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The Eyes Have It

Based in Cozumel, Mexico, British, blackwater image-maker Robert Stansfield knows how to capture eyeballs.



Text and images courtesy of Robert Stansfield.

Mushoom scorpionfish

“I’ve always been an avid photographer. After learning to dive, taking a camera underwater seemed the next logical step.”

Caribbean reef squid
Red tail parrotfish

“The underwater macro world is more fascinating than I could have ever imagined. Marine species have fascinating eyes. The adaptations are incredible. Corneal iridescence is a beautiful thing.”

Caribbean reef octopus

“This peacock flounder eye gets mistaken for an octopus so many times it makes me chuckle. The appendages around the eye make it look very alien.”

Peacock flounder

“Lesser Electric Rays allow you to get very close but appear to be fascinated by a strobe charging up.”

Lesser electric ray
Nurse shark

“The key to good macro photography is subject separation. It’s essential to make these super well-camouflaged subjects pop and stand out from their surroundings.”

Dark mantis shrimp

“From a diving perspective, solid fundamentals are essential. We don’t want to destroy the environment just to take a photo.”

Scaly tailed mantis

“The eye of a webbed burrfish looks like an alien planet. It’s not often I enjoy backscatter but here I feel it really works.”

Webbed burrfish

Dive Deeper (Into Stanfield’s work):

Oceanographic: In Black Water

Robert Stansfield is a published and multi-award-winning photographer. He is currently the owner of Blackwater Cozumel, Mexico’s first blackwater dive operation. As such, he organizes many macro workshops on Cozumel. Robert is an ambassador for the Marelux and Kraken brands and has been a diver since 2000. He is a TDI Cave Diver and an SSI/PADI instructor. Before becoming totally dedicated to diving and underwater photography, Robert worked as a touring video engineer for live events, including with big recording artists in rock and roll music. He also used his video engineering skills during the Olympics and FIFA World Cups.

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Tekkie la femme

Floridian cave diver, artist and picture maker Bori Bennett helps us celebrate the feminine side of karst culture for International Women’s Day.




Images, quotes and music selection by Bori Bennett

🎶 Pre-dive clicklist: Short Skirt /Long Jacket by Cake 🎶

I LOVE diving in the Florida caves, I could dive them every day (and I probably almost do!). I love taking photos on the surface of divers getting ready for a cave dive, getting gear prepped in the water on the surface, and taking photos in the cave. I want to showcase Florida springs more for those unable to visit.

My first camera was a GoPro. I was interested in taking photos of fish and coral and doing macrophotography. Once I got into tech, the focus of my photography changed from taking fish pictures to telling the story of divers. Now, I am interested in technical divers as the primary focus of my photography, whether it’s underwater or top side.

Diving, especially technical diving, is such a male dominated industry. It’s not often you arrive at a dive site and have more female cave divers than males. So, there’s something empowering about women tech divers that is very intriguing.

When we show up for a dive, I bring my camera, and start shooting! I am trying to showcase and highlight female cave divers doing their thing. Seeing these powerful women in their element enjoying a nice afternoon or evening cave dive together is what I aspire to share.

I don’t actively look for females to photograph, and my photos are not staged. The women I photograph are my friends. I want people to see that they are just normal tech divers, who enjoy diving.

I was diving at Ginnie Springs in High Springs, FL, and when I surfaced and took my hood off, a little girl said, “Look Dad, that diver is a girl! I want to do that when I grow up.” This was a heartwarming feeling to know that I could inspire a young female to do anything she puts her mind to.

From my time living in the UK, I was unable to dive often, and that’s when my illustrations started. It was basically my way of coping with not being able to dive! I mostly started drawing for me and then started to share it on social media.

Most of my illustrations are focused on water and environment conservation. I like to highlight the beautiful natural springs and the ocean. Anything related to water!

Some of my older illustrations highlight awareness of marine life and how to preserve and protect them. I am interested in environmental conservation and hoping my illustrations highlight this. I also like to add illustrations of my dog, Nabee, in some of my artwork from time to time.

I had the opportunity to capture a very sweet moment when my cave diving buddy, Christina Green and her wife Heather, introduced their one-month-old baby girl, Addison, to Ginnie Springs for the very first time. It was a very powerful photoshoot highlighting Christina gearing up, while also tending to her wife and daughter.

When divers gather at the surface we may see many differences, but as soon as we go underwater, we have a shared experiences that transcends culture, and gender. In my personal opinion, water is a great equalizer.


GUE : Celebrating GUE’s Scuba Diving Women | Women’s Day 2022

GUE : What Happened On Women’s Day 2023? Check This Out!

Bori Bennett was born and raised in Korea. She met her husband, JD, in 2003, and they have lived and travelled around the world for his work. Bori lived in Papau New Guinea in 2013, where she received her open water certification. She has been actively diving since then. Bori is a full cave diver, with a TDI full cave certification, GUE Cave 1, GUE Cave 2, and looks forward to becoming a DPV diver in the future. After 20 years of living around the world, Bori, JD, and their
dog, Nabee, moved to their forever home near Ginnie Springs in High Springs, FL in 2021.

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