Peter Scoones–underwater photographer extraordinaire!


As a child, I well remember watching documentaries on British tv about the natural world.

This was during the days when black and white tv was the norm..old VHF sets with rotary tuners and those well-known set-top aerials with 2 extendable prongs, which we sometimes had to manoeuvre around awkward places in order to get the right signal!

And one of the best documentaries I can recall were the ones by Jacques Cousteau and David Attenborough.

Little known however is the fact that many of the shots and subsequent movie filming on David Attenborough’s programs were done by an unknown photographic genius by the name of Peter Scoones.

Peter was originally a naval architect with the Royal Navy in England, but learnt photography whilst working with the RAF in 1959.

His claim to fame came about quite accidentally while he was looking at a coelacanth that had been caught by a fisherman in Mozambique and was still alive, tied up to the side of the boat.

It just so happens that the coelacanth had been thought extinct for millions of years, but here it was in the flesh! Peter paid off the fisherman for the privilege to take the first ever photos of a live coelacanth, and that single action resulted in his new role as underwater photographer, and the awards of an Emmy and a Bafta for technical achievement.

He was the first man to photograph great white sharks swimming naturally in their environment, without resorting to luring them with hunks of rotting meat. And a daredevil of a man he was too…frequently risking his life on dangerous photographic quests such as filming deep under ice, or in waters infested with piranhas and alligators.

On top of his expertise in using his cameras, he was also very knowledgeable about them, many a time having to dismantle cameras costing thousands of $$$, when the waterproof housings had failed, and soaked the gear throughout. He would have the camera stripped down to it’s electronic circuit boards etc and dried and put together again within a matter of hours.

A very rare character indeed. Peter Scoones, born October 1937, died April 2014.

Peter Scoones

 

Thie photo taken by Peter Scoones showing the coelacanth that was thought to have been extinct for millions of years

Peter Scoones in his element

 

 

 

About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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