Bristol Underwater Photography Group talk

Bristol Underwater Photography Group talk

This week I headed off to Bristol to give a talk to Bristol Underwater Photography Group about using biology to inform your photography.  It was a great turn out and lovely to give a talk where the audience were clearly natural history buffs.  I did get groans from the audience when I mentioned thinking 18˚C water was cold, but since they had just been diving in Scotland where the water was 7˚C, I can understand.  Anyway, here is a little précis of the talk I gave:

Dr Richard Smith – Using Biology to Inform your Photography

Richard’s aim is to encourage divers to get more from their diving through an appreciation of the marine environment around them.  His talk ‘Using Biology to Inform your Photography’ began with his own journey that started with his PhD research on the diminutive pygmy seahorse.  He was the first to observe and record the entire lifecycle from birth through to mating, with an unexpected ménage a trois along the way. 

His work taught him important lessons in observing marine animals without disturbing them and an appreciation of the importance of getting to know and understand an animal: its preferred habitat, its geographical range and how best to approach it. 

This intimate access to an animal’s day-to-day life also allows us to fill in the gaps in their biology (which in many cases is very poorly known), from the egg pouches of ghost pipefishes to the brooding habits of isopod parasites.

Richard leads group trips where divers learn more about the reefs around them and how this can be used to get more from their own diving experience: