Benny Sutton has been called by one magazine 'Mr Underwater Photography'! Whether,
or not, this is true he is the founder of UnderwaterPhotography.com and one of the
World's best known underwater photographers.
Benny was a keen amateur for several years (on land) before
he took up underwater photography in 1987. Within six months had won
more international awards (more quickly) than any other British
underwater photographer - before or since. This included Gold medals at Antibes, Kodak World
Wildlife, Most Promising British Underwater Photographer, SouthFed photographer
of the year (2 years running), multiple wins across Europe and the US in various competitions. He has been widely published
in many diving magazines and books.
Benny made the leap to pro in 1990 and has done just about
everything there is to do in the photo industry. From West London premises he
ran a combined prolab/minilab/commercial studio operation. During that time he
had hands on experience in every aspect of the photo business. He is an experienced hand and machine printer: B&W, C-Type,
R-Type, Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) and ran a Fujitech monitored E-6 line (remember E-6?).
Bennys studio work is varied - a mixture of all
subjects on all formats. Hes done a lot of GP work (weddings, portraits, and
schools), pack shots, industrial, aerial, advertising you name it! Commercial
clients include some major companies and range from Madame Tussauds to the BBC. Benny comments "I found
weddings tougher than underwater photography. You might not get so
cold and wet but the stress of knowing that you could not
mess up will get to you worse!"
Along the way Benny was UK distributor
for several U/W camera lines. Surely this is the zenith for an equipment-aholic? During this spell Benny dived with a different
UW photo system every dive trip! He now has a permanent underwater photo setup of housed Canon DSLR's
but Benny still owns the first Nikonos V he bought. His land kit is extensive across all formats.
He is a BSAC Advanced Instructor (2 star CMAS) and has dived all over the world. Like
many British divers the Red Sea is a second home (and underwater studio). In
the Mediterranean he has dived Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, and Sicily. In the
Pacific he has dived Palau, Truk, Hawaii, and California. In the Caribbean he
has dived the Turks & Caicos and Bermuda in the Atlantic. Some of his favorite dives have
been in the UK and he is a big fan of Scotland.
Benny runs several photo websites and is
currently pursuing a parallel career as a software developer (specializing
in database integration using Microsoft technologies). He wrote every line of code
that runs the e-commerce side of these sites.
Benny is particularly proud to have set up the first successful international
U/W Photo magazine but modestly admits that such an enterprise could only have
worked on the Internet anyway. UP is "Often copied, never equaled!"
Benny is still a professional
photographer and now concentrates on travel photography for stockphotography.co.uk the prime UK stock photo domain.
If Benny were to give one piece
of advice to all photographers it would be "find your formula and stick to it - but never stop experimenting".
Here is some of Benny's
U/W work in his own words...