A Thousand Words are Not Enough

By Al Hornsby

Well, you are holding in your hands a real labor of love. It was indeed a task to put this issue together, but by the end, we found ourselves amazed that no one had ever done it before. This Photo Annual Collector’s Edition has turned out to be, quite simply, the most prestigious compilation of underwater and marine photography ever created.

When people like our friends David Doubilet, Bob Talbot, Norbert Wu and Bill Curtsinger (I’m sorry I can’t name everyone here, I would if I had the space!) came forward with their amazing photographs, we knew it was going to work. To all the contributors and those who submitted photographs but didn’t make the book (we had more than 2,000 shots to choose from), we express heart-felt appreciation for your joining us in the project. The toughest thing we had to do was choose, and frankly, it was an agonizing process. We had to cut out many photos that were among the best we had ever seen, often times simply because there were other similar shots, and we just couldn’t print them all. The truth is, with the photographs available, we could have produced three of these collections.


As the project began, we were pleased and, truthfully, a little surprised at the enthusiasm it generated among diving’s shooters, many of whom are considered the very best in the world. But, as we thought about it, it became more understandable. For those of us who have been around for a while and who aspired to be underwater photographers, the fact is that we grew up on Skin Diver. And as one of our contributors said, Skin Diver was the one magazine, the one source, that published underwater photography month in, month out. It was the book that showed us the best the world of underwater photography had to offer, that presented the photographs we aspired to take. The pictures that forced us, each in our own ways, to say, “I can do that. I can make pictures like that, and by damn, I will.’

This enduring relationship with diving’s top photographers has always been a source of pride at Skin Diver. We are doubly proud of their generous participation with this first Photo Annual.

Now, go enjoy what will be, without any exaggeration, the most unbelievable, mind-blowing photography you’ve ever seen.

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