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Water Light Time - David Doubilet



Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

I'M NOT particularly fond of fish, either in their natural habitat or set out on a platter for dinner, so it was with a modicum of indifference that I began turning the pages of David Doubilet's Water Light Time.

It wasn't long, though, before I discovered that there's much more to this particular life form, and to marine life in general, than meets the eye, much of it due to Doubilet's extraordinary photographs.

Born in 1946, Doubilet's love affair with the under-water world began when he was just eight-years-old. Four years later, he took his first under-water photographs and has continued to do so ever since, eventually turning professional in 1972 with the publication of his work in National Geographic.

Over the years, he has received numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious Sara Prize from Italy's Mondo Sommerso magazine.

 

And looking at his photographs, it's easy to see why for they reflect not only his passion for the sea and the life it sustains but also, his skill and innovativeness as a photographer.

Water Light Time does, in fact, encompass 25 years of Doubilet's work, his beautiful images taken in oceans and seas right across the globe - from the waters of the Galapagos Islands to the Red Sea, from Pacific shores to the fresh waters of North America.

I do, however, have one major criticism of the book's presentation and that's with the picture captions. They are so small as to be almost unreadable. Even with my specs and a good light, the exceptionally small print is difficult to decipher.

That aside, Doubilet has afforded us the privilege and pleasure of glimpsing an alien world that exists on 'the underside of the surface' of water - of a world that few of us can ever hope to see for ourselves.

And in so doing, he has given me a completely fresh approach to the subject.

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