French naturalist Louis Boutan’s experiments in underwater photography lead to the publication of his first book on the subject in 1900.
Boutan’s cameras were truly unique as there was little prior knowledge for him to base his designs on. His first camera weighed several hundred pounds, but useable, artistic, and sometimes humorous photographs were produced.
Later cameras became smaller and more versatile as is this Italian made replica of a Boutan design. Boutan was not the first to attempt underwater photography. Earlier attempts were made as far back as the 1850’s, however his research set the foundation for the practical application of the art and science of photography in the sea.
Professor Louis Boutan is an inductee in the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.