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This photographic portrait of a little explored part of our ocean world is the culmination of twenty years of diving

It is a common misconception to think that the cool waters between the tropics and polar regions are barren and forbidding. John Collins takes us on a marine adventure within the oceans that lap many of our most populated shores, from the north Atlantic around western Europe, to the chilly Pacific of North America and south to the Great White sharks of Africa. His photographic portrait of a little explored part of our ocean world is the culmination of twenty years of diving the seas around Ireland, Scotland, Canada, South Africa and Tasmania. From his voyages he brings us 120 photographs illustrating the colourful and bizarre life below while also conveying the mood of exploration.-Cool Waters, Emerald Seas: Diving Temperate Waters (ISBN 095 353 538X, Hardback, 250 x 250mm 200 pp, 29.95, 19.95).

Of the seven tenths of our blue planet, we have explored but a fraction. Away from coral reefs, the ocean world between the tropics and the poles is the most vibrant and productive of all our seas. Beneath its grey roof lies a bounty of neon-coloured life as well as offering us a time-capsule of our losses at sea-evoked by the sombre mood of a lost ship.

The bizarre underwater world holds a fascination for many: for some it is the natural history of beautiful flower-like anemones and brightly coloured fish. For others, it is the predators we fear most-sharks. And for some, the history of our sea-going losses resonates above ground. While most people are aware of the beauties of our coral reefs, this book differs from most collections of underwater photographs in looking only at our cold seas. The seas on our doorstep are slow to give up their secrets, making this collection of images from our emerald seas something truly out of the ordinary and introducing us to previously unseen marvels.

Cool Waters, Emerald Seas: Diving Temperate Waters will be launched by the explorer and writer Tim Severin at The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork on September 21st 2006.

John Collins is an award-winning photographer and writer, based in Kinsale, County Cork. Growing up in Limerick, he discovered photography as a teenager and a life-long passion for the still image. Later, while studying at Trinity College Dublin, he learned to scuba-dive with Dublin University Sub-Aqua Club, going on to gain experience both in Ireland and abroad, eventually becoming an instructor in 1991. He also studied at the New York Institute of Photography.


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