A PASSION for underwater photography has led to a HMAS Albatross photographer winning a prestigious defence force award.
Able Seaman Jesse Rhynard has been awarded the annual Rosemary Rodwell Prize, for the best still photographic taken in a calendar year in the Australian Defence Force.
Currently posted to HMAS Albatross Navy Imagery Unit, AB Rhynard’s winning photograph was shot underwater in Jervis Bay and shows clearance divers undertaking an exercise just off Captains Beach.
“I have always loved underwater photography and when I heard the divers were having an exercise, I was keen to try and capture it,” he said.
But it wasn’t an easy assignment. While the divers had scuba gear, AB Rhynard had none and had to free dive to try and capture his photo.
“It was pretty hard, firstly I had to find the divers, luckily they had GPS devices.
“They wouldn’t stop what they were doing to pose for the photo, so I just had to be ready to take the shot when I had the chance,” he said.
“Clearance diving is a section of the navy that is not often seen, as all their operations are underwater, and this was a great chance to highlight and capture their work.
“I have always been keen on photography, and in particular underwater photography, but had never been able to afford my own underwater housing.
“When I joined the navy in 2009 I always wanted to try and get into the photography section.”