Dan Shipp, Artist Biography
I am an underwater photographer with a portfolio of images ranging from tropical seas to ice cold waters. I have a passion for capturing the quirky personality of marine wildlife and the mysterious beauty of the world it lives in.
Most of all, I hope to see my feelings reflected in my work – utter enchantment at a reef scene or stifling claustrophobia inside a wreck. Sometimes the behaviour of a creature makes me laugh so much my mask fills with water, so I want the image I build to portray the character in front of me. It’s a truly wonderful challenge to take on.
For those times I am not by the water I enjoy shooting botanical life in macro. I find similarities between these hidden worlds and the stories they can tell.
I grew up in London, England with a family who loved to go camping by the sea. This sparked a passion for the ocean and an urge to share it with others.
During my early diving years I participated in numerous marine conservation projects and scientific surveys – often as the photographer. These experiences have deepened my understanding of marine life and the challenges it faces.
I have sold my work in Europe and the South Pacific, and I am represented by a gallery in New Zealand. In late 2017 I won a prestigious award for my Farne seal entitled ‘Young Curiosity’.
I now share my time between the vibrant waters of Indonesia and the outstanding scenery of New Zealand.
On a shoot I will do some preparation dives to establish my strategy: what time of day offers the best opportunities for light and behaviour; how best to approach the subject; diving risk versus reward. I particularly love to use creative lighting techniques to convey an atmosphere which may involve carrying additional strobes or a particular lens..
When I shoot vulnerable or skittish marine life, gaining the confidence of the subject is critical, so I like to be very patient in my final approach. This reduces stress for all concerned – the subject behaves more naturally and I use less gas from my scuba tank.
I currently shoot with a Canon 5Ds housed in a Sea & Sea housing with Sea & Sea strobes. I rely heavily on my loving wife and underwater model, and my in-camera leak detection system – neither of which I could possibly do without.
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau
Jacqui Shipp, Artist Biography
I grew up around London in the U.K where I studied for my Bachelor of Arts. I have a passion for travel and this is my greatest inspiration. New Zealand holds a special place in my heart and inspires my creativity. I have family here, both in the North and South Island.
The subjects for my pieces range from landscapes to portraiture and wildlife. I spend a lot of my time underwater, scuba and free diving with my waterproof sketch book. It adds another element to my work and I feel at home here.
I create my compositions through the medium of collage. It’s more than just creating a piece of art for me, It’s also the challenge of solving a puzzle. I begin by sketching out an idea which I then build on using recycled paper. I use the coloured papers as I would a palette of pigments, building up the layers with tones, texture and text. The process is so unpredictable. I’m never completely sure how it will look until I’ve finished the piece. That’s what I find so exciting about this process – it takes you on an unexpected journey. Each of my pieces are unique, fashioned from a fusion of recycled magazines, tickets, labels, recipes, poems, handwritten notes and doodles. Each has it’s own story to tell, a narrative woven into the artwork from snippets of printed literature and images.
My pieces have been purchased by collectors from all over the world including Europe, North America, and Africa. My work has also been purchased by The Natural History Museum of London and I have produced work for corporate clients including the record label EMI.
In 2013 I won the Coffee Industry Award and was the overall winner of The Coffee Art Project in 2015. The competition was judged in London’s Brick Lane and then went on to tour Milan, Amsterdam and New York.
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