The Photographer

The photographer, Keith Lyall

Photo courtesy of Jo Horrocks

I am Keith Lyall, I have been diving since 2000 and am a PADI Divemaster with over 1000 logged dives.

Prior to learning to dive I was a keen land photographer and as such underwater photography was a natural extension of this interest, in fact my overall interest in general photography has been significantly rekindled through diving, and when not diving I am developing my landscape photography at every opportunity.

Keith Lyall in drysuit, UK, Aug 2008

Photo courtesy of Chris Shrubb

My first experience of underwater photography was with a disposable camera in a plastic housing. Although the results were less than impressive, this ignited a desire to take further images and acquire the skills required to develop as an underwater photographer.

Following basic training via the PADI Photography Speciality course (using the Sea & Sea MX-10 35mm Auto Focus Underwater Camera), I bought my first camera and housing. At this time early digital cameras and housings were starting to reach the market at an affordable price and I purchased the 3 megapixel Olympus 3040, Olympus PT-10 housng and Epoque slave strobe.

A turning point in my underwater photography development was a weekend course with leading underwater photographer Martin Edge. The tuition and advice gained from Martin has been invaluable in the progression of my knowledge, technique and ability.

Since those early days I have progressed through a number of compact digital cameras before moving to a housed DSLR. I shoot with the Nikon D300 in a Subal housing (See Equipment). Even 5 years on since its launch this camera is providing quality images.

I am a member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) and Chairman of Photosub.



You are welcome to contact me to pose questions, ask for advice, provide feedback or to purchase any images.

Email: kc.lyall@btinternet.com



Talks and photography workshops that I have presented at:

Philippines talk promotion

A Photographer in the Philippines

Venue: Kings College London
Date: November 2008

In collaboration with Ocean Optics and Atlantis Diving, I presented a talk on my experiences the diving and underwater photography opportunites in the Philippines, focussing on the dive resort of Puerto Galera.

Additionally I discussed tips and considerations to improve your underwater images and described the process of building up an image.

Borneo talk promotion

Underwater Photography in Borneo

Venue: Imperial College London
Date: February 2009

A group talk of the November 2008 BSoUP photographic trip to Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo.

Ocean Turtle logo

Improving your underwater photographs

Venue: Ocean Turtle Dive Centre
Date: March 2009

A talk covering areas such as choosing and building an underwater camera system, basic logistical tips, introduction to various underwater photographic considerations and techniques and worked examples of building a complete image.

Ocean Turtle logo

Taking better underwater photographs

Venue: Ocean Turtle Dive Centre
Date: November 2011

A talk covering the basics of underwater photography including camera and housing preparation, key photo tips, composition, lighting and general photo ideas.

BSoUP logo

Histograms Uncovered

Venue: Imperial College London
Date: July 2012

A talk covering the basics and effective use of digital camera histograms. This presentation covers the basics and advanced concepts of histograms, why use the histogram and general considerations.

Download the presentation (as a PDF)

Ocean Turtle logo

PADI Digital Underwater Photography Course

Venue: Ocean Turtle Dive Centre
Date: Summer 2012

Keith is a qualified PADI Digital Underwater Photography Instructor and runs the Part 1 and Part 2 courses for students interested in experiencing or developing their underwater photography skills and knowledge. Part 1 involves basic camera and photography theory supplemented by a pool session; Part 2 builds on Part 1 by introducing more advanced understanding of underwater photography and image post processing supplemented by 2 open water dives to put the student knowledge into practice.

BSoUP logo

Wide Angle Techniques

Venue: Imperial College London
Date: September 2012

A talk covering Wide Angle Techniques in underwater photography. This presentation covers equipment for wide angle, the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and strobe lighting, shooting using natural light, a step by step approach to building a wide angle image, the use of strobes and diver models, considerations with regard to including the sun in images and wide angle split shots.

Download the presentation (as a PDF)



Published material which has included some of my underwater images

Blue Turtle full page advert

July 2007 : Various images used for full page advert for Blue Turtle Diving.

Historical Diving magazine front cover

Sept 2007 : Images taken of the Historical Diving Society in their hard-helmet diving equipment at Horsea Island, Portsmouth, UK

Basingstoke Gazette Fathers Day special

June 2008 : Article promoting Father's Day presents, including a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experience.

Western Morning News article

July 2008 : Article in Western Morning News detailing the results on the BSoUP 2008 Splash-in competition.

BSoUP in focus magazine

March 2009 : Article in BSoUP 'in focus' magazine (Spring 2009, no. 91) on the November 2007 photographic trip to Bali.

Fourth Element James Eagan Layne 3D Project

Images provided to support the Fourth Element James Eagan Layne 3D project.

BSoUP in focus magazine

May 2011 : Article in BSoUP 'in focus' magazine (Spring 2011, no. 95) on the application of snoots in underwater photography.

BSoUP in focus magazine

Autumn 2011 : Article in BSoUP 'in focus' magazine (Autumn 2011, no. 96) on Nuweiba, Red Sea as an underwater photographic destination.

SCUBA Magazine

September 2012 : SCUBA magazine double page spread of a leeches spider crab and snakelocks anemone taken under Selsey Lifeboat Station
(View image)

O3 logo

2013: Diver in Scapa Flow wearing O3 drysuit image on O3 website
(View image)