Covid: Undersea photography offers 'escapism' in pandemic

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image copyrightJon Bunker
image captionGeorgie Bull said she dived "more than ever before" in 2020

An underwater photographer said diving during the coronavirus pandemic played a "vital" role in her wellbeing.

Georgie Bull, 21, from Axminster in Devon, was named the British and Irish Underwater Photography Champion last year.

She said she had dived "more than ever before" in the summer of 2020 and it had served as an "escapism" .

The Plymouth University student has captured the South West's marine underworld in a stunning portfolio.

She said: "Given the context of lockdown... it's been invaluable.

"This summer I've dived probably more than I ever have before and it's been just vital for me...maintaining my wellbeing really, it's been amazing."

image copyrightGeorgie Bull
image captionThis photo, taken on 29 August last year, won Georgie Bull the title of British and Irish Underwater Photography Champion

Miss Bull is in her third year studying for a degree in marine biology and coastal ecology.

She started diving in 2016 and bought her first underwater camera in 2018.

image copyrightStephanie Pettitt
image captionMiss Bull is hoping to create an exhibition of her photography when Covid restrictions allow
image copyrightGeorgie Bull
image captionThe photographer captures an array of marine life she encounters during her dives

"I guess in the last year is when I started to branch out into more creative ways of using underwater photography equipment, like macro-lenses and wide-angle photography", she said.

"You feel like you're getting some exercise at the same time as a meditation-like experience", she said.

image copyrightGeogie Bull
image captionMiss Bull uses special underwater equipment to capture the seabed's wildlife
image copyrightGeorgie Bull
image captionA passion for marine biology has inspired the 21-year-old's unique shots

Her photos have often focused on "common species" in the area, such as the prawn in the rock pools.

"I think that's something I really like to do - is get something that people have most likely seen, and go 'look at it up close, isn't it pretty.'"

image copyrightGeorgie Bull
image captionThe university student hopes to make a career out of her photography skills

Miss Bull hopes her work will act as "springboard" for a future career in wildlife filmmaking, as well as encourage a greater interest from the public in marine life.

"For the greater good of what I'm interested in, it's perfect", she said.

image copyrightGeorgie Bull
image captionMiss Bull's photo capture the intricacies of the South West's marine wildlife

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