N I G E L M A R S H P H O T O G R A P H Y
U N D E R W A T E R I M A G E S A N D A R T I C L E S
The oceans are full of fascinating environments for divers to explore; coral reefs, rocky pinnacles, caves, walls, shipwrecks and artificial reefs. But over the last decade more and more divers have been attracted to a very different marine environment that has proved to be very rewarding – muck!
MUCK DIVING is a captivating book that dives into the realm of weird and wonderful critters. Full of magnificent pictures, this book looks at different muck environments and includes a comprehensive guide to the best muck diving sites in the Indo-Pacific region.
The book also provides information about the most amazing muck critters divers can encounter, like the bizarre mimic octopus that can imitate other animals, the charming flamboyant cuttlefish that can flash a kaleidoscope of colours and the terrifying Bobbit worm with jaws like a rabbit trap. But be warned, submerging into the world of muck is very addictive, as once you see the captivating critters that abound in this unique marine environment you may never want to dive a coral reef again!
352 pages, soft cover, size - 210mm x 150mm
Published by New Holland, Jan 2017
RRP $AUD 29.99
"And here comes another new book that makes a good first impression, with its bright red frogfish perched on the sensibly laminated cover (sensibly, because it’s likely to get a fair bit of hard use if it’s taken on a dive-trip). It’s written by Australia-based Diver contributor Nigel Marsh. The
publisher announces Muck Diving as “the first complete guide to the subject”, and I have no reason to argue with that claim. While the author stresses that muck-diving can be enjoyed anywhere that has silty, sandy environments, most of the diving in this weighty book takes place in its
spiritual home, plus Australia and PNG. And the pursuit has matured with digital photography, as so many divers seek unusual, exotic and compliant subjects to capture in pixels.
The first 30 pages or so are dedicated to the environments, history and techniques of muck diving, its guides and photography. The bulk of the book then ranges through the main groupings of muck critters, fish and reptiles (sea snakes), and it’s all pulled together with sections on destinations and operators, paving the way for you to take off in pursuit of those highly prized photos.
Nigel Marsh is a photo-journalist and he approaches his subject from a photographer’s point of view, which makes it very readable for divers. His photos are not all “arty” depictions using black backgrounds or bokeh, but show the creatures as we see them in their naturally unattractive habitats – appropriate in this context. The case is made for divers to make a stand against “critter-fiddling”, but I was interested to see that the author feels strongly that banning gloves as a way of preventing divers from touching anything is unwise. He reckons we need gloves for our own protection in environments in which tiny but deadly dangers lurk well-camouflaged everywhere. This is not an ID book – there are far too many strange species out there, with more being discovered all the time – but it does provide a valuable perspective on muck for any divers hooked on this fascinating branch of our sport. Recommended."
Review by Steve Weinman, editor of the UK Dive Magazine Diver
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