Paul HunterCormac McCreesh

Paul Hunter

Cormac McCreesh

As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to explore our vast oceans. This however only became a reality for me in 2000 when I did my open water course and first sea dive.

From that very moment the oceans became a very big passion of mine. I loved everything about it and within it. The more I experienced the more I wanted to dive. Over the next few years I tried to dive as much as possible along the South African coast and in Mozambique. Since then I have travelled to Bali, Wakatobi, Lembeh, Sipadan, Northern and Southern Red Sea just to name few.

It was in 2004 that I got to take my first camera underwater. It was a Sony digital point and shoot with very limiting functions. These limiting factors turned into frustration as I was not getting the results I wanted. Within the year I then joined the Gauteng Underwater Photographic Society (GUPS) and was convinced to start out with a Sea & Sea motormarine II. This camera would form the foundation for my future underwater photography. I progressed to a SLR and then to a housed DSLR camera which I currently use.

Underwater photography was the next logical step for me with diving. My objective was to showcase what we few get to experience underwater to my friends, family and anybody else who I could share my images with. I wanted to share the beauty, the majesty and the unknown to everybody.

My passion for the ocean and underwater photography led to discussions with Cormac and finally to the establishment of African Diver magazine. Both Cormac and myself wanted to give exposure to diving in Africa. We both believe that we have some of the best diving there is to offer. The sardine run, shark diving, Manta rays and even Coelacanths are but a few of what you can experience on the African coast.

I have a number of hopes for African Diver. Firstly to grow our reader base and to provide compelling content but at the same time create awareness on the conservation side. My dream for myself would be to quit my job and work with Cormac full-time on the magazine.

I grew up a water-baby in Durban and must have been about eleven years old when I first donned a mask and fins to snorkel Vetchi’s next to the Durban harbour. I’ve been hooked ever since. I learned to free dive and scuba whilst studying in Cape Town where the water is cold and the sharks grow huge. After completing my studies I headed to Johannesburg where the busy business of a career and family took up much of my time. Nonetheless, diving remained my passion and one of my proudest moments was when my daughter qualified and then dived with me on a family trip to Wakatobi, Indonesia.

I’ve always had a thing for photography and it was natural to extend that interest to underwater photography. Now it’s become a passion and my diving these days is structured wholly around underwater photography.

These days, after a 28 year career in finance, I edit African Diver and am a pro photographer; teaching photography and selling my images. You can see my images on my website: Cormac McCreesh Photography

Since starting African Diver with Paul, I’ve learned so much about the marine environment and the threats to it. And so, African Diver has grown to encompass a strong conservation bias and ethic.

My hopes are that through African Diver we can introduce the world to what’s great about Africa, encourage us Africans to preserve our natural heritage and leave a living legacy of beauty and unspoilt seas to our childrens’ children.

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