Image: Dr Stephen Smith

Dr Stephen Smith

Underwater photographer Stephen Smith.

Kathryn James
© Kathryn James


I learned to dive in 1982 and commenced my passion for underwater photography in 1986 after purchasing a Nikonos III from a second-hand shop in Sydney. It wasn’t long before I was addicted and only dived without a camera if it was away for repair, or the nature of the dive precluded photography. By far the majority of my photography since then has focused on macro subjects, to the extent that I have failed to see large sharks (including a Great White) swim past me on at least 2 occasions!

I switched to digital in 2003, using various compact systems before buying my first DSLR (Nikon D40X) in 2007, with an upgrade to the D600 in early 2013. Most of my photography has been to support my research as a professional marine scientist (at the Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour) in documenting the biodiversity of subtropical eastern Australia. While my primary interest is in invertebrates, and molluscs in particular, I nevertheless enjoy the challenge of capturing images of fishes, especially small and cryptic species.

I firmly believe that good images of our amazing and diverse underwater inhabitants are one of the best ways to promote their conservation.

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