Ken in his workshop
Ken has been diving for over forty five years after a friend
encouraged him to join the Stevenage Sub-aqua Club in 1964.
When he made his first dive 'on the reef’ in the middle
of Swanage Bay on the south coast of England in 1965, he could
not have possibly imagined that diving would become a central
theme throughout his life.
Early diving was a big adventure; home-made wet suits, weight
belts and backpacks. Cylinders and life-jackets were ex-RAF and
there were no contents gauges. It all seems a far cry from today’s
diving, which is warmer and safer with easy access to worldwide
His first dives were made for adventure and exploration so it
wasn’t long before he was diving along the wreck strewn
coasts of the UK. If there was a wreck between 10 and 100 ft deep,
the club would dive it and enjoy a good rummage looking for small
items lost by the unfortunate passengers and crew of the luckless
Ken had been diving for almost twenty years before he took a
camera underwater. Whether it was his desire to show the family
where he had been all weekend, or an increasing interest in his
underwater surroundings he is not sure. He ‘borrowed’
his wife’s Kodak instamatic camera, built a plastic housing
in his home workshop and took it diving.
The early pictures were challenging and if anything recognisable
appeared on the film there was a great sense of achievement. Replacing
flash bulbs underwater was an art form. If you went too deep they
would implode and if you let one go whilst taking it from its
holder and trying to push it into the bulb holder it would take
off to the surface like a missile. Misfires were common and back
scatter was normal.
Then, in the early eighties, he bought a Nikonos III on a business
trip to Hong Kong and he was hooked. It took several years and
one of Martin Edge’s legendary weekend underwater photo
courses before the odd acceptable shot ‘came off the roll’.
Since the early years of designing, building and customising
underwater camera kit, Ken is still absorbed by this activity
to this day. Between dive trips one can find him enjoying a few
days helping his friends and contacts get the most out of their
underwater camera kit by some serious customisation.
Today, Ken dives with his camera, family and friends, selecting
dive venues for their attractive reefs and fascinating animal
life, see 'Dive trips’: click
Ken’s three children and two of his grandchildren
(so far) are divers and accompany him on trips whenever possible,
see 'Meet the Family’: click
We hope you enjoy
looking at the pictures as much as Ken enjoyed taking them.