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A First Encounter SL207659
In the 60’s the fact that these fish even existed was known only to a small number of naturalist divers and so first encounters with these colourful, eye-catching creatures was enormously exciting. Collectively we were pioneering the photo-documentation of Australia’s temperate marine life, many species of which, like these weedy sea dragons, are unique to our waters. We swam across and below the deep, dark underwater cliffs of southern Australia - primarily with a focus on southern New South Wales where the water is deepest closest to shoar. In the darkness of the depths seeing the ‘true’ colours was only possible when our underwater strobes ignited. When the film returned from the processing laboratory a week later, it was spellbinding to see a strip of large format film unfurl across the light-box revealing such unimaginable detail and colour. The work from this period motivated my first book, ‘Australia’s Ocean Of Life’ published in 1971.