If you collect coffee-table books of underwater photography, you shouldnt miss this one.
Alex Mustard is a highly favoured underwater photographer who has won several prestigious awards, including BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and co-authored The Art of Diving with Nick Hanna.
That was a special book because it had a great idea behind it. This time its all Mustards own work, and the volume is inevitably a little more ordinary when compared with the work
of masters such as Doubilet or Newbert.
There are masses of beautiful, cleanly photographed underwater subjects, some heavily manipulated in the computer to get the effect Alex Mustard was after. In fact I would say that its his computer skills as much as his camera-eye, combined with his knowledge of marine biology, that make him unique among underwater photographers.
He has also included some wide views of reefs using natural light, and colour-corrected either in the camera or in post-production. They are very pleasing to the eye.
This book represents a huge body of work, and some shots are better than others. Some would not bear a second glance if punctuating
a magazine article but they all benefit from perfect reproduction on good-quality paper and a large format, and some are very good indeed.
Its a big volume with nearly 200 packed pages. The author is very generous with his acknowledgments to those who have helped him and David Doubilet, author of the masterpiece Water, Light, Time, is equally generous with his recommendation.
John Bantin
Constable & Robinson,
ISBN 9781845296346.
Hardback, 192pp, £30