During April and May 2016, we are hosting “Cape Town’s Underwater Wilderness”, an underwater photography exhibition featuring spectacular images, by nine of South Africa’s top photographers, dedicated to the marine world found off the coast of the Western Cape. Eighty of the photos will be sold at R1 000 each and each photographer’s top photo will be offered up on auction. All funds raised will be donated to Shark Spotters and will be used for a shark research project.

Olivia Anderson

Olivia Anderson is a freelance photographer based in Cape Town. Follow her on Facebook,  or Twitter.

When did you start doing underwater photography?

I took my first breath underwater in 2012. It was during my advanced scuba course that I first tried out underwater photography. I loved it from the very first moment and purchased a compact underwater camera as soon as I could. In 2013 I bought my first DSLR and my life changed forever.

Why do you do it?

The underwater world is such a magical and beautiful place. I take photographs to express my love of the ocean and to share it with those who can’t experience it themselves.

Why do you think Cape Town is special?

The biodiversity and colour in Cape Town are astounding. The reefs and topography are unique to every dive site and bursting with life. From schools of yellowtail at Whittle to massive stingrays at Long Beach, sevengill cow sharks at Pyramid and nudibranch heaven at the SAS Pietermaritzburg wreck, Cape Town has it all. 

“Every dive is an adventure and a unique challenge with regards to underwater photography. ”

What role photography can play in ocean conservation?

Photography is a powerful means of spreading awareness, especially when it comes to conservation. Images that tell a story and capture the imagination can draw the viewer in and affect change. The idea is to create a message that can be understood at a glance, but also causes one to come back to the photograph and consider it more deeply. That one incredible image can be much more effective than an entire article on a subject.

Be sure to check out Olivia’s photography, along with the work of eight other photographers when you visit the Aquarium in April and May!

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