Thursday, September 27, 2012
UWP: DAN BOLT
Underwater photography is, first and foremost, my hobby. I enjoy immensely the challenges and rewards it provides and it allows me to switch off from my day-job in I.T.
I first learned to dive with Torbay branch of BSAC back in 1987 when I was 13 years old and I have not looked back since. Some years were spent with Brixham SAA/BSAC as well as the branch at my university in Cheltenham. I am now a Direct member of BSAC.
I started taking an interest in underwater photography when the digital era made it relatively cheap for sport divers to take up the challenge. Since then I have used a stream of Canon, Olympus and Fuji cameras, including a dSLR, but I am currently very happy with my Olympus PEN E-PL1 micro 4/3rds camera. For my style of diving/snorkelling it’s small size, quick responses and superb image quality makes it the perfect companion.
Early photographic influences were from my time spent amongst Freedivers at international competitions; Zena Holloway, Fred Buyle and Axel Scholler were the main photographers from whom I took great inspiration for image making.
Latter day influences st0em from my both my love for the marine habitat and from the open and friendly family of underwater photographer in the UK. Paul Naylor’s books have been my bibles over many happy years of shooting identification photos, where as Alex Mustard and Peter Rowlands have provided me with technical, artistic, professional, and ethical inspiration and guidance.
After spending my first years learning the ropes on Canon compact cameras, I briefly flirted with a Canon 1000D dSLR rig but quickly decided it was far too large for my snorkelling activities. Since then I have formed a very happy and productive relationship with my trusty Olympus E-PL1 micro 4/3rds camera in the Olympus housing. It is a superb image making tool perfectly suited to my methods & approach and one I can not recommend highly enough both to compact user wanting to upgrade, and to dSLR shooters looking for a less cumbersome package.
Much of my spare time is spent exploring new diving/snorkelling sights, from the shore and from my kayak. These methods have given me a new perspective on the UK coastline and in-land sites and continue to provide new photographic opportunities.
Over the past few years I have written a number of articles on diving, snorkelling and marine life in the UK. I have had articles and/or photos published in the following magazines: DIVE, SCUBA, Sport Diver, DIVER and Underwater Photography. When-ever asked I contribute images to The Wildlife Trusts and Seasearch free of charge for use in their campaigning for protection for the UK’s coastal waters.