Gypsea Artist Program - Glen Cowans

Posted by Jess B on

Firstly, all of us at Gypsea would like to say a huge THANK YOU to you all for getting behind our Sea Shepherd Conservation Society swimsuit – the one pieces have been flying off the shelves!! This means we can keep supporting a truly vital organisation. We have so much to celebrate at the moment with the SSCS one pieces walking out the door and the release of heaps of new stock next week, so stay tuned for some big announcements in the coming days.

Another passionate advocate for ocean conservation is our good friend, and immensely talented underwater photographer, Glen Cowans. These photos were taken from the sea floor, on a dark night in Hawaii in the company of 60 other photographers and some curious manta rays.

At 51 years old, Glen bought his first camera, a Canon SLR, in his late teens taught himself to shoot with a photography book. Glen has always been fascinated with the ocean and his father, a WWII submariner, put the salt water in his blood from an early age, with regular trips to the beach and to look at ships in Fremantle.

Glen’s biggest support is his wife Louise, who “was a beach bunny in her teens, you know the ones that never really got their swimsuit wet but once she learned to dive it was a different story”. Louise now travels with Glen wherever he dives all over the world.

The manta ray images you see here were taken when Glen did feature article and images for a magazine about the dive LiveAboard Kona Aggressor. “Here you enter the water at dusk, everyone has a dive light. The lights bring in the plankton on which the mantas feed.

The mantas come in right over your head, at times rubbing over your head or shoulders as they scoop up the plankton. The more divers, the more lights, the more plankton and the more mantas, it rocked, it almost looks like a laser light show with the mantas doing an underwater ballet within the beams.”

Sadly, Glen has seen much in his travels to indicate how humans are damaging our precious oceans.

“It is kind of rare to see massive schools of fish on many coral reefs now. Some locations you share the water with so much plastic bags it is sickening.

Almost every coral reef you dive on today is stressed and you can see it. The saddest thing is that people who have never really seen pristine reefs have no idea. They can come up from a dive on a reef that is half dead and be proclaiming how wonderful it is. I know it does not seem like it lately off our Perth beaches but sharks on coral reefs are almost becoming non existent, asian shark finning has virtually decimated their numbers. Sadly in some places it is also becoming less predictable to see mantas, all because of the barbaric practice of killing giant mantarays simply to cut out their gill-rakers because of the naive notion that consuming them will filter human blood of toxins.  

We all have to start thinking carefully about what we actually consume from the oceans and what we discard into it. We are a huge entity in this world and with great population we must also bear great responsibility for looking after this planet, which we are not doing."

To see more beautiful images from Glen’s travels around the world, or to order a print, check out his website here.

Glen is a guest photographer for our Artist Program, and contributed the imagery for our Coral Star range as part of our Elements collection.


To see more pics of this stunning swimwear, click here

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