Outer space and the deep blue sea are the two most elusive frontiers we have to explore, and thanks to changing technology, at least one is getting easier for the average Joe.
Over a century ago, photographer William Thompson took the first-ever underwater photograph of a blurry bundle of seaweed in the shallows of south England. Louis Bouton took the first clearly focused photograph nearly forty years later. Both photographers used well-sealed boxes to execute their shots. The first true underwater photography device was invented years later by an American photojournalist named Jack Williamson in the early 1900’s, and eventually the technology evolved. National Geographic published the first underwater color images in 1927.
At this point in time equipment was not only extremely rare, but also bulky and difficult to use. Soon after, Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan, inventors of the aqualung, began developing more user-friendly equipment with other divers. It wasn’t until 1957 when Cousteau teamed up with Belgian inventor Jean de Wouters to create the Calypso 35mm underwater range finder that the future of subaquatic photography was clearly seen.