LLoyd Bridges
Ron & Valerie Taylor
Dick Anderson
Carl Roessler
Bill Acker
Jacques Cousteau
Al Tillman
Mike Ball
Cathy Church
Louis Boutan
Chuck Nicklin
Ben Cropp
Stan Waterman
Jerry Greenberg
Bob Halstead
Henry Albert Fleuss
Dan Orr  
E. R. Cross
John Cronin
Kendall McDonald
Daniel Mercier
Yves Le Prieur
Neal Watson  
Gustav Dalla Valle
David Doubilet
Spencer Slate
Drew Richardson
Rouquayrol &  Denayrouze
Decima MAS
Dr. Jefferson Davis
Bob Hollis
Akira Tateishi
Ron Steven
Howard and Michele Hall
Sylvia Earle
Zale Parry
Dewey Bergman
Kimiuo Aisek
Andre Laban
Bernard Eaton
Ivan Tors
Ernie Brooks
Geri Murphy
Clement Lee
Emile Gagnan
Paul Tzimoulis
Andreas Rechnitzer
Howard Rosenstein
Bev Morgan
Al Giddings
Auxier & Blakeslee
Capt. Don Stewart
Larry Smith
Allan Power
Hans &  Lottie Hass
Jean Michel Cousteau
Neville Coleman
Williamson Brothers
Hugh Bradner
Jack Lavanchy
Fredric Dumas
Ralph Erickson
Eugenie Clark
Louis de Corlieu
Jack McKenney
Jordan Klein
Rodney Fox
Nick Icorn
John Scott Haldane
Bob Soto
Frank Scalli
Paul Humann
Francis Toribiong
Alese and Morton Pechter
Hall Members
Click on any image to reach that member's page
Louis Boutan

Born: March 6, 1859


Video Biography


Notable Achievements:

During the 1890's, he developed the technical foundation for underwater photography, being the first diver to take underwater photos, and in 1900 published an expansive book on the subject.
Hall Members
Press Releases
Photo Gallery
Video Biographies
Virtual Museum
Old Time Movies
Contact Us
Louis Boutan


Louis Marie Auguste Boutan was born on March 6,1859 in Versailles, France. He studied at Saint-Louis high school and graduated with degrees in literature and science. In 1879 he became an assistant at the University of Science in Paris and was deeply interested in naturalism. In 1880 he traveled to Australia and brought back specimens of wildlife for the Natural History Museum. In 1883 he was appointed as an assistant to the famed marine biologist Professor De Lacaze - Duthiers at the Sorbonne. He organised a scientific expedition to study marine animals of the Red Sea in 1891.

His research into underwater photography took place in the Argo Laboratory in Banylus-Sur-Mer between 1892 and 1900. He became very proficient in using a Denayrouze diving helmet, and with his mechanic built three different underwater camera housings. Using plates specially manufactured by the Lumiere brothers Boutan produced the very earliest underwater photos taken by a diver. He developed various underwater lights and filters to improve his photography. In 1917, he and his brother developed a scuba system that worked with a deep sea diving helmet.

He published three different texts on underwater photography in 1894, 1898 and 1900. The third book was La Photographic Sous-marine et Les Progres de La Photographie, in which he predicted underwater photography for the masses. The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame holds an original copy of this rare book it its collection.