Halfway under Water: Matthews Smith’s „Over/Under“ Photos


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If one were bent on squeezing photos by Matthew Smith into one particular category, it would have to be underwater photography. At closer look, however, one would inevitably discover, that the Brit has successfully managed to combine multiple photography genres, which is the reason his works don’t fit any single box.

Smith himself sees his „Over/Under“ photos as belonging to the landscape photography genre, even though the camera is almost always halfway under water and the wet element is dominating the photos. I personally think that exceptional photos make any kind of categorisation unnecessary and unimportant. Whether the „Over/Under“ photos are landscape or underwater photographs doesn’t matter. They are great either way. 🙂

Physalia physalis (bluebottle) taken as an over/under image in Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia. After strong NE winds hundreds of these zooids were blown into the bays around Shellharbour and trapped overnight. Post processing is limited to colour temp and small amounts of burning. Also slightly cropped.

© Matthew Smith

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© Matthew Smith

Those, who can’t get enough of these kind of shots, should take a look at David Doubilet’s portfolio. The famous underwater photographer supposedly invented the style in the 1970ies.

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