In this series of articles, we’ll shine a spotlight on some of the world’s best underwater photographers. Today we highlight Beth Watson.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in the small town of Salem, Missouri and have been a certified diver since 2001. Photography is a niche that allows me to express my creativity that fuels the artistic portion of my soul. My objective is to create unique, impactful, thought-provoking imagery and artwork.
How long have you been an underwater photographer?
It was a coincidence. I became a certified diver and received my first digital camera the same year.
What got you interested in underwater photography?
The process of capturing, editing, and printing an image from my computer was intriguing. Underwater photography was my hobby for the next eight years. After my first trip to the Philippines in 2009, my hobby escalated into my passion. This is when I built a website and began entering print and photography competitions.
What is your favorite style of underwater photography?
I am captivated by the beauty and splendor of our underwater world and fascinated by it all. My favorite style, though, is to capture wide-angle scenes. My goal is to put a different spin on an otherwise normal scene. If you have to look twice at one of my images to figure out what it is, that is fine by me.
What are your favorite subjects?
I love the challenge of photographing wide-angle reefs and wrecks. but also have the deepest adoration for the tiniest animals in the sea.
What is your favorite destination?
My favorite destination is usually the one I just visited or my next trip! However, traveling to destinations that lie within the Coral Triangle, such as the Philippines or Indonesia, is a real treat.
What is your underwater setup?
My underwater equipment: Canon 5D MK IV body, Canon EF 8-15mmL fisheye zoom, Canon EF 16-35mmL zoom, Canon 100mmL macro lens and Nauticam housing
Do you have any tips you can share with new photographers?
It is imperative to develop good diving skills and buoyancy control before taking any camera system underwater. Trial and error are intrinsic to learning, and the key to improving your photography skills. Experiment and think outside the box. Look at other work that you admire. Incorporate some aspects and develop your own unique photography style. Divers and photographers must respect, protect and preserve our ocean environment. Capture subjects in a natural way, without moving or manipulation. Lead by example. Be a visionary, if you see it you can shoot it.
For more of Watson’s work, check her website here, her Facebook or her Instagram accounts.