Peter Parks, a world renowned natural history photographer, has spent a lifetime observing, photographing and filming the tiny animals and plants that inhabit the surface layers of the ocean.
The Beyond the Reef section of the Australian Museum website showcases thirty-six stunning images produced by Peter and his team at Image Quest.
Peter Parks says his "inspiration to take an interest in plankton" can be attributed to his old Marine Biology Professor Sir Alister Hardy, at Oxford University.
"Sir Alister Hardy was the United Kingdom's grand old man of the sea and I owe him so much for sparking that first ember of interest that grew to a continuously burning fascination with the subject for thirty-five years of my professional life".
As Managing Director of Oxfordshire based company Image Quest 3-D, Peter has contributed to and led over 25 major marine biological film expeditions, including the BBC's Blue Planet series. Image Quest now has studios in the United Kingdom and Bermuda and a well established relationship with the Australian Museum's Lizard Island Research Station. Peter and his team have spent over two years filming at the Research Station located on the Great Barrier Reef.
Much of Peter's recent work has been filming and photographing plankton in 3-D using camera and optical systems developed over the past 30 years. Many of these systems were designed by Peter and the Image Quest team in response to the challenges of working in open waters and high pressured, deep-sea environments. Peter and his team have also succeeded in what he describes as "the ultimate challenge, putting some of this exquisite marine wildlife onto the mighty Imax Screen in 3-D". Peter says "Only when plankton are seen in the third dimension do most of them make sense, so weird are their designs."
The work of Peter Parks at Image Quest has been instrumental in recording the enormous diversity of planktonic organisms. Plankton is crucial to the existence of the Great Barrier Reef. Without it, there would be very few living organisms on earth.
Brooke Carson-Ewart , Web Manager