by Lucy Martin
WHAT started as a hobby has become a passionate job for Mark Fitzpatrick.
His underwater photography and other photos can now be seen all over social media and used by tourism groups.
"When I moved to Queensland around seven years ago and I loved snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
"I wanted to be able to capture my memories from those snorkelling trips so I bought a compact water proof camera. I soon developed a passion for it and it grew from there.”
Mr Fitzpatrick has developed his skills through teaching himself.
"I learnt a lot of my skills from Google, Youtube and trial and error,” he said.
"There's a lot of helpful tutorials on line on underwater photography but it's not until you're actually in the water that you can start and implement those new skills and find out how what works best.”
Mr Fitzpatrick's favourite place to photograph is the southern half of the Great Barrier Reef.
"I love Lady Elliot, Heron and Lady Musgrave Islands, there's so much vibrant coral and marine life in this part of the reef”
When he's in the Mackay region the place to be is Keswick Island.
"There's incredible views as you fly in, fantastic beaches once you land there and great snorkelling,” he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick has captured Mackay from above and below.
"I've captured everything from aerial to landscapes through to underwater,” he said.
"We have a wide variety of options to shoot which is fantastic.”
Some of the wildlife in the area have included kangaroos and wallabies at Cape Hillsborough, fish and coral at Keswick.
Mr Fitzpatrick said he when on a project he always has a rough plan in mind.
"But with nature you have to be flexible. Sometimes the animals or conditions just aren't there or right and so you have to improvise,” he said.
"It's always nice to have a plan though so when everything lines up you can get the image you're after.”
With his photography, Mr Fitzpatrick has been able to travel domestically and internationally.
"Within Australia I've travelled most of the east coast as well as small parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory,” he said.
"Overseas I've been to Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji and New Zealand.”
Next on his bucketlist is the Grand Canyon.
"We're heading over there next month which is exciting,” he said.
To check out more of his work visit Mark Fitz Photography on Facebook.