Matty Smith’s Photographs Display Vibrant Life Lurking Just Below Sea Level


“Physalia Physalis” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

Appropriately titled Over/Under, Matty Smith's series showcases the dual environments that exist just above and below sea level. Smith focuses on images right at dusk in order to expose the vibrant colors that shine within the dark waters. Each shot is divided by a wavy strip of ocean just above the center of the photograph. Fish and coral live below the horizon as seagulls and sunsets populate the upper half of the photos.

Tricky photographs to shoot from a technical standpoint, Smith uses a strobe light for the bottom half of the image to ensure that both the animals above and below water are highlighted prominently.

The Australian photographer views each half and half image he captures as a landscape photograph, and prefers environments with depth and attitude over blue sunny skies. Typically Smith scouts his locations via snorkeling expeditions. “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,” says Smith. “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.” Many of his photos are available as prints. (via My Modern Met)

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“Smiling Assassin” – American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

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“A Silky Encounter 1” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

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“A Silky Encounter 2” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba


“Bluebottle Army” – Bluebottle cnidarian, Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

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“Crimson Tide” – Waratah Anemones, Port Kembla, NSW Australia

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“Ocean Rose” – Bass Point, NSW Australia

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“A Shock of Blue” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia

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“A Splash of Yellow” – Sargassum Seaweed, Bushranger Bay, NSW Australia

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