Mark Tipple took the breathtaking photos of surfers and swimmers emerging underwater engulfed in clouds of whitewater while being frequently rocked by the waves himself.
The 29-year-old photographer from Sydney, Australia captures the split second moments off the Australian coast and regularly gets beaten in the head by his 5kg, specially adapted for his troubles camera.
He came up with the idea of photographing waves underwater after becoming frustrated with “normal” surf photography, and wanted to capture the moments from a different perspective.
“During a flat spell in Sydney I shot a few small waves with people swimming off to the side,” Mark Tipple said. “The results were pretty graphic and led to people swimming becoming the focus of the series, which was against my initial intention but looked great.”
He continued: “Most of the people I photograph are just enjoying themselves at the beach and I ask them if they’d mind being in a picture. I tell them what I’m doing and show them a few photos and mostly they’re amazed.”
“Most of the time I come off worse than the people I’m shooting, generally I’m looking sidewards to track where they are in relation to where the wave is, and tend to pay more attention to them than the wave; which can rock me pretty hard.”
“I’m pretty comfortable underwater from years of surfing, and can ride out the waves breaking overhead. Most of the credit has to be paid to the camera though, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that most of the time I hold the shutter down and point in the general direction of the people.”
“The housing is about the size of a shoebox, and weighs about 5 kilograms, heavy enough to hurt when it hits me in the head. I guess it’s transformed from a simple idea of seeing how the waves look underwater to how people adapt and what they go through when diving under waves.”
Mr Tipple has been surfing since he was a child and begun filming underwater in 2000. He said: “I used to surf with a video camera strapped to my helmet that would record underwater when I was being thrashed by a wave and when I duck dove; it produced a few cool images but not to the extent that I was looking for.
“After a few years of playing around with different cameras and camera positions I gave up surfing and turned to shooting full time. By not being restricted by the physical object of a surfboard I could follow surfers underwater, and be free to roam around below and shoot what I wanted to shoot,” Mr Tipple said. [via Telegraph (UK) and Daily Mail (UK)]