Sergio Sarta was born in Milan (Italy), but has spent most of his life on the seas of various parts of the world. His twin passions for photography and scuba diving led him to record in detail the life of the sea beds visited, an activity which gave him scope to combine his interest as a researcher and journalist with his innate artistic flair.
Between 1989 and 1991, Sarta won almost all the most important underwater photographic competitions in Italy and abroad, and quickly became internationally recognized as one of the most skilful and sensitive specialists in the field of underwater photography. Since 1992 he has worked as special photographic correspondent for the Italian diving magazines SUB , for whom he has taken beautiful photographs in all the seas of the world. In recent years he has been concentrating very successfully on black and white underwater photography. He published more than hundred articles and over thousand photos.
In 1996, Sergio Sarta brought out a book of underwater photographs entitled PORTFOLIO, which won first prize at the International Festival of Underwater Images at Antibes, in France. This 250- page book, which met with great acclaim from both the critics and the public, is written in Italian and English and contains about 250 magnificent photographs. The book is organized by subject into 20 chapters, some dealing with a particular species of sea creature, such as dolphins, scorpionfish, anemonefish or corals; others portraying life underwater in distinctive locations, such as the open sea, the reef or wrecks; and yet others grouping Sarta’s impressions in a more general way, such as those on close-ups, fresh water diving, night diving or models.
In 1997, to mark the International Year of the Coral Reef, the European Union commissioned a book on the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea. As a photographer who has spent much time in PNG over the past 10 years and has made over 500 dives in its most interesting areas, Sergio Sarta was invited to collaborate on the book with Bob and Dinah Halstead, Australian photographers who were the first to discover and appreciate the seas of PNG from the point of view of underwater photography.
The European Union – funded Islands Region Environmental and Community Development Program (IRECDP) published this book as a means of promoting environmental awareness among, above all, the people of Papua New Guinea. PNG’s coral reefs are areas of outstanding beauty and are home to innumerable marine species, several of which have as yet only been sighted in these seas and whose photographs are published here for the first time.