In their latest book, authors Andrea & Antonella Ferrari stress that underwater photography, no matter how good, interests only a small minority, many of whom are scuba divers.
Underwater photographers go to great lengths and expense to obtain stunning images for the public to ignore. So why do we do it? For our own satisfaction.
This point made, the writers takes the reader romping through the thought processes of an underwater photographer. There is plenty of useful information to be picked up, but this is not a traditional teach-yourself manual. I read it from cover to cover, and it's a great read.
With an enviable reputation for authoring fine books on underwater photography, the Ferraris have laced the pages with juicy pictures. They also had the idea of getting well-known underwater photographers (but not me!) as guest contributors, and their pictures, together with a short commentary, punctuate the book.
It makes the main text slightly hard to follow, but the Ferraris did not choose this approach because their own pictures were below standard. When you are as good as they are, you can afford to be self-deprecating.
There is none of the pseudo art talk that often ruins otherwise beautiful books of photographs. The pictures do the talking, and need no talking-up.
There is also a spread by Claudia Pellarini and Leon Joubert, who readers might know from their long sojourn with Stuart Cove's in the Bahamas before they went back to South Africa to set up their own diving operation. It's also aimed at those starting out with point-and-shoot compacts.
This 360-page volume doesn't have a weak page in it.
John Bantin
(Nautilus Publishing, ISBN 9789832731023). Hardback, 360pp, £24.99