Allen Walker (South Africa)
Started UWP in 2007, at that time I had no idea what so ever about photography, yes I owned an old Yashica film camera someone gave to me many years back, not even sure it works.
Although spending all my free time diving, I only really started underwater photography after a friend convinced me that it was fun and really rewarding, I had my reservations….
I took my first picture with a loan camera, a small Sony point and shoot, can’t even recall the model number. After the dive I was so excited and could not wait to look at the pictures, yikes was I disappointed, blur, blur and even more blur with no colour! Sheesh, where was this instant gratification he mentioned, I was annoyed, thwarted and more so, now totally committed to get one decent photograph!
That was it, game on! The next Monday I went and bought my first underwater camera (“Credit Cards” got to love them) at Ushaka Marine World! A Sony W7 and housing, and I have not regretted it since. My new found passion in underwater photography was 2 fold, one to at least get a decent picture and 2, the continuous need to adapt to an environment that changes every second and then still be able to produce a picture worthy of a frame!
This was not only a huge challenge but extremely exciting! Today, I most probably would not dive if you took my camera away. So I guess you can say I am a self-taught photographer who has only realised his passion late in life, well that’s what I thought!
Here’s the catch, I did not see it coming from a mile away, try 40 years! (This was +-2 years ago)
Since changing the “environment” I spent all my free time in, I have been hit hard with the realisation that it was not only photography that I should be passionate about, I should get passionately involved with the entire ocean and it\'s inhabitants by creating images that will in some way help protect the them!
I also need to try and assist the people dedicated to making a difference in the marine environment, which we so passionately dive and photograph in, through photography and the story it can tell.
This was missing in my earlier photographic work. What was I really taking photographs of, for, or even who?
Was I just trying to create a beautiful picture or is there more to photography, like telling a story, creating a feeling, arousing a sense, generating anger or happiness, pity or self belief dismay or encouragement?
Hopefully my realisation will not be short lived and meaningless. I hope my photographs will be a testament to Allen Walker actually doing something about his passion and conservation. 60% of the revenue generated from my images is donated to conservation, can I make a difference? Let’s see……I am working hard in my free time to realise my dream.
Recipe for an awesome image: Time, Devotion and Perseverance!