By Mark Coles
Header Photo by Mark Coles. Location – Koala, Anilao, Batangas, Philippines
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 105mm, ISO160, F14, 1/250, no strobe, snoot lighting
Subject – Thecacera Picta, Painted thecacera doridina suborder of nudibranch.
Generaly spongivores but some can be cannibalistic. Used a snoot (narrow focussed
beam of light) with no strobes to light the nudibranch, leading to a dramatic effect.
Forty-year-old Mark Coles is a Finance Leader focused on asset management for the UK Electricity Transmission Network and is based near Warwick, England. His passion? Underwater photography. “It’s a way to escape the pressure of day to day work life,” he explained.
Coles’ first exposure to diving was on a Discover Scuba experience in 1998 during a Caribbean cruise ship vacation with his family. He was hooked. He got open-water certified in Grand Cayman that same year and continued with his training while making dive trips around the world. He is currently a PADI Master Scuba Diver. InDepth caught up with Coles during a recent liveaboard trip to Papua New Guinea.
Coles began making underwater photos in Hawaii with his iPhone eight years ago. Then in 2016 in between dive trips from Raja Ampat to Cairns, AUS, he made an “impulse” buy and sprang for a Nikon D7200 SLR and Nauticam housing. He’s been slowly building his system ever since and found himself focusing on macro-photography. According to Coles, “When I have my camera underwater and find a subject to focus on, everything else in my mind fades away; all that exists is the subject and my camera. I find it peaceful,” he said.
Below you can see a selection of Coles’ macros. You can find more of his photos here.
Project Divers Are We
Diving projects aka expeditions—think Bill Stone’s Wakulla Springs 1987 project, or the original explorations of the Woodville Karst Plain’s Project (WKPP)—helped give birth to technical diving….
Header image: Divers positioning a decompression habitat during a recent GUE Project Diver core module. Photo by SJ Alice Bennett, courtesy of GUE.
Diving projects, or expeditions—think Bill Stone’s Wakulla Springs 1987 project, or the original explorations of the Woodville Karst Plain’s Project (WKPP)—helped give birth to technical diving, and today continue as an important focal point and organizing principle for communities like Global Underwater Explorers (GUE). The organization this year unveiled a new Project Diver program, intended to elevate “community-led project dives to an entirely new level of sophistication.” Here, authors Guy Shockey and Francesco Cameli discuss the power of projects and take us behind the scenes of the new program.
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