Lady Elliot Island through the eyes of an underwater photographer

Introducing Blaze Parsons, an underwater photographer hailing from the Gold Coast who visits Lady Elliot whenever the opportunity arises! Blaze has produced some incredible imagery that is widely shared in the underwater photography sphere, you can also find much of his work on our social media pages. For this blog, we invited Blaze to share his experiences on Lady Elliot and why he keeps coming back.

Blaze Parsons

Lady Elliot is one of those destinations that leaves you utterly amazed and wanting more. This beautiful little island is an underwater photographer’s dream, with so many chances to see and photograph a huge variety of marine life just a short swim from shore.

The small coral cay had been on my bucket list for years, but I struggled finding the time to travel there until a last-minute space opened up on a free-diving trip, so I seized the opportunity! I was blown away the moment I got in the water by beautiful coral gardens with vibrant reef fish all around. As a photographer, it’s amazing to have such a large range of subjects to focus on! Whether you want to shoot tiny macro in the shallows or head out deeper for larger subjects like manta rays or turtles, Lady Elliot has it all! I’ve been lucky enough to dive in some amazing places around the world and this island is up there with some of the best for me.

The Severance Shipwreck and a White-spotted Eagle ray

What is your favourite marine animal to see at Lady Elliot?

I don’t know if I can pick a favourite animal out there because any encounter is always great! I think my favourite thing is just getting out into clear, deep water and watching the early morning light flickering through the surface, and if a manta ray or turtle decides to swim past then it becomes even more magical!

A reef manta ray (Manta alfredi)

Do you have any tips for underwater photographers?

The first thing I always say is to slow down! Slow down and be comfortable in the water, the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your encounters will be. I find that taking your time helps you to notice more of your surroundings, if you’re racing around the reef chasing everything that moves, you also end up missing the little things. If you are moving slowly and are relaxed, this also allows you to compose better images!

A green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

All in all, it’s always a great time on the island in and out of the water!