Mark Tipple’s Underwater Project

Mark Tipple The Underwater Project

Mark Tipple is a surfer/photographer from Sydney, Australia and creator of The Underwater Project. Mark’s stunning underwater series began with a split second decision while caught inside by a big wave: “as I dove underwater, I suddenly thought Iā€™d see what the kids next to me were going through ā€“ I turned the camera on them.ā€ Here Mark shares a few harrowing moments with buddy Mike while shooting his most recent installment of The Underwater Project on a razor sharp reef in the Cook Islands:

“I’m done bro, I’m done.”

With those few words, Mike rose to his feet in ankle deep water and began the 10 minute walk towards shore. Even from behind the waves, I could see a stream of blood run down his arm, and t-shirt turn red across his shoulders.

This was in the first hour of a 10 day shoot. We both knew the reefs on the island were shallow; we’d been there before and surfed the waves, but shooting The Underwater Project dictates no boards and definitely no wetsuits – meaning the danger of losing skin was increased tenfold. With a wary eye watching for rogue waves, I watched as Mike left the water. He stumbled on a few urchin spines adding insult to injury; and I wondered if there was something else that I could shoot underwater. After a few technical adjustments (read: complete confusion with new gear I wasn’t experienced with), the Mare Vida series found me.

To see the full Mare Vida series

More about Mark Tipple and all photos from The Underwater Project

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