Spellbinding Marine Beings
By Beth Watson
My entrée into photography was happenstance. On January 30, 2000, my family’s excitement was reigning high – it was difficult to keep our emotions in check. Super Bowl XXXIV had arrived, our beloved St. Louis Rams were playing – and we were going to the game. To document the memorable day, I took along my first digital camera, a Canon G2. The St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV by defeating the Tennessee Titans 23-16.
After the Super Bowl, it was great fun uploading images to the computer, editing, printing and sending them electronically to family and friends. This gave me much enjoyment. It was new and exciting. This encouraged me to take my photography skills a bit further and try to figure out how to use the dials and buttons on the camera. What did it all mean? I had no clue. It was all very confusing. I wanted to investigate.
Coincidentally, our family began diving in 2000. After our first dive trip, I purchased a housing for my Canon G2. The switch had been flipped and I was excited to experience the world of underwater photography.
The next six months were spent reading anything I could get my hands on, trying to learn all I could about photography. My head was going to explode. Our next dive trip was in six months; I had to be ready.
My photography skills and learning stagnated over the next several years. Then one day in 2007 changed everything. There was something different about a photo I took of a vibrant fish. I liked it for starters, that was unusual. I am my own harshest critic. The composition looked good. It had vivid colors. The eye was sharp with highlights to boot. This image was an inspiration for me to dig deeper, learn more, experiment and to improve my skills. Not realizing it at the time, but eventually I would become a huge fan of “negative space.”
Gotta Love It
The realm of diving and photography is fascinating to me. Photography is a niche that allows me to express my creativity that fuels the artistic part of my soul. My objective is to create unique, impactful, thought-provoking imagery. I enjoy the challenges of photographing wide-angle reefs and wrecks, but also have a deep adoration for the creatures in the sea – like the spectacular sea life shown in these spreads that I had the privilege to photograph in Bonaire. This Dutch island offers world-class scuba diving and allows divers to go at their own pace, selecting when and where to dive next.
Compassion For The Sea
Having compassion for my subjects and respecting our fragile ocean environment is important. My goal is to produce unique, creative and thought-provoking imagery, showcasing the beauty and wonders of the sea. The most important aspect is to raise awareness to the importance of conserving and preserving the health and vitality of our ocean environment.
Editor’s note: Beth Watson has received national and international recognition for her photography, has been widely published and selected for juried art exhibitions. To see more of her work, visit www.bethwatsonimages.com.