About the Photographer | Definitions

What is it about the underwater world that we find so fascinating?
For me it started at a very early age in a swimming pool with my first mask. I simply wanted to be underwater and stay there. I remember taking one end of a garden hose down to the bottom of the pool and being very frustrated because I couldnít suck any air through the hose. It wasnít until years later when I became a certified diver that I learned that it was that pesky little pressure differential at work. As a teenager I started diving in the ocean on the north coast of California, free diving for abalone. My need to immerse myself in saltwater never abated and in 1984 I became a dive instructor. I think what drew me to teaching scuba initially was simply the opportunity to dive all the time. It fed my habit and kept my gills from drying out. What kept me coming back was the pleasure I got from my students when they would surface from their first open water ocean dive. It might be the most ho-hum dive in the world for me but they would be grinning from ear to ear, going on and on about how cool it was. When that happened, I would just smile because now they knew what I knew. At that point I knew I had another convert.

For a long time, teaching diving, spear fishing, and abalone diving were my only vices but then on a trip to Truk Lagoon in the early nineties someone stuck a Nikonos camera in my hand and things have never been the same since. I think the same desire to share what I see is what drives my infatuation with underwater photography. Obviously it feeds my need to be underwater but it also gives me a chance to show those less amphibiously inclined what the world beneath the waves is like. It is my sincere hope that through my pictures you can scratch your head in amazement as I do at the incredible bio-diversity below the surface and at the same time gain a small appreciation for the incredible nature of our aquatic environment.

Thousands of images later and Iím still at it. Along the way Iíve won some nice awards and have enjoyed seeing my images published in magazines. Iíve seen my work on the walls of art galleries, photography stores, offices, and restaurants. Now, Iím finally getting around to putting some of it on the web. If you find just a small amount of pleasure in it, thatís all I can ask for. I will tell you that itís a hell of a lot of fun and if that comes across in the photos then Iíll consider it worthwhile. Anyway, I consider myself really fortunate to have stumbled upon something that gives me this much pleasure and Iím going to stick with it until I get it right. Thank you for visiting my website and I hope you enjoy the pictures. Feel free to contact me if you see anything you like. Marc Hannigan

Marc Hannigan
February, 2005

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