Australian photographer Matthew Smith captured photos life above and below sea level. He named this project over/under. Photographing these types of images present some unique technical challenges. There’s a difference in lighting and focus between the two areas, so Smith uses a strobe light for the underwater part of the photo. It helps mitigate the darker scenery with its low contrast and saturation.
About the Project
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. 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. That is what draws me to taking half over half underwater images. It’s maybe the best way I can communicate to a non-diver what it’s all about, to marry a wet and unfamiliar world with a dry and more familiar one.
Physalia Physalis: Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia
Smiling Assassin: American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
A Silky Encounter 1 : Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
Ocean Rose: Bass Point, NSW Australia
Crimson Tide: Waratah Anemones, Port Kembla, NSW Australia
Bluebottle Army: Bluebottle cnidarian, Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia
Your Move: American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
A Silky Encounter 2: Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
A Shock of Blue: Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia
Legal Immigrant: A Long Finned Eel, Botanical Gardens, Sydney