Photographer Mark Tipple tries to capture with his camera the struggle between man and the overwhelming power of waves in the shores his native Australia. Called the Underwater Project, his book shows body boarders, surfers, and swimmers going below the surface to seek refuge from the powerful waves.
Tipple has turned out to be a prominent documentary photographer with his work these past 3 years. He has been working with organizations whose advocacy is social change in Australia as well as in nearby countries. Tipple recently shared how his passion evolved for photographing what goes on underwater recently.
“On the 17th of December 2009 I was photographing small waves at Coogee Beach, Sydney when I dove under a larger wave and thought to turn the camera onto a swimmer next to me, and see what he went through while diving under the wave. This split second produced a photo entitled ‘Escape’, and changed the direction of my photography with an ongoing series called The Underwater Project”, said Tipple.
“In my other photography work the personal connection between myself and the people in front of the camera is paramount, and while I work towards building these long term relationships it’s this connection that has been lost through a candid approach to shooting underwater.Grip the sand, they remind themselves. Go low, stay low. Their faces contort, their muscles tighten in reaction to the struggle for power with the ocean. They surface when the surge has passed. Then breathe.”
As the main and leading lensman of The Underwater Project; Tipple strives and seeks to demonstrate the relationship of the ocean and man that traditional media fails to show. The Underwater Project showcases images that illustrate the ocean from another point of view; a weightless world where water is all around you. Tipple’s pictures have been shown in prestigious publications such as The Independent, National Geographic, The Australian, The Telegraph, The BBC, in addition to Discovery Channel.
See images from his thought provoking The Underwater Project here.