main site is not accessible for whatever reason.
The main chapters read like a good friend is telling you a story about the places you are going to visit; you get a realistic feeling for each place.
If you are already familiar with the authors’ work you will know that the photography in each section is going to be stunning, and there is no disappointment. There are some truly world class photos in the book taken from the Frogfish library which currently stands at 5 TB of stills.
The book has a real quality feel, and at nearly 300 pages long, is well worth the price tag.
Interestingly Europe gets a look in for some the top sites, and even the UK itself. I think this is a good thing; many books omit the temperate climate dive sites and wildlife, but actually, there are some amazing experiences to be had. So for this reason I like the book even more than other similar books I have read that simply concentrate on the same tropical regions again and again. There are some great shots of Basking sharks, seals and blue sharks in the UK section. Of course the book does also cover some of the tropical regions such as Ras Mohammed in Egypt, the Yongala in Australia, Bali, Maldives, Bahamas, Florida and many more. Some of the key wildlife pictured and discussed includes Great Whites, the swimming pigs of the Exumas, manatee and all the creatures associated with the amazing Sardine run.
Who would I recommend the book to?
I think it would be perfect in a dive centre sat in the front office tantalising new divers; it would be a great coffee table book; it could be used as a resource for anyone wanting to learn more about what some of the best wildlife dive sites in the world have to offer so they could plan their next holiday. The book leaves you with laptop open, a pen and paper in hand, picking where your next holiday will be. It arms you with a lot of knowledge to go and find the right place, at the right time, with the correct kit and a great motivation to travel.
You can source it here: