Inspired: Lou Luddington

by Webmaster, 17th July 2019

Underwater photography by Lou Luddington, Pembrokeshire

Originally from Oxford, Lou studied Marine Biology at the University of Wales, Bangor, and moved to Pembrokeshire in 2001. She lives in Solva with husband, Tom, and works as a photographer, marine biologist and writer.


Seal Highlight (above)

“The sea was calm, there was lots of natural light... Getting this shot was amazing luck, as all the conditions had to be perfect, and they were!”



“This photo of my niece Jordan was taken two days before she gave birth to her little boy, just off Caerfai Bay in St Davids. I wanted to get some shots of her swimming with her beautiful bump. It was the last light of the day, in early September, and we nearly didn’t go because it was a bit chilly, but I’m so glad we did. Jordan was really brave because she was only wearing a swimming cossie and the water was quite cold. I think it’s a beautiful shot.”



“One of my pieces from an exhibition I had at the Bug Farm in St Davids last summer, this picture shows the hanging gas bladders of bladderwrack seaweed at low tide. When the sea comes in, the gas-filled bladders float the seaweed’s fronds up to the surface of the water so the plant can photosynthesise using the sunlight. I have a thing about seaweed, the shape of it and the colour – it’s just lovely.”



“This shot won second prize in the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum Wildlife Photography Competition. I swam into a cave at Pointz Castle near Solva, which was so calm and beautiful, and then looked back towards the entrance and this jellyfish just swam into the perfect position. It was a real moment!”



“I sailed from Solva over to Skomer Island on my friend’s boat last summer. Groups of seabirds had gathered, and every so often one would dive underwater to hunt for fish. When I got in the water with my camera, these guillemots were zipping around me at top speed – they’re really difficult to photograph because they’re so fast. When they first dive down, a layer of air covers their feathers that flashes silver in the sunlight, like they’re covered in mercury. It’s an amazing experience being in the water with these little birds.”



“This is a friend, Matt, who works at TYF Adventure in St Davids. I was down at Whitesands beach one evening and Matt was also there with some of the TYF crew. I persuaded him to get into the water because I really wanted to take some surfing shots. I got some lovely pictures of him, and he was a great subject because he just got on with it and didn’t look at the camera too much.”



“This photo of a compass jellyfish was the result of a really long session – I was in the sea at Caerfai for a couple of hours. I’d dive down and then let myself slowly rise to the surface again so I could frame the shot. Jellyfish are surprisingly hard to photograph, and because this was in relatively shallow water I was quite buoyant, which made it hard to stay submerged and in position. I was exhausted and really cold by the time I got out of the water – but so pleased with the shot. People who see this can’t believe it’s Pembrokeshire.”



“Getting the right exposure on this photograph of a moon jellyfish was really tricky because of the contrast between the bright sunshine coming in and a dark overhang on the other side. However, that does mean the jellyfish is set against a lovely inky-blue background. This was taken just north of St Davids Head, a wild bit of coast that’s quite hard to get to – it’s a 30-minute walk along the coast, then a scramble down onto a rocky platform before you plop over the edge into the sea. It’s very beautiful!”



“I took this shot earlier on this year, in May, at Caerfai again – I obviously spend a lot of time there! I love swimming in the kelp – it’s so beautiful with the sun shining through it. And because this was taken in the spring all the kelp’s still got its new growth so it looks really fresh and wonderful.”

• To see more of Lou’s work, visit louluddington.com


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