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"Careers" is a new section on Dive Global in which we highlight
an interesting career within the dive industry and talk to different
professionals around the globe.
Veruschka Matchett is a young underwater photographer and film maker with a beautiful online gallery featuring her work: Liquid Oceans.
She currently lives in the Channel Islands (the ones in the English Channel) and is a veteran of diving in the world's oceans from the Coral Sea to the Caribbean.
Charlotte talks to Veruschka about her two burning passions in life: diving & capturing beautiful images!
Charlotte: Veruschka, can you tell us a little about
yourself, you've had quite an exotic childhood?
Veruschka: I am the child of a French mother and an English father. They were were running a safari camp in Kenya when I was small and that has made me very aware of nature.
Until the age of four I was living in the bush by the Tana River. My friends were the animals around me. I was very wild according to everyone, to the point that whenever we returned to Europe, usually through Rome, Geneva, Paris and finally London, my mother’s friends wanted to lock me up in a cage I was so boisterous! I have mellowed through the years...
How did you get into scuba diving?
Veruschka: I have always been a great swimmer and loved the water. It started in boarding school where I had the opportunity to learn scuba diving.
We were first shown a video of a big “potato cod” in the Red Sea and that got me hooked. I have never looked back and have logged many an hour under water since, both professionally as well as for just for fun.
Charlotte: You are both an UW photographer and videographer, how did you get into the field?
Veruschka: While I was doing a ski season in Val d'Isere in France I befriended a wild bunch of Australians skiers. They convinced me to visit their country and head for Queensland.
I had already logged many dives in Bali, Tulamben in Indonesia, where I was lucky enough to meet the famous photographer David Doubilet who inspired me to pursue a career in this field.
In Queensland I found myself smack in the middle of the professional diving industry. In no times I had a job on a liveaboard where I started taking underwater videos. The beauty of this type of diving is being so far away from the mainland, out in the Coral Sea, diving on an atoll with drop offs reaching depths of over a 1000 meters. It doesn't get better than that!
In my career and life so far I have been lucky enough to have worked and be influenced by some of the best people in underwater photography.
Charlotte: What are the most positive things that come out of this job for you?
Veruschka: It is mostly the great underwater experiences I have. For example the beauty of the underwater flora that is like a painting coming to life. When I took my A’ levels in the Arts, I developed a good eye for capturing beautiful images. I get great satisfaction out of showing my guests the smaller creatures that are camouflaged by the reef they live around; such as the nudibranch and the cleaner shrimp that will come and clean your teeth!
I like diving unchartered dive sites and make new discoveries. But it is equally as wonderful to know a dive site so well that you know exactly where a type of marine life can be found; such as the leaf scorpion fish that always remains in the same spot but changes color.
There are so many amusing observations to be made; like the relationship between a goby on the lookout while the shrimp is cleaning their house. I also love the escapism a night dive brings, entering a silent world, observing alien looking creatures and the excitement that comes with it.
Charlotte: What about Liquid Oceans?
I realized that I needed to create a Web site to be able to show my work and expose myself to a larger audience. The internet is perfect for that.
I had to think of a name and knew I wanted to use the word "oceans" and "liquid". That seemed natural to me. So Liquid Oceans it became!
Then, when I started selling my footage and photography online Liquid Oceans became my online business card and trading name. It is also the perfect place to showcase my new work as it develops and a way to stay in touch with my contacts all over the world.
Charlotte: Your images are exquisite, anywhere else that visitors can admire your work?
Coral Sea , Australia. It takes a night cruise to get there so you are diving in a pretty pristine place.
When in mating season you can find plentiful mandarin fish hiding in the reef and displaying luminescent colors.
|| Veruschka: For now only through my web site at www.liquidoceans.com but I hope to see my work in many different places soon!
I'd really like to work on underwater projects with like minded people in the near future.
Charlotte: It is a bit of a tradition to ask in these interviews about dive destinations.
I'm sure you've been to many places, can you share some of your favorites with us?
Veruschka: One of my favorite dives is on the leeward side of Bougainville Reef in the
Another favorite dive site of mine is on the barrier Reef off New Caledonia in Melanesia. On a dive one can see dozens of reef sharks effortlessly hanging out in passes with strong currents while the divers are flying past them. They are such amazing creatures.
I've had so many awesome experiences while diving I could go on and on.
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