Mark Strickland

Wildlife Photographer


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"I am drawn by a sense of intrigue."


"Enveloped by the water’s silky embrace, I glide downward, savoring the flood of sensations and emotions that mark the beginning of another dive."


About the photographer


Abandoning the burdens of gravity, I am suspended in midwater, free to move effortlessly in the three dimensions of inner space. Beyond physical impressions, I am drawn by a sense of intrigue, an urge to explore the many parts of our water planet that have yet to be seen by human eyes. Even at familiar sites, there are treasures awaiting discovery: a new species in the neighborhood, or a previously unknown behavior. On occasions when nothing new appears,natural wonders still abound: the rhythmic pulsing of a jellyfish, sunbeams dancing on the seafloor, or the riot of color and activity that characterizes a healthy coral reef. 

Every dive is different, yet there is a common thread, reminding me of what an amazing place the underwater realm can be, and how privileged I am to be among the small percent of humanity who experience it firsthand. Surrounded by such marvels, I am seized by a desire to share with others, to somehow convey the spellbinding beauty and mystery below the waves. Thankfully, photography offers just such a vehicle. While I seldom feel that I’ve done justice to the subjects, the pursuit of these images has become a driving force, relentlessly drawing me back to the underwater world. This compulsion has been a rich reward in itself, resulting in a lifetime of incredible moments observing and interacting with marine life of every description, from amphipods no bigger than a match head to whales that rival the dimensions of a school bus. 

This quest has also taken me to some of the world’s most exotic locales, including Thailand’s Andaman Sea, where I was fortunate to spend many years leading dive expeditions. But wherever I find myself diving and photographing, I hope that my images not only entertain, but also educate and inspire those who don’t get to experience the ocean first-hand, helping them appreciate the delicate nature of our marine environment and the urgent need to protect it.

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