Fascinated by television and production from a young age, I pursued a career as a camerawoman. After completing a BBC affiliated degree at Leeds Uni, I started work at BBC Television Centre in London. Here I developed my skills to become an independent self-operator, allowing me to shoot documentaries and to have a camera in my hand every day at work.
Time passed, and I craved a new challenge, so I combined my love of media with my passion for diving. I completed my HSC Part 4 in Plymouth, a diving qualification that legally allows me to be employed underwater. I started working below the surface on blue light documentaries and drama, but things got really fun when I took a job as a stunt double on a Hollywood film and went on to shoot the film’s publicity underwater.
Having now moved to Australia, I shoot more nature documentaries. This affords me access to remote tropical areas and weird and wonderful animals. My favourite critters to capture on camera are ones with vivid colours or those that are attention-seeking – sea lions have a special place in my heart. My career in film is awesome, but my passion for photography gives me a unique, purer pleasure. A story conveyed by one image alone is a sharp contrast to my work which relies on a production’s collaborative efforts and time for an audience to watch an unfolding narrative.
Photography is my solo artistic pursuit, where I get to fully execute my own vision. I’m sure anyone reading this will agree, it’s an incredibly exhilarating and addictive pursuit. My work has featured in National Geographic, Wildlife Photographer of the Year (People’s Choice), BBC, on billboards and won awards in Australian Geographic, DEEP Indonesia, Ocean Art and Nature’s Best.
Sea lions, Jurien Bay, Australia
‘Sea lion pups are incredible to interact with. Playful puppies of the ocean!’
Aeolid nudibranch Mooloolah River, Queensland, Australia
‘The Mooloolah River in East Australia is a rich treasure trove of nudibranchs. More than 350 species have been found along the 600m river bank. I returned to the river every weekend with my super macro convertor (SMC) for four months to achieve an image where the flabellina’s vivid purple cerata popped against a jet black background.’
Humpback whale reflection Vava’u, Tonga
While in Vava’u Tonga an opportunity arrived when the ocean became flat calm – a smooth, almost silky mirror. As this humpback played near the surface, its huge body and mirrored image combined to create a gargantuan and glorious vista, a truly moving moment for me. Displayed upside down for added intrigue. I’m not sure when I’ll see anything as magical again.
Mangroves Raja Ampat, Indonesia
In the peaceful waters of Raja Ampat, beneath a canopy of mangrove forest, this stunning soft coral thrives on the roots of a tree. it was important to move slowly in this otherworldly environment, as the leaf detritus on the ground is all too easy to kick up, forming clouds of painful backscatter.
Bumphead parrotfish Tulamben, Bali
While on my 100mm lens in Tulamben Bali, a school of bumphead appeared. Normally these are wide-angle fodder, but not wanting to waste the opportunity I approached this gentle giant with my macro lens. I was not disappointed as this fish’s emerald skin popped so beautifully under my strobe at close proximity.
Swallows cave Vava’u, Tonga
A free dive in Swallows Cave, Tonga will offer you some fantastic photographic opportunities. I was lucky enough to be travelling with Fiona, an elegant freediver. After twenty minutes of attempts, everything came together as she emerged to the surface through a circle of dispersing fish.
Papua Toby Raja Ampat, Indonesia
A night dive in Raja Ampat and my subject was having a snooze, safely nestled into a hole in a beam of the jetty. Her calmness while dozing allowed me the time to gently approach and line up this shot with my SMC. Her tiny unblinking eye is beautiful and reminiscent of astral images of huge galaxies.
Stingray Grand Cayman
I love 50/50 photography. Here a stingray chills under a sailboat in Grand Cayman. I took this while snorkelling. One tip for keeping water droplets off the surface part of your picture – rub the dome port with a cut potato before you get in the water. The starch keeps the droplets off.
Stargazer Lembeh, Indonesia
I took this picture on my first Alex Mustard workshop in Lembeh, the first time I’d taken my camera underwater. Alex actually found this stargazer with his knee. As a novice, I was the last in the group to photograph the critter (by this point everyone had lost interest in the fish and dived onto new subjects). This gave me more time to relax and line up the shot. This image was then featured in Wildlife Photographer of the year (Peoples Choice) and printed in National Geographic. I blame it for my insatiable addiction to underwater photography competitions.
Manta Galápagos Islands
Taken in Galápagos, this image solidified my learning of putting your subject in front of the sun to achieve striking silhouettes. By chance, a photographer happened to swim into the perfect position for me to capture her dome port glinting in the sunlight.
Clownfish eye, Philippines
I love clownfish; colourful and graphic. I have been known to spend entire dives just hanging out with these classic icons of the sea.
Humpback whale face Tonga
More whale fun in Tonga!
Blenny and oyster Yorke Peninsula, Australia
Making the most of a clam background with its bokeh eyes glinting behind a triplefin.
Weedy seadragon Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania
The water was so cold on this dive and I wasn’t wearing a drysuit. As I got in from the boat I almost aborted the dive. Once I’d stopped complaining and dived down, this eye-catching, egg-carrying critter was meandering through the kelp. Weedy seadragon are endemic to South East Australia and look like mythical Aboriginal creations. Such flamboyant patterns hardly seem like camouflage.
Nudibranch through bubbles
I had seen underwater images using bubbles before, but I have never seen any images where the face of an animal is in the bubbles. With the intention of getting a unique portrait of a nudibranch I tested different transparent mediums to see which held the bubbles at a perpendicular angle underwater. Nudibranch move surprisingly fast when you’re trying to align tiny bubbles, an SMC and an acrylic plate.
Pregnant pink seahorse Lembeh, Indonesia
Stingray Grand Cayman
Red reef Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Always looking for intriguing backgrounds, I tried to create layers of interest in this picture with red coral, then shimmering fish, black reef then a bold blue surface. An image aided by fantastic conditions.
47 Metres Down Promotional Shoot
Shot in a studio pool in Basildon, this is one of my promotional shots for the film 47 Metres Down. As the pool was filled with mains water it looked too clean to be ocean water on camera. To tackle this problem, production would chop up broccoli and throw it in the pool to mimic backscatter. The pool was heated so by week three of filming it stank but visually it did the job.
Find Jenny on Instagram @jenniferjostock
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