Stuart is an active caver and photographer'
Stu Gardiner first ventured underground into the Swildon’s Hole system within the Mendip Hills as a naive Scout dressed in a bin bag and jogging bottoms, that horrific experience stayed with him until his late 20’s when he decided to revisit his childhood experience with slightly more advanced equipment and a keener sense of exploration.
Based in Somerset, the Mendip Hills offered Stu the perfect playground and it was not long until his eye was turned to original exploration, cave diving and the Cave Rescue Organisation. Caving around the country Stu was inspired by accomplished cave photographers and was soon drawn into this aspect of caving. He soon realised that incredible images of the underground could be bought to the surface and shown to those that could only imagine what they looked like, often to peoples amazement.
Taking great cave photographs is far from easy and at first the results were questionable and the equipment more so, but with good advice from friends his skills improved. Stu is still learning and developing different techniques to portray caves and caving as a sport. Together with his fiancé Stu now dedicates the majority of his caving to cave photography and has travelled to areas such as Mulu, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Croatia and the Philippines to photograph their caves. Often photographing caves that have never been seen before, a surreal experience indeed.
Stu is also an avid support of newcomers into the sport and often runs underground photography workshops during student events.