Sport Diver - - Contents - TEXT BY ALEX MUS­TARD

Why we love vis­ual order in our un­der­wa­ter pho­tos — and when (and how) it’s OK to break the pat­tern.

The first pho­tos many pho­tog­ra­phers take un­der­wa­ter are of pat­terns. Aim­ing your lens at the de­tails of a sta­tion­ary leather or brain co­ral is a sen­si­ble way to learn the ba­sics. The pic­tures are at­trac­tive too. Our eyes — or rather, our brains — are ad­dicted to vis­ual order and love pho­tos that show it. It’s like a mild case of OCD: When ob­jects are aligned, we find them sat­is­fy­ing and sooth­ing, and when they’re not, it’s in­fu­ri­at­ing.

These ten­ta­cles were aligned by cur­rent, so I chose a top-down view­point and waited for the fish to swim into po­si­tion.

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