Swimmers Below the Waves Captured in Incredible Underwater Photography

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Image: Mark Tipple

If you’ve ever been swimming in rough seas, you’ll probably know the panic of rolling under the waves and losing all sense of direction as you desperately gasp for air. The experience can be thrilling and terrifying at the same time.

Few people might think to open their eyes as they’re pushed underwater by powerful waves. Fewer still would dream of taking photos as their lungs are bursting to draw breath. But that’s exactly what photographer Mark Tipple does. And the results are these stunning and unusual photographs, from his Underwater Project series.


Image: Mark Tipple

Tipple was in Sydney, Australia when the idea for his Underwater Project series came to him. “While shooting some standard surfing at the end of 2009, I was in the wrong place to shoot and started to dive under the wave when I noticed a young man swimming close to me,” Tipple recalls. “He needed to dive to escape, just as I did, so I turned the camera on him to see what he went through underwater. The pretzeling of his limbs and the strained expression on his face was something I had never seen before, and I thought of focusing on swimmers underwater, rather than surfing.”

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Image: Mark Tipple

Since then, Tipple has taken to photographing people under the waves in a big way. His camera captures the amazing interaction between man and nature in a way we’ve rarely, if ever, seen before. The unique glimpses into this hidden world have inspired a wide audience and, according to Tipple, launched his career.

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