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Scubaverse Underwater Photographer Interview: Jane Morgan

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In an ongoing series, Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Editor Nick Robertson-Brown talks to underwater photographers from around the world that he admires. In this blog: Jane Morgan.

JM: Ever since I was a child I had strong attraction to the sea, in fact the first time I saw it as a toddler I ran straight in to the shock of my parents, who had to run in fully clothed to drag me back out.

In my past life I worked at DIVE magazine in London, but I am now Dive Safety Officer on the Marine and Natural History Photography degree course at Falmouth University.

I am inspired by a love of nature and the sea. I originally come from Bedfordshire, but spent most of my adult life in London before making the move to Cornwall in 2009. It’s the perfect mix of country and coastal living.

As I have the sea on my doorstep most of my diving is here in Cornwall, but I do enjoy diving over the rest of the UK too and try to arrange a couple of trips to other parts of England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland each year. But I do of course still enjoy some warm water diving when I can. I am also a part of a team from Falmouth University who take students to the Red Sea each year to hone their underwater photography skills.

www.janemorganphotography.com


NRB: How did your underwater photography start?

JM: I learned to dive in 1991, but didn’t pick up a camera until 2000 when a very persistent dive guide on a liveaboard insisted that I do a course. I had spent the late 90s working on conservation projects overseas and was suddenly wondering how to keep myself entertained underwater. It was love at first click. My proudest moment was winning the Plongeur D’Or at the Antibes Festival in 2006.

NRB: What is your favourite u/w camera equipment (past & present) & why?

JM: My first underwater camera was a second hand Motormarine II Ex, which I absolutely loved. Nowadays as I work at Falmouth University my own D300 with Sea & Sea housing has been in storage for some years as I need to be familiar with the uni kit so I can help the students. I am rather taken with the Nikon D500 in a Nauticam housing, plus as I’m a big fan of macro the Nauticam SMC is also a big favourite.

NRB: What would be your advice to anyone new to underwater photography?

JM: My advice to anyone new to underwater photography would be to get close and pick the brains of everyone who inspires you.

NRB: What, or who, has been your single biggest inspiration for your underwater photography?

JM: Due to his support and help in the early days I would have to say that Martin Edge was my big inspiration.

NRB: What image are you most proud of and why?

JM: The image I am most proud of right now would be a shot taken with the SMC in the Scillies of two skeleton shrimps and a sea spider. I just love that there is a whole tiny and almost invisible world down there if you can take the time to find it.

NRB: Where is your favourite dive location, and is it for the photography?

JM: The Cornwall and the Scillies have to be my favourite dive location. Maybe I’m biased as I live here. The UK can be more challenging that blue water diving, but it’s exciting, you never know what you may see, and when its good its amazing.

NRB: What are you views on marine life manipulation, moving subjects?

JM: I don’t agreed at all with moving or manipulating subjects underwater, I very much come from the generation of ‘take only photos leave only bubbles.’

NRB: What do you look for when you are making your images?

JM: I generally look for good backgrounds and compositions when making images. Also finding subjects that can be photographed without damaging any fragile habitats around them.

NRB: What motivates you to take u/w photos?

JM: I think what motivates me most is the ability to share the beauty of our oceans. We all know that the seas are in danger and as divers and underwater photographers we have a responsibility to help safeguard them. Many people have no idea of the life below the waves and hopefully by sharing the beauty more will be inspired to help save them.

RB: If you could photograph any one thing/place what or where would that be?

JM: If I could photograph one thing it would have to be whales. I’ve never been in the water with these majestic creatures and it would definitely be a dream come true.

To see more of Jane’s work click here.


Jane’s work will be featured in the next issue of Dive Travel Adventures magazine! 

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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BSAC launch #DiscoverUKdiving video competition

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BSAC is launching a new video competition which aims to get the diving community sharing and discussing the highlights of UK diving to inspire others to give it a try and discover it for themselves.

They are inviting you to share short UK diving or snorkelling videos – tagged #DiscoverUKdiving or #DiscoverUKsnorkelling – to be in with a chance of winning a Fourth Element Hydra Neoprene Drysuit worth £999 (or an alternative non-diving suit if a snorkeller wins). There are other prizes up for grabs too, with a Fourth Element duffel bag going to second place and a year’s BSAC membership for third.

The #DiscoverUKdiving video competition aims to get the diving community talking about the highlights of UK diving and/or BSAC club life by sharing short videos to surprise and inspire others to discover it for themselves.

BSAC is looking for videos that show an exciting moment, unique insight or anything that exemplifies why diving in the UK is so much fun and can encourage others to take up UK diving. People will be invited to vote for the entries they find most inspiring on the competition gallery website.

BSAC CEO Mary Tetley said: “We want to show others who haven’t experienced UK diving why we love it so much, and we need your help! Use your phone, GoPro or pretty much anything to share a short video that encapsulates why you love diving in the UK. Ideally, showing off UK diving the BSAC way!”

The competition will be open for entries until midnight on Monday 30 November.

The videos can be either be above water (e.g. a RIB ride out to a dive site), below water (e.g. exploring a wreck with your buddy) or a combination of both. Each video should be short (no longer than 15 seconds) and you can enter up to three videos. The winner will be the entry that receives the most votes. Voting will remain open for a further week and close on Monday 7 December. The winners will be announced the week of 14 December, good luck!

Full terms and conditions, including how to enter as well as how to vote on your favourite video can be found here.

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Henley Spiers: Black & White Photography at the September NUPG meeting (Watch Video)

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The September NUPG meeting saw Henley Spiers take to the virtual stage. Henley decided to divide the evening into two topic areas for discussion: Black and White Photography and Pelagic Encounters – his two biggest passions in underwater photography at the moment.  Henley showed off his stunning black and white images to the NUPG audience, talking about why he selected each image to convert to monochrome and was generous enough to share the photoshop techniques with the group too. He then went on to wow the group with images from the deep blue sea, with some simply stunning pelagic encounters. 

As always, the NUPG members also had a chance to show off some of their images in the monthly competition. This month’s theme was “Invertebrates” and it saw a range of ideas and images from the group.

The winning shot of a sea lion was taken by Maggie Russell

The runner-up was by John Spencer

Third place was taken by Justin Beevor

The next meeting was held on Monday 12th October, a talk from Simon Rogerson: Difficulties with Sharks. Check back soon for the video!

For more information about the NUPG please visit the website by clicking here.

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