Kaleidoscopic Underwater Photos Capture the Hypnotic Beauty of Coral Reefs

Georgette Apol Douwma coral photography

Swimming past corals in Indonesia's West Papua Province, Yellowback fusiliers appear to quadruple in number after Douwma edited a 2017 photograph. (Photo: Georgette Apol Douwma)

The June issue of National Geographic spotlights Georgette Apol Douwma's psychedelic underwater imagery. A scuba diver until she was 79, Douwma remixes her underwater photos of coral into kaleidoscopic masterpieces. The NatGeo story highlights the artistry of these pieces, which allow the colors of coral reefs to pop.

Coral first captured Douwma's imagination when she visited the Great Barrier Reef in the 1970s. For the following 40 years, she was an active diver who accumulated an impressive archive of imagery. After hanging up her diving gear in 2020, she began remixing the photographs.

The results are a mesmerizing look at life underwater. Coral reefs are biodiversity havens, and Douwma amplifies this by duplicating schools of fish or highlighting the forms of anemones. In the time since she began this artistic journey, she estimates that she's edited thousands of photographs.

The photos, taken in reefs around the world, from Indonesia to Egypt, are an incredible testament to the beauty of life underwater and Douwma's creative mind.

See more of Douwma's photography on NatGeo.com or in the June 2024 issue of National Geographic.

A scuba diver until age 79, Georgette Apol Douwma now remixes her underwater photos of coral into kaleidoscopic masterpieces.

Georgette Apol Douwma coral photography

Photographer Georgette Apol Douwma's technique involves altering her earlier pictures, such as one taken in 2015 of corals in the Red Sea, to create new eye-catching displays. (Photo: Georgette Apol Douwma)

Her work is featured in the June 2024 issue of National Geographic.

June 2024 National Geographic Cover

Credit: National Geographic

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by National Geographic.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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