John Collins takes us on a marine adventure within the oceans that lap many of our most populated shores, from the north Atlantic around western Europe, to the chilly Pacific of North America and south to the Great White sharks of Africa. His photographic portrait of a little explored part of our ocean world is the culmination of twenty years of diving the seas around Ireland, Scotland, Canada, South Africa and Tasmania. From his voyages he brings us 120 photographs illustrating the colourful and bizarre life below while also conveying the mood of exploration — his photographs are interpretative rather than purely documentary. Of the seven tenths of our blue planet, we have explored but a fraction. Away from coral reefs, the ocean world between the tropics and the poles is the most vibrant and productive of all our seas. Beneath its grey roof lies a bounty of neon-coloured life as well as offering us a time-capsule of our losses at sea — evoked by the sombre mood of a lost ship.
The bizarre underwater world holds a fascination for many: for some it is the natural history of beautiful flower-like anemones and brightly coloured fish. For others, it is the predators we fear most — sharks. And for some, the history of our sea-going losses resonates above ground. While most people are aware of the beauties of our coral reefs, this book differs from most collections of underwater photographs in looking only at our cold seas. The seas on our doorstep are slow to give up their secrets, making this collection of images from our emerald seas something truly out of the ordinary and introducing us to previously unseen marvels.
John Collins is an Underwater & Landscape Photographer living in Kinsale, Ireland.