Stella DeSha Thomas Gallery Underwater Photography by Marg Knights

by Marg Knights

Artist's Statement

I was certified as a scuba diver in 1992 and completed my qualifications as a diving instructor in 1994. My interest in under water photography started the first time I dove in tropical waters. I could not believe what I was seeing and was awe-struck by the beauty. Several years later I purchased a basic point and shoot underwater camera. Now unless I am teaching and have students with me I rarely venture into the warm tropical waters without my camera. I am still amazed by what I see and bring the images back with me.

My current camera is a Nikonis 5 with a matching strobe that is an underwater camera, as opposed to a camera in an underwater housing. When shooting macro I use a macro kit attached to the camera. The macro shoots are actually 2.5 inches by 3 inches. The details in these pictures are beyond what you can see with the naked eye and give a very different look at the underwater world.

We try to go south three times a year - usually twice to Nassau in the Bahamas and then once to another tropical destination. The actual sites are often the decision of the dive operator and boat captain. However, in the Bahamas I know most of the sites and often make a special request especially if I want to shoot macro. Whether it is a new site or one I have been to many times I try to find something new or a new angle. The most difficult question is "where is my favourite dive site". They all have their own individual beauty and make up of the coral, sea life and fish can vary from place to place. For example in the Bahamas you see hundreds of Yellow Tail Snappers. While in the Turks and Caicos we saw a few of them but a lot of Mahogany Snappers that I had not seen in the Bahamas. If you want to see Southern Stingrays there is nothing like Grand Cayman in my opinion. You can see Southern Stingrays in many places but Grand Cayman has them in one site by the hundreds.

Two of the pictures I was really pleased and surprised by are shown here. To get the one with the Queen Parrot and the Striped Grunts I just came around the side of a coral head and there they were. The grunts going one way and the Parrot going the other way. The other one I was really pleased with is photo no. 9 (left column) where I am looking up through the corals. We got to the dive site and there were very few fish to be seen. So I went around just looking for interesting shapes and configurations and tried to concentrate on how the light was coming through.

The difficulty in taking pictures underwater usually revolves around two things. First is the environment - a very strong current that can make it difficult if not impossible to stay still and also sand can cause problems. If divers stir up the sand, or even by fish you may as well forget trying to take pictures. The strobe reflects the sand particles and the picture will be cloudy. The second difficulty is patience on the part of the photographer. Some fish will come along and almost pose for you. Others will skitter around, hide in the coral and tease you darting in an out. Usually if you have enough patience and there is not a lot of activity from other divers the fish will come out and you can "shoot" but you usually only get one chance and then it is gone again.

I love to see sharks and dive with them. I am not afraid of sharks but I am respectful. As a diver I am entering their world and they are a predator. However, the sharks I dive with most of the time are Caribbean Reef Sharks. They are by nature a scavenger and eat dead and dying fish on the reef. They have the capability to bite humans and have been known to do so. However, they normally do not bother divers unless they feel threatened or harassed. Going up and trying to grab the fin or tail of a shark would be just asking for trouble. Just swimming with them and watching is probably one of the most amazing things I have every done. Just seeing a shark on a dive makes the dive a great one.

I teach diving privately and also for a dive store in Whitby Ontario. I have taken a number of underwater photography courses along with many others but I am not linked officially with any other underwater photographers. I am however qualified to teach underwater photography and a naturalist course that in my opinion go hand in hand.

This exhibit is my first time officially showing my pictures. Hopefully it will not be my last.

To contact Marg Knights, please cut & paste this address into an email:

Top    Index    Pink    Gorgonian    Feather    Angel    Grouper    Tongue    Queen    Mustard    Trumpet    Shark    Up    Aerocrab    Female   

Copyright 2001 by the Stella DeSha Thomas Gallery and in behalf of the artists. You must have permission in order to reproduce any of the work on this website.
Website administrator: