Summertime, at least here in southern California, is, to a large degree, all about the beach. On weekends, when the weather is nice, people flock in droves to claim their spots on the sand. If you get there early enough, the waters from County Line all the way to San Diego are dotted with tribes of neoprene-clad surfers trying for their perfect wave. Despite living here my whole life, I’ve never been much of a beach person. My friend Lewis tried to teach me to surf one summer, but after breaking the cardinal rule of “never turn your back on a wave” and getting briefly pinned to the bottom, I retired my loaner board and haven’t been in the water since. Photographer Mark Tipple is all too familiar with what happens beneath the surface and has the photographs to prove it. For his Underwater Project, Tipple captures swimmers and surfers alike under the surf off the coast of Australia as “an ongoing reportage showcasing Australia’s relationship with the ocean.” Tipple has transformed his passion for photography and storytelling into a career as a documentary photographer, with his work appearing in publications including The Independent, National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Tipple is using photography not only as a form of creative expression, but also by creating projects like Temporary Transience and working with organizations like House With No Steps and The Salvation Army as a vehicle to help others and insight social change.
In addition to offering prints, Mark is hand-making 250 signed and numbered copies of a book of photographs from The Underwater Project. Details here.