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Wednesday, 25 January 2017 15:56

Underwater photos displayed

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Haywood County dentist John Highsmith will present marine and nature photography in his show “17 BELOW.” The exhibit will be showcased through April 15 in the Green Sage Café at the Westgate Shopping Center in Asheville.

Highsmith is a dentist, cloisonné enamellist, jewelry maker and photographer. He began taking photos at age 16, using an old Yashica rangefinder camera and a home basement darkroom. Pulling all-nighters in the college lab printing for the paper and yearbook, he continued photography throughout his professional career. 

Highsmith quipped, “Then digital turns everything upside down. Underwater photography is one field where digital is a huge advantage, as it is very difficult to change rolls of film underwater.”

Particularly drawn to patterns and light, Highsmith took the plunge and combined two passions, adding an underwater camera to his scuba diving gear. 

“Adding a technical process to a potentially life-threatening sport just adds to the fun. And fish do not pose, so a large dose of patience is helpful,” he said. 

Highsmith images his photos on high-gloss aluminum sheets, a light-reflecting substrate particularly suited to marine and nature photography. He uses North Carolina based ImageWizards, who use 94-percent recycled aluminum and environmentally green photo printing substrates. Photo dye pigments are suspended at different levels of the photo coating, presenting a sense of depth to viewers. Archival and protected, metal prints are designed to outlast paper photos by 100 years.

For more information, visit or call 828.627.9005.

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