Discovering a new world: underwater photography

Hello! I’ve been taking pictures for over 20 years but that has been mostly on the ground and in a few occasions over the ground, underwater photography has always fascinated me but for the real stuff there were 2 hurdles: I had never scuba dived and I had no proper photo equipment to do that with my full format camera.

In 2016 during a visit to the Galapagos Islands I had the opportunity to snorkel and try out my full format camera with a kind of multipurpose underwater case. That wasn’t the really good stuff, but still I leave you some shots of what I got. The location was of course great but the equipment wasn’t:

Sea lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki), San Cristobal island, Galapagos islands, Ecuador
Scarus ghobban, Las Bachas, Baltra island, Galapagos islands, Ecuador
Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis), San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

After confirming my presence in the adventure in Fidji, Vanuatu and Australia for summer 2020 with lots of diving opportunities there was no excuse anymore to go for real underwater photography.

Firstly I bought a case for my Canon 5DS that can be used to a depth of up to  60 m (200ft) and also ordered a second handle, a lens port extension for my 16-35 mm lens (for now), the dome port (8 inches) and a gear set to use the focus. All components from Ikelite, a well-known company with a good performance/price rate. Still an expensive hobby…

I booked a trip to Madeira, an island I always wanted to visit and photograph, where the submarine fauna was also interesting for what I could read online and the pictures I saw. I also booked some dives in advance in a diving school called Madeira Divepoint, which came out to be a great spot with a fantastic team. Wilfried, Miguel and the whole staff are great professionals that also made sure that I had a lot of fun.

It took me 45 years to get a scuba gear and dive into the water. It was exciting and fun, but also challenging and demanding.  Buoyancy control is something you definitely have to learn and requires some experience. The fauna around Madeira is very diverse, you can find pretty much everything there. After the first 4 dives, and although I still was in the middle of my learning curve, I asked (carefully) whether I could take my camera and Miguel, my instructor, gave me green light, so I had the opportunity to take shots underwater in the following 4 dives including the last one in a corvette Alfonso Cerqueira.

I did my best but to be honest, I was at least as busy with myself than I was with the camera and the motifs, that was very obvious when diving in the rooms of the corvette. I was really happy to finally have tried it out and the fact that I will do some more diving in Spain (north coast) this summer is the proof that I had a lot of fun. In fact, rediscovering photography 20 years later is really amazing and stimulating.

I leave you some shots, hope you like it and please, be mercy, it’s just the beginning of a long learning curve 🙂

…your Diego.


Joining a one time in life adventure with Pacific Expeditions

Hello! I am thrilled to announce that in the summer of 2020 I will participate in a very unique, not just photographic, but also life, experience. I’ll join Pacific Expeditions and spend 4 weeks in their yacht, Apache, in one of their legs around the world. In such and adventure they are not really alone as they are part of the World Arc 2020 fleet, 34 yachts that sail the same route within a few days difference and so can help each other in the unlikely case that it’s required. The Apache is the biggest yacht in the fleet and can accomodate up to 8 guests, along with 5 crew members.

Apache (c) Pacific Expeditions

As a guest instructor I’ll definitely do my best to inspire everybody on board about photography, teach them to take great photographs and go together for a couple of photo tours. I will join Jennifer and her team in the leg starting in Fidji and ending at Airlie Beach, Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef. On the way we’ll visit Vanuatu, an archipielago full of blue holes and home to Mt Yasur, the most accesible active volcano. If you want to know more about the itinieary or even would like to join this leg, you can have a look here, right know there as still some spots available!

Author: Rolfcosar, License CC BY-SA 2.5 Source: Wikimedia Commons

That part of the world is amazing for underwater photography, so after I got the required equipment (Ikelite underwater housing for my Canon 5DSR along with a bunch of extras) I will gather as much experience as possible until the World Arc 2020 adventure and so come back with great pictures to share on the net. In fact will do one week diving in the island of Madeira in a couple of weeks.

So, from now on don’t be surprised if I share with you my own underwater photographs 🙂