Scuba Diver Issue 2/2014, TTL No. 10

Four Seasons - The Cycle of Life Underwater

We may take for granted just how much the balance of life on Earth depends on the 23.4-degree tilt of its axis. As different parts of the planet are bathed in the sun’s light and warmth, the seasons shift, and life flourishes – currents carry warming or cooling waters around the world, and with them nutrients and new life.

Seasonal cycles of procreation in the ocean take many forms. In this issue we have tried to provide a glimpse into the gamut; from syncronised coral spawning as captured on camera by Alex Mustard (p18), to the fascinating, egg-laying fishes whose cycles follow those of the moon (p90), and the epic, transcontinental, seasonal migrations of the charismatic humpback whales. On page 76 Shawn Heinrichs lets us in on the secret to connecting with humpbacks and creating winn ing photographs of these charismatic leviathans.

Nowhere, however, are the oceans’ seasonal fluctuations more evident than in the temperate seas. On page 58 the team from Atlantic Edge Films takes us through an underwater year off South Africa’s Cape Point and introduces us to the dramatic and charming interactions that can be had as each season moves into the next.

From pole to pole, seasonal changes underpin all life on this planet. We hope this issue goes some way to celebrating our annual journey around the sun as a rich source of wonder and creative inspiration.



Intimate details of the tiny creatures creating our oceans’ oases.

Coral: The Next Generation

By Alex Mustard

Capturing the Caribbean corals’ seasonal, synchronized sex life takes planning, timing, and a little bit of faith.

A cape for all seasons

By Sophia Van Coller, as told by Mark Van Coller

Professional photographers and videographers in South Africa are attuned to the Cape’s shifting seasons and their dramatic photographic opportunities.

The Pull of the pole

By Andrey Nekrasov

The magical pull of the polar north compels divers to return season after season.

Meet the humpbacks

By Various Contributors

Lessons from Tonga reveal that connecting with, and photographing, our planet’s most well-travelled seasonal migrants requires an absolute commitment to a pure intention.

Solar Power

By Ethan Daniels

The beauty of shooting emotive images in shallow seas, and in ambient light.

Below Zero

By Aaron Wong

Taking pictures with a sheet of ice above your head presents some unusual challenges. Tips on taking the edge off when you’re shooting sub-zero.