I have always had an attraction to the water and the tricks it plays on light for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of my brother and I snorkeling on family holidays to France and the Mediterranean Sea. I can clearly remember my first experience of watching shafts of sunlight weave and dance down into the deep blue, carved by the rippling ocean surface.I bought my first film SLR camera in my teens to try and capture what I loved to see and I used it to shoot the coastlines of my home country of the United Kingdom. It wasn’t long before my curiosity and appetite for shooting the ocean meant I would have to get in and shoot underwater, so I saved and bought a waterproof housing for my camera so I could explore further.As my photography skills grew I needed to travel more to get the images I imagined, so trips abroad to far off countries followed. Now residing in NSW Australia after emigrating from the UK in 2007 I have the worlds biggest playground at my feet, the Pacific Ocean….. And I have truly fallen in love with it.For me one of the most wondrous parts of any dive is the moment that the water engulfs my mask as my head slips below the surface. I think it’s the suspense of the unknown of what lies beneath, the transitional part of moving from one element to the next that feels so magical and the thought of what alien creatures I might encounter. That is what draws me to taking half over half underwater images. I try to convey to the viewer that majestic feeling in a picture format. It’s maybe the best way I can communicate to a non-diver what it’s all about, to marry a wet and unfamiliar world with a dry and more familiar one.
About Matty Smith
South Australian Museum - as part of the Australian Geographic Nature photographer of the year exhibitions from 2014 to 2018.
Australian Museum, Sydney - as part of the Australian Geographic Nature photographer of the year exhibitions 2017 & 2018.
London Natural History Museum for the BBC Wildlife photographer of the Year 2014. The exhibition features the collection of 100 images that reveal the astonishing diversity of life on our planet and visits 70 venues across 5 continents.
Head On photo festival - Outdoor installation at Darling Quarter Sydney 2015
Australia Museum Sydney
Ocean Geographic Magazine
National Geographic Traveller Magazine
Australian Geographic Magazine
Blue Planet II
Australian Photography Magazine
RPS international print exhibition 2016/2017
Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine
PNG Air Magazine
'Chasing Coral' Documentary