Residence: Lancaster, UK
Steve took up diving in the 1990s to add purpose to his love of travel. A decade of liveaboard diving – acute sea-sickness ruled out day boat diving – in Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, India (Andaman Islands) and the Red Sea, meant that by the early 2000s the joys of “guided tours” of coral reefs were beginning to pall. An expedition to Bali in 2005 offered the opportunity to undertake beach dives on muck. The combination of beach diving (no sea sickness) and the muck diving sites of Puri Jati, Tulamben, Seraya, Secret Bay etc., with their extraordinary critters rekindled his enthusiasm. Good friend Danny van Belle (professional underwater videographer) introduced him to the joys of underwater photography and with great patience tutored him in the techniques of macro photography. Danny’s approach to the task of finding, identifying and recording the amazing species these sites offered appealed to the scientist in Steve.
A trip to Lembeh Straights in 2008 had such a profound effect on Steve that he did a deal with the dive site owners and now has a home for 2 months of the year there and is slowly building a catalogue of the critters of the area – in the sure and certain knowledge that it is a task that cannot be completed. 90+ minute dives, benign currents, critters you would not believe could exist unless you see them with your own eyes, and dive guides with extraordinary eyesight and intimate knowledge of the area, make every dive a joy.
Currently using a Canon G9, he is starting to hanker after a DSLR but does not have the courage to put his money where his heart is.