on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Rockpool Photography

Stories from under the Seas..

Harvey Lloyd-Thomas

A photographer who enjoys exploring wilder and remoter landscapes, searching out unseen details, while attempting the occasional photographic vista. Also partial to the odd image of rust and decay


I have long found the miniature worlds contained in rockpools fascinating and over the years I have taken the odd photograph from above with varying degrees of success (ideally using a polariser to cancel surface reflections). More recently, admiring oceanic photographs and noticing adverts for underwater housings for digital compacts got me thinking. It struck me that these underwater housings might offer a novel viewpoint on the world of rockpools, given I had no intentions of leaving the safety of dry(ish) land and donning a wetsuit for full-on underwater photography. The tipping point came several years ago when I noticed an underwater housing for my original 2MP Nikon COOLPIX E2200 at a knockdown price, since it was for a discontinued camera. Also I wasn't too worried if I were to lose that particular camera to flooding. And so started my experiments in underwater photography without getting wet.


I was pleasantly surprised by my initial attempts. Although, given the fully auto limitations of the camera and the bulky housing, a lot of trial and error - and deleting of images - was certainly involved. While good use was made of the macro capabilities of the camera. The key skill was in trying to compose an image, with the camera being dunked underwater giving no chance of viewing the screen on the back. You have to rely on what you can see from your aerial viewpoint above the rockpool, to aim the camera in roughly the right direction towards an interesting subject you have identified: an anemone or sea urchin for example.


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  • tobers

    Well that was very interesting. Refreshing to see something completely different. I can see how you can use similar compositional techniques to create landscape-esque pictures, albeit on a much smaller and wetter scale.

  • Adam Pierzchala

    Hi Harvey, I agree with the above that this was an interesting read – there seems to be no stopping your desire to try something new:) some of these pictures are unexpectedly good considering the restriction of working in small rock pools and the cumbersome housings. Maybe the waterproof cameras are indeed the ones for this sort of work.

  • andrewcooper

    Quite inspirational work, will look at my simple FT3 in a different light now. You have a nice web site following the link on here

  • Ian Chapman

    Really interesting. I particularly like the shots that include detail from both above and below the waterline. Perhaps it’s because the dramatic contrast between the two worlds serves to heighten the wonder of submarine life. Thanks for a stimulating article.

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