Martyn Guess - Featured Photographer

First Portfolio 1

200xMartynI have been diving since my early twenties and starting taking underwater photographs on holiday in Grand Cayman a few years later when I happened on Cathy Church, one of the joint authors of the bible on Nikonos underwater cameras and paid her to teach me. I was already a keen land photographer and as soon as I saw what the underwater world had to offer – the amazing kaleidoscope of colours and creatures I was hooked. I have travelled the world with my wife Sue ever since seeking out specific species, behaviour or reef systems when business allows. I have been on so many photographic workshops with both Martin Edge and Alex Mustard that I have lost count and now run my own with Scubatravel and try to impart on to guests what I have learned on my photographic journey.

image 1

Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezii) . The weather was fairly poor and the water was quite dark allowing a very slow shutter speed, which helped create some movement in the image. Nassau Bahamas 

image 2

Great hammerhead  (Sphyrna mokarran). This particular shark seemed fearless and swam straight towards me. Generally speaking, you have to get out of their way! I was able, however, to get a straight-on shot showing the massive hammer and very white teeth!  Bimini, Bahamas


image 3

 Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) taken at the Barge dive site in the Red Sea, Egypt. This guy had just had a fight with a rival male for the mating rights with a female octopus just out of shot. Proud as punch he sat up on the coral and extended one of his arms towards her


image 4

Male cardinal fish (from the Apogonid family) mouth brooding eggs. The eggs were fairly recently laid as they turn silver just before they hatch. The fish aerates and moves the eggs around his mouth every few minutes while keeping them safe from predators. Dauin, Philippines


image 5

Beautiful Raja Ampat. Two Tree Rock – a typical healthy reef scene in the area with sea fans and soft and hard coral in abundance while swarms of bait and other reef fish swim overhead

image 6

A mating pair of mandarin fish. (Synchiropus splendidus) from the dragonet family. As dusk approaches the females in the harem move closer to the dominant male in the area and then take turns to rise from the reef belly to belly with him culminating in the female ejecting her eggs which you can see here. In a flash the male fertilises them and they both dart back to the safety of the reef 

 image 7

Silhouette of a green turtle, Ras Mohammad National Park, Egypt. I spotted the turtle at the surface so turned my strobes off and increased the camera speed to get this shot


image 8

Hedgehog seahorse (Hippocampus spinosissimus) taken in the Philippines. I used a torch to backlight the subject with a little blip of light from one strobe to illuminate the front and show off the colours

 image 9

 Purple and yellow nudibranch (Chromodorididae hypselodoris apolegma).  Carefully lit to create a black background giving the image an uncluttered and dynamic look. Anilao, Philippines

image 10

Cuttlefish (Cephalpoda sepiidae). I used an open aperture to separate the subject from the background giving a pleasing bokeh or blur

Iimage 11

Great hammerhead  (Sphyrna mokarran). Taken on a stormy day in fairly low light. We had not been able to get out of the marina because of the weather but when it broke we had a chance for a quick dive. This shark appeared out of the gloom and was gone in a flash so I only had time for a couple of shots


image 12

Weedy rhinopias part of the scorpionfish family (Rhinopias rhondosa) Sightings of these fish are fairly rare. This one was found in 22m together with a red and a brown example close by. I was fascinated by the texture and pattern of the skin and also the beautiful colour and chose to back light it with a torch to show this off. Bethlehem, Anilao, Philippines 

 image 13

Ornate ghost pipefish ( Solenostomas paradoxus). I set the subject against the beautiful soft coral background so that the viewer can see how the camouflaged colour of the fish helps it blend in and help to protect it from predators. Dumaguete, Philippines  & Instagram #martynguess_photography

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