Review - "Underwater Photography" with David Keep, 27 Apr 2020

A review by Jane Lee - "Underwater Photography" an evening with David Keep ARPS DPAGB FBPE AFIAP
We first met David Keep on our trip to Yellowstone in 2018 when he had just started his underwater photography. We have followed his journey, marvelled at his amazing photographs of all genres and watched his increasing success in photographic competitions, winning Gold Medal after Gold Medal. David lives ‘up north’ and when he found out some 18 months ago where we lived he mentioned to us the possibility of coming to speak. We got on to Penny straight away and she worked hard to organise a tour of local clubs and a charity event for divers so that travel expenses could be shared and David would have the chance to visit the area for a few days with his wife.

Sadly all the well laid plans were dashed because of the lockdown but fortunately all was not completely lost. Last night we were treated to some incredible underwater photography. David gave us a fascinating insight into the technical challenges to be overcome, clearly explaining the difficulties, often with examples. I’m sure we all now have a much greater appreciation of what is involved, except Spike and Penny Piddock who of course knew all this already as we have seen from their own stunning underwater photography. The vivid colours and creatures of the undersea world are truly spectacular but David reminded us that much of this could be lost forever in the not too distant future due to the disastrous effects of global warming causing coral bleaching.

We saw how David’s technique has improved enabling him to take all the jaw dropping, award winning images we see on the competition circuit. However, whilst I appreciate that sharks are not all like the blood thirsty monster featured in ‘Jaws’, I would still be somewhat nervous about a 4.5 m Tiger Shark coming straight for me out of the gloom. And then there were those mangroves where a crocodile could have been lurking around every corner, it’s the stuff of nightmares, even David admitted to being frightened. Were the photos worth it, well yes they were, just amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it before, whoever thought that mangrove trees grew out of those dead looking stumps.

On the subject of crocodiles the brief taster he included for his Underwater Part 2 was terrifying, I think I’ll stick to the lovely manatees. His Project Work with the model in the swimming pool showed us the huge amount of work he puts into getting some of his award winning pictures and it certainly pays off. I really hope we get the chance to see David in person in the future and view some of his other work; it is all of the highest quality.

Thanks to Penny for organising this and thank you David for a great evening.

~ Jane Lee