My soul is full of longing / For the secret of the sea, / And the heart of the great ocean / Sends a thrilling pulse through me. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We are a family owned affair and we have been diving around Thailand since 1996. It all began 17 years ago on a small island called Koh Tao where ACE Marine Images was born. During that year, Chris Clark, founder of the company, realised his dream of being a professional underwater cameraman by setting up ACE Marine Images. ACE was the first of its kind, the pioneering film company that started what is now big business here on Koh Tao.
At the time, the island was rustic, scuba diving was just beginning to take root and there were only a handful of dive operators. Travelers were just beginning to learn of this small jewel of an island set in the clear azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand, diving was in its infancy meaning the dive sites were not so crowded. Chris began producing professional underwater films from his humble base using a basic editing set-up which consisted of some VCR's, a couple of TV's and a mini-disc player to "live" edit his films and then offering them to divers. As his talents grew, and Koh Tao's reputation spread further afield so did Chris's customer base and ACE Marine Images went from strength to strength as it continued to grow in the early 2000's.
As ACE grew Chris looked to increase the team around him. In 2002 his cousin Andy and Andy's wife Heather came to join the growing business along with Chris's future wife Pu. Together, we have continued to build the business up to a standard we are all proud of. An increasing number of divers began to want to learn how to create their own amazing underwater images and as a result ACE also developed into an underwater film and photography academy, offering other divers the opportunity to learn the skills needed to photograph and make films both above and below the waves. Chris also opened The Gallery Koh Tao, a place to showcase his professional photographs and also offer something to stimulate the senses. This business model has served us well and continues to do so now that Koh Tao has established itself as a diving mecca. That said, the ACE Marine Images team has never been one to rest on it's laurels and it's time to grow again.
Now, we are blessed and lucky enough to share our passion and all of our combined experiences with you as Underwater Photography and Diving Expeditions is born. We not only offer an amazing and unique diving opportunity to underwater photographers and film makers, but also an educational and enjoyable experience for all divers. We want others to see why we have grown to love our home, love our jobs and love the marine environment in the hope that together we can help maintain it for future generations.
Our intention is to make your experience with Underwater Photography and Diving Expeditions a unique one here on Koh Tao. By far our most enjoyable times diving here have been on our own private charters, renting a small boat for the day and heading out with our cameras to the likes of Chumphon Pinnacle when there are no other boats there and experiencing the serenity of a dive site with no other divers around. These special trips have served to remind us of how diving felt on Koh Tao in those early years and what it was that enticed us to stay here for so long and make it our home. By scheduling our departure times around those of the other dive operators on the island our intention is to provide our customers with this same memorable diving experience. Also, by diving in small groups and limiting the number of customers to ten on each trip we hope to enhance this experience even further. In another change to the "norm" we will be running single dive trips, eliminating the extra time spent sat on the boat waiting for your surface interval to expire. This way our customers only need to set aside a couple of hours of valuable holiday time to enjoy their diving, allowing you to do other things with your day. Of course if you wish to enjoy a two dive trip then we can schedule one.
Our team, with it's unrivaled local experience and knowledge, and with our wide range of skills will make your diving experience with Underwater Photography and Diving Expeditions one that you will cherish for years to come.