Michael Westcott Gallery
For as long as I can remember I have always had a love for the ocean and its creatures; a passion which was passed on to me by my father, who was one of the old school divers. He dived with an old 11ltr cylinder with a J Valve, twin hose regulators and a harness (equipment all purchased in the mid 1960’s) until he had a severe stroke 10 years ago. I have been diving since the age of 13 when I first did a resort course in Plettenberg Bay. Following that I dived on and off for years but only starting getting serious is 1999 and qualified as a Dive Master in 2006.
A trip to Mozambique (Inhambane) in 2005 redirected my passion for diving, when a friend put a compact digital camera in my hand just before a dive. Right there the bug bit me and I was hooked on underwater photography. Up till that point I had no photography experience at all and had no idea what an expensive hobby I was embarking on. Since then every long week end and holiday has become an underwater photographic expedition. I quickly progressed from a compact digital to Digital SLR and the learning curve has been very steep indeed. I am continuously amazed at how little I know and how much more there is to learn. No matter how methodically one prepares it is still so easy to make mistakes. I sometimes think that although it must have been more difficult initially the guys who started with film have a distinct advantage, as they had to give serious thought before pressing the shutter button. I enjoy both Wide Angle and Macro photography however I find Wide Angle far more challenging and satisfying when you get it right. I have won a number of first places at the Sodwana Bay Shoot out and have had portfolio’s published in major South African Diving magazines including a front cover for Submerge Magazine. I also got first runner up in the Fuji Getaway Wild Life Awards for the underwater section in 2009.
Due to a new addition to my family I have spent more time than I would have liked out the water in the past twelve months. This has however given me the opportunity to spend time on land based photography. I now look forward to resuming the adventure that diving and underwater photography offers and taking my photography to the next level. One of my dream trips is to dive and photograph the Aldabra Archipelago which I hope to do in the not too distant future.