Underwater photography is a beloved and respected art form here at Aquaviews, and the endless stream of beautiful images from photographers all over the world is something that never wears thin for us. But for the photographer, boredom with their medium can be one of the trials of being an artist, at which point the artist either gives up or changes his perception. For Jason Isley, choosing the latter made all the difference in the turn his latest work has taken.
Originally hailing from the UK, Isley left a career in structural engineering in 1995 and set out traveling through Southeast Asia, eventually becoming a certified SCUBA diver in Cairns, Australia. He continued his certification through Dive Master and began training as an underwater cameraman in 1996, and by the end of the year relocated to Malaysia with a colleague to form Scubazoo, the number one underwater imaging company in Southeast Asia. It was from there that Isley’s career as an underwater photographer would start to bloom.
Within his 12-year run at Scubazoo, Isley has been involved with every major Scubazoo broadcast production project, as well as production on two UK Survivor series, Disney’s IMAX production Sacred Planet, Animal Planet’s The Jeff Corwin Experience, and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, among others. He has shot video and photographs all over the world, and many of his works have received international awards. His images and articles have been seen by millions in popular books and magazines, his work appreciated by many worldwide.
And yet, Jason Isley found himself bored with his illustrious profession.
He had reached a point where macro photography started losing its allure; every angle, every technique seemingly had already been done. It was when he came across the works of two artists, Slinkachu and Christopher Boffoli, who used miniature figurines of people in their work to create surreal scenes, that his interest in underwater macro photography began to percolate once again.
Isley’s expertise with shooting macro underwater was the perfect asset for his own underwater miniature series, arranging them in accord with various types of marine life and environments to create a scene that relays not only amusement to the viewer, but an underlying message about the human impact on the marine environment, and the importance of conservation and living in harmony with other organisms in their environment. It’s a fascinating and compelling way to draw every member of the public in, not just divers, and educate them on the value of the marine environment and the life contained within.
Isley is in the process of producing a book of his underwater miniature series, which will be the third coffee table book he has been featured in since 2005, and the first to exclusively display his work. Here are just a few outstanding images from his upcoming book, Small Blue World. Pro tip: you can buy individual images of Isley’s series and even have them made into greeting cards for a very reasonable price!
If the world ever starts to bore you, take a page from Jason Isley’s book and create a new perspective.
All images via Jason Isley