“The Underwater Project” by Mark Tipple
Underwater photography has gathered a lot of steam in recent years. It has become very popular among enthusiast and adventure photographers who love to do things their own way. Mark Tipple is one of the better known names in the niche genre of underwater photography.
A documentary photographer and a social worker based out of South Australia, Mark believes in serving the society in best possible way through his photography. Mark supports many humanitarian projects and his clientele includes Edify, The Salvation Army, World Vision, Planet Ocean and 100Revs among others.
His core assignment ‘The Underwater Project’ is an ever-growing tale of the relationship between Ocean and his home country Australia. Mark has also conceptualized the selling of fine art prints to fund other projects related to the organizations he is currently working for. These projects, funded by this enthusiastic photographer, are targeted to bring social changes in Australia and countries around it. He has traveled, documented photographs and worked for social upbringings in some neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Fiji etc.
His work has been a part of many notable publications such as The BBC, The Telegraph, The Australian, National Geographic and The Discovery Channel.
Talking about his Underwater Project in an interview with Daisy Dumas, Mark compares Surf Photography to War Photography and says, “I wanted to focus on the same raw emotion as the conflict photographs I had seen, to capture genuine expression; to see people being real. Usually, the camera’s presence gets in the way, people don’t forget the camera, they pose and feel self-conscious. However, over time or through a greater elemental presence than the camera, genuine emotion is unveiled, and poses are stripped away.” Mark further adds, “Underwater, people are concentrating on survival – the camera is the last thing on their mind, and real emotions are revealed without trappings. I didn’t know anything about these swimmers and suddenly I was seeing raw emotion, a struggle. The same wave can be beautiful and perfect and in a split second it can switch to end-of-the-world Armageddon-style violence.”
Mark is living a life full of adventures as well, just by following his heart. He has lived on the edge while encountering the powerful ocean waves which tried to disembark his body or facing the uninvited dolphins around him while shooting. Mark considers surfing to be an ode of survival and states, “There are those who are fighting against the ocean, they know how to handle themselves and the waves. Then there are those who are dominated by the ocean, the rookies who aren’t sure how to stand up to its power.”
His other project ‘Ocean’ is in his own words about “giving the ocean a human face” and understands the dilemma of those for whom “the ocean is ingrained in who they are.” Mark is fighting against the distressing state of oceans due to pollution and global warming. He says, “We’re Australian. The ocean is so much a part of who we are. I’m worried about our lifestyles. My life is the ocean – I don’t know what I’d do if it wasn’t there.”
And the rest from “The Underwater Project”:
all images © Mark Tipple