In The Underwater Eye, Margaret Cohen tells the fascinating story of how the development of modern diving equipment and movie camera technology has allowed documentary and narrative filmmakers to take human vision into the depths, creating new imagery of the seas and the underwater realm, and expanding the scope of popular imagination. Innovating on the most challenging film set on earth, filmmakers have tapped the emotional power of the underwater environment to forge new visions of horror, tragedy, adventure, beauty, and surrealism, entertaining the public and shaping its perception of ocean reality.
Examining works by filmmakers ranging from J. E. Williamson, inventor of the first undersea film technology in 1914, to Wes Anderson, who filmed the underwater scenes of his 2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou entirely in a pool, The Underwater Eye traces how the radically alien qualities of underwater optics have shaped liquid fantasies for more than a century. Richly illustrated, the book explores documentaries by Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle, art films by Man Ray and Jean Vigo, as well as popular movies such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jaws and Titanic. In exploring the cultural impact of underwater filmmaking, the book also asks compelling questions about the role film plays in engaging the public with the remote ocean, a frontline of climate change.
Watch out for our review coming soon…
by Margaret Cohen
Published by Princeton University Press
21st June 2022 | Hardback | £28
World Shootout winners revealed at Boot
The World Shootout winners were announced at this years returning Boot show.
Producer David Pilosof initiated the first World ShootOut online competition in 2011, breaking all boundaries and introducing an international competition as never produced before.
Hundreds of photographers from around 40 countries around the world take part in the World ShootOut competition year after year, submitting thousands of images and videos, ranging from those that capture the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada, showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and introduce the great dramatic white shark in the Gulf of Mexico.
Claudio Ceresi from Italy won the top valuable prize for best picture of the year $10,000 worth of 3 weeks diving vacation for 2 people, in Papua New Guinea.
The winning video can be seen here:
We have featured a few of the category winners in the gallery above. To see all the images placed in this competition, visit the World Shootout Website
New book by diver aims to inspire teens to protect sharks and the ocean
A new book by experienced diver Christine Edwards has just been published, which aims to inspire children and young people to better understand sharks and become advocates for ocean and environmental protection.
Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? tackles themes such as the human impact on the environment and the protection of sharks and their habitats. The story depicts the emotional journey of Charlie Parker, a fearful twelve-year-old boy, and Jane Jones, a retired dentist and scuba diver, who meet by chance on a beach. Despite the years that separate them, they discover they are more alike than they could have imagined.
Sharing the world through the eyes of sharks, hearing about the struggles and dangers they face and how they are on the brink of extinction, brings the two friends closer together. In this book there are stories of shark encounters, the majesty of the underwater world and how the impact of human activity and plastic pollution is affecting their habitat. Most of all, the two characters learn about the power of the human spirit to change in the face of adversity.
Author Christine Edwards was born in Chester in 1962. She read psychology at Warwick University, then worked as a teacher for twenty years. In 2004 she trained at Birmingham Theatre School to become an actor. As a teenager Christine feared the sea and the sharks that swam there. After trying a scuba dive in 2006 and making 1,200 dives around the globe, everything changed. She now adores sharks, hence writing this book.
Christine says: “Conquering a deep rooted fear of the sea and terrified of the sharks that roamed there, I made the astonishing decision to try a scuba dive in 2006. The moment I sank beneath the waves and glimpsed at the world below the surface, I was well and truly hooked. Since that first plunge underwater, I have accomplished over 1200 dives in seas and oceans around the globe. My fear of sharks has turned into a passion for them. Whenever I would describe my shark encounters to friends or family they invariably expressed concern and questioned why anyone would dive with such a dangerous species.”
Christine continues: “My book came out of the need to redress the balance for this wonderful fish. Sharks have existed for 450 million years, well before the dinosaurs, and still exist today. They are being hunted and cruelly killed for their fins and are probably one of the most misunderstood creatures on our planet. The knock-on effect of their demise will be catastrophic. Oceans without sharks will cause negative changes to other species – without this apex predator keeping other fish in check, our coastlines and reefs will ultimately suffer. The oceans need sharks!”
The paperback of Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? (ISBN 9781915352613) is out now and was published on 28th January 2023 by The Book Guild, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd. Priced £8.99, the book is available from https://bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/ as well as at bookshops and through Amazon and other retailers.
Check back for our review of Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? soon!
Header Photo credit: Jane Davies Photography. Photo of Christine Edwards on a dive.
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