Wesley Clayton is a British-born, open water diving instructor. Based in Con Dao, during trips out to the archipelago’s various reefs he gets shots from under the sea. Photography is difficult at the best of times. Doing it underwater is doubly so.
“You can be working at depth, in a current or in low visibility, so your buoyancy must be good,” he explains. “Also the marine life wants to get away when they feel any threat. This means we must approach slowly while maintaining a space for the marine animals to leave if required.”
Through Wesley’s shots you can see marine life in Vietnam as it is today. Some areas of the reef have been affected by human activity. Others still thrive. This is not the underwater paradise you see in documentaries or in National Geographic. This is marine life in its modern form.
“I have heard from other [divers] that Con Dao has the best diving due to the corals, and fish life,” he says. “A lot of other places [in Vietnam] have been overfished or the coral has been destroyed. As Con Dao is a national park, fishing is not allowed which, in time, will entice the bigger fish back.”
He adds: “What I like the most about the underwater world is the diversity. You can see a fingernail-size nudibranch and then the next moment a three to four-foot giant barracuda swims by. There are many places still undiscovered and a mystery. Who knows what you will swim into when you go diving?”