Photographic genres and experiences in Underwater photography,Nature photography,Photojounalism and Journalism.

There are  many genres of photography that many can be drawn too,however for me there are only a few that take my liking and passion and time.

Following on from my last post a few weeks back,photographing for me is one that constantly involves nature ,reportage ,underwater photography,landscapes and seascapes .while these are photography genres ,as i said they are all the same and one .

I track back on my time as both a Journalist and Photojournalist working for the Nation Media Group from Kenya as the Mauritius Correspondent Journalist/Photojournalist reporting on news and events in Mauritius ,writing the articles and taking the editorial  photos required to fit the news editors

I was also doing many freelance shots for other news agencies and writing many stories on the natural environment prior to me working with the Nation Media Group.


Coincidently this is how i started my land based photography ,funny enough ,or i could say not that rare and funny enough….my photography ,and i say nearly all of my formation years in learning the principles and fundamentals of photography came from being first a scuba diver and underwater photographer ,this is where i learnt the trade so to speak.

Underwater photography is where i learnt photography in general  and it is a genre that my photography started to become serious or as i like to term it enthusatic  and workable.

While prior to all this ,i was a  Scuba Diving Instructor  working in dive centres at hotels in Mauritius to teach and instruct new and experienced divers and lead many dives ,i have logged over 400 dives to date .I still have my Scuba Diver Instructor rating ,however i am not teaching currently .

How i learnt all of my photography genres is by making mistakes and improving over many years ,with many lenses and many camera bodies .I am a self taught photographer and a self taugh journalist and writer …for me this has taught me so so so much .

The only way i have ever learnt photography was to read and read ,practice what i read and read again ,make mistakes and learn from those mistakes .Underwater photography is where i made many mistakes ,but learnt so much about photography in general ,from the basic ,the fundamental and to real life experiences working as a Journalist and Photographer ,land based and underwater .

As i was  gaining my photographer experience whilst  having  my journalistic writing skills honed and  developed being a news writer reporting on current affairs ,politics ,environment and business stories from Mauritius ,i was also scuba diving around the island republic as a freelance underwater photographer for Plongee Mauriciennes (MauritiusScuba  Dive Magazine) publication.

Many times this allowed me to take days off to photograph for myself and for the magazine at the time .In actual fact this was a steep but worthy leaning curve as well both in terms of time since i was photographing 2 times a week for the magazine ,then writing my news stories to be submitted by the end of the working day .

Many many other days i was photographing on the streets and then other days when i was not writing i was  hiking in mountains and countless and i mean countless days doing landscapes and seascapes photography .

The photojournalism and reportage shots are the ones i did many for my work as a Journalist and Photojournalist ,i learnt a lot from this ,not just the photographic genres ,but i learnt how to write both as a journalistic writer and as a photographer taking those photojournalism and reportage shots so often required by news editors .

Again like i have stated in my last post underwater photography and the marine sciences that intrinsically are Marine Biology and Oceanography have always played a big part ever since i started underwater photography,as i see these the marine sciences linked to what we see underwater and gives me a real sense of understanding of the marine world ,our daily interactions with it and to be honest and factual it is education .

So yeah ,i guess working ,writing and photographing for news stories is where the photojournalist comes out in me ,writing …well that was a daily thing for news …i did a lot of it too !!Not to mention the research ,which was a lot as well !!

Reportage shoots i do to really get out on the street and meet people for news stories and interact with this daily life we all live ,it is a genre of  photography which is quite challenging ,it is very unique and i find it similar to underwater photography in behaviour and actions  alone however .Everything else is different…but the genres  are similar in many ways .

You need to plan where you want to take your photos geographically speaking that is  of sometimes fast-moving ,candid and elusive subjects that can be unpredictable and sometimes nasty ,nice and shy ,this itself is very similar to underwater photography ,the only difference is that in underwater photography it is animals and fish and a whole host of marine life creatures ,taking photos of people is no different ,you can deal with the same variables with humans in their land based habitat as well!!

But underwater photography has been and will continue to be the most challenging in terms of h very fact of the types of equipment needed and photo shooting technique  ,like  .It really is what you can bring to your photography and the subjects you intend to take photos off .It is not place that you are ,it is the subject you wish to photograph,and most importantly …studying your subject before you photograph and after you photograph .This alone is photography for me is the  subject of photograph,the essence of what you are trying to convey ,what are you trying to teach ,inform of put focus on in your photo

So there it goes …Underwater photography ,Photojournalism ,Nature photography are the genres of photography that i can relate to well ,this with a journalistic writing background that has helped me to express what i see ,photograph it and write about it  and utilize what i know about Marine Biology and Oceanography to explain the marine and oceanic environment.

Having said that ,i can basically combine my journalist ,photojournalist  underwater photographyand nature photography while including my long passion for the marine sciences such as Marine Biology and Underwater photography

As i have noted at the start of this post ,there are many genres of photography ,each have their own intricacies and following that comes with a passion and that appeal to many photographers and many people who do not photograph but like appealing photos of all kinds ,that could be news editors , ,news agencies ,magazines ,stock photo agencies, strangers ,your friends and family ,followers on social media sites and platforms .





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The Underwater Realm of Mauritius

16 Jul 2010, Port Louis, Mauritius — Balaclava.The Hermit crab, a rarity in Mauritian oceans ,certainly a favourite amongst tourist divers ,as it is quite slow and yet rare ,this species can not be found everywhere ,but is a joy if you do ever see one. — Magic and wonderful insights into the underwater world of Mauritius island. Port Louis. 2009-2011 — Image by © Jean-Yves Linley Bignoux / Demot/Demotix/Corbis

The Underwater Realm of Mauritius

25 Aug 2011, Port Louis, Mauritius — Mon Choisy.Large Sea Fans are a fantastic sight to see underwater in Mauritius.These large Sea fan corals are found at depths between 15-30 metres in Mauritian seas. — Magic and wonderful insights into the underwater world of Mauritius island. Port Louis. 2009-2011 — Image by © Jean-Yves Linley Bignoux / Demot/Demotix/Corbis

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My experiences in Scuba diving, Underwater photography,Nature photography and marine science relationships thus far.

Well instead of talking about general photography and bogging everyone down with  too much technical jargon when it comes to the subject of scuba diving ,oceanography ,marine biology and environmental science .Lets take a different approach.

I would like to start of with a more in-depth look at what this site is about…and yes i have done that before in a previous post a while back ,i believe it was early last year if memory serves me correctly. but in that particular post i did not convey the message well.. and so not to bore any further …lets just get to it .

I would first like to start of with in what i am not …Meaning ,instead of me just showing you a bunch of photos and as a photographer and also showcasing my portfolio as just another photographer website or blog ,i would rather give or attempt to give for that matter a sense of value and education  about the many aspects which i personally have come across and learnt in my both recreational scuba diving activities and professional scuba diving activities ,and how that relates to photography ,underwater photography and the marine sciences such as Marine Biology and Oceanography .

Firstly ,i am not a Scientist ,i am more what you may want to call a Marine Science nerd when it comes to reading ,writing  and learning more and more on the subject of Environmental Science  Marine Biology and Oceanography .I have done so for around 15 years now ,yes i have collected many books on mainly on Marine Biology  and Oceanography and read many more articles on scientific journals related to the scientific disciplines ,however i am still just a Marine Science nerd or nut .

Another thing is that i am not an expert ,both in underwater  photography and photography in general ,i believe i am just an experiencer that happens to have many cameras and lenses ,a tool photography is ,any form of photography  ,a medium of the fusion of art and science ,this is what i believe photography is  in definition.

I am just me telling you what i know thus far in photography,underwater photography and the marine environment after 14 year of diving and 13 years of photography .I can add that im not the sharpest knife in the draw but i have a passion that i wish to share ,educate and learn.

Moreover i do not consider my self to be a subject matter expert ,again i just have experience in underwater photography and happen to be a Scuba Diver and yes a Scuba Diving Instructor  that does not me an expert,however these are titles ,what i know  is context ,substance and value i believe. with a vast memory of experiences and situations ….forget job titles ,there just a way to classify things .

Basically i will be sharing my experiences of being a Scuba Diver ,Photographer and share what i know about the marine environment ,marine life and our natural world and how it works in a rudimentary way .

On that note ,if i may i will be most of the time be writing about how all the diving and photography i have done after many years what it has taught me and how that relates to the marine environment and the marine species that i have photographed over the years.

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So the best way i can do this is relate  many things to Environmental Science  Marine Biology ,Oceanography ,while keeping with the overall theme of Underwater Photography ,Nature Photography .

I will try to explain about  the many marine species in our oceans ,however they will be sub tropical and tropical marine species i will be talking about ,this is because nearly all of my underwater photography is photographed in Mauritius .

However i do photograph the many people ,places and situations that have an intrinsic link with our oceans and seas ,this forms part of the photojournalist side of me ,one which keeps me connected to photography by the way of land based photography

Now this is important ….If i don’t have a photo i have taken of it i wont talk about it ,i will only ever discuss and explain the marine life subjects i have photographed,  i know about and read about and studied them, that also goes to dive sites i have dived,if i have not dived it ,i wont talk about it  .

The primary  reason for this is simple .As many photographers know ,and just in case you don’t know ,one of the first and fundamental things about photography as a whole is you need to know your subject ,meaning your photo subject .

So in a nutshell i ONLY talk about marine life species ,places or dive site i have ACTUALLY photographed and physically been too.

The second reason is that it in my firm belief that i can provide more context when relating or discussing a photo subject ,mainly because i read about and actually photographed that subject .

You really need to study your subject that you want to photograph,so when you know your subject you can predict its actions ,get a feel about  behavior and know many characteristics ,this pretty much goes for all types of photography ,but is somewhat pronounced when your shooting wildlife like photography underwater for instance.

Jean-Yves Bignoux

I will also try to keep to the facts ,what is known thus far ,but explain some narratives in posts about the marine life species ,places ,dive sites ,but will always rely on solid proof and what the marine sciences say about a given subject .However if i have an opinion i will share it

Knowing ,reading and doing  many aspects of scuba diving with all these years of experience diving and photographing on land  , reading many books on marine sciences and being a Scuba diving instructor lead me to many pathways ,which was inevitably one path in the end, to learn more and share that with anyone who either wants to listen and learn themselves or who have an avid or fond interest in underwater photography or photography and the marine environment and our natural environment in general

As i have stated ,if i can relate my photography to the scientific disciplines of Environmental Science ,Marine Biology and Oceanography utilizing my photographs i have taken underwater and correlate that with the dives i have done ,then i have done my job on this website .

Having prefaced that , Environmental Sciences and again how that relates to my personal experiences with it in the  more land based photography and nature photography will be from time to time a focus on this website  .Of course Environmental Science does also relate to many things ,sea and land ,to me its all the same thing ,its natural environment with no borders .

Tommorow i will write and subsequntly post about the other sections on this website which are currently in the process of being put together by me these are the tabs at the very top of the page  ,i will let you know section by section what topics i will also cover which are camera ,Mauritus and scuba diving realted.

One more thing ,all the photos are photographed by me and all articles are written by me .The only time that its not taken by me is in my profile photos in the BIO section and the ones on this page ,however they are taken with my cameras for my profile photos by other diversE

So i hope i have cleared the air on this website objective so to speak…I hope that i have explained my case well.Thank you for listening ,much appreciated.

Jean-Yves Bignoux at a Balaclava dive site on deco stop
Jean-Yves Bignoux