On this collection of articles, we’ll shine a highlight on a number of the world’s greatest underwater photographers. At present we spotlight Tanya Houppermans.
Inform us a bit about your self.
I started diving in 2009 however didn’t turn into enthusiastic about underwater images till 2014. I'm primarily a wide-angle underwater photographer, and my specialty is sharks since I'm closely concerned in shark conservation. House is Fredericksburg, Virginia in america. My husband and 21-year previous son are additionally divers, and we particularly take pleasure in taking dive journeys collectively as a household.
How lengthy have you ever been an underwater photographer?
I began taking footage underwater shortly after I purchased my digital camera within the spring of 2014. At that time I by no means imaged turning into knowledgeable photographer. I had been a mathematician for the U.S. Division of Protection, after which I used to be employed as a analysis operations analyst for a big protection contractor. I used to be depressing within the company world although, and in the summertime of 2015, I left my workplace job to turn out to be a full-time underwater photographer and marine conservationist.
I solely had a couple of sea-turtle photographs earlier than heading to Palau in June 2018, and I used to be thrilled to seek out such wholesome populations of inexperienced and hawksbill turtles once I received there. Palau’s colourful corals made a ravishing backdrop for this inexperienced sea turtle because it emerged from a crevice within the rock wall. Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 8mm f/1.eight fisheye, i-Divesite Symbiosis SS-2 Strobes
Palau’s famed Blue Holes dive website is a wide-angle photographer’s dream. There are a number of openings within the caverns the place the sunshine rays pour via, and in case you occur to catch a diver in simply the suitable spot it could make for a fascinating picture. Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 8mm f/1.eight fisheye, pure mild
I had been diving the waters off North Carolina for 9 years however had by no means seen such an enormous bait ball of those tiny mackerel scad earlier than. There have been so many fish throughout this dive in July 2017 that for those who have been contained in the bait ball, it seemed like an evening scene. Sand-tiger sharks have been slowly swimming all through the bait ball, and as this shark swam towards me the fish parted method, creating the impact of the shark swimming although a tunnel. Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 8mm f/1.eight Fisheye, i-Divesite Symbiosis SS-2 Strobes
A few of my favourite images is completed close to the floor. I like to play with the sunshine rays piercing by way of the water, particularly within the late afternoon when they could be a bit extra pronounced. I photographed this lemon shark at Tiger Seashore, Bahamas in solely about 10 ft of water. Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 8mm f/1.eight Fisheye, Sea&Sea YS-D2 Strobes
Night time dives with sharks are certainly one of my favourite varieties of diving. It actually provides you a completely new perspective on these superb animals, particularly the good hammerheads of Bimini. I can’t consider something fairly so alien-looking as a hammerhead rising from the darkness. Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M1, Panasonic Lumix f/three.5 Fisheye, Sea&Sea YS-D1 Strobes
There’s a cause the wreck of the Kittiwake off the coast of Grand Cayman is a favourite topic for underwater photographers. It tops out at solely 15 ft (four.6 m) underneath the floor and lies on the sand at 65 ft (20 m), permitting for loads of ambient mild to light up it within the clear Cayman waters. On this picture a faculty of horse-eye jacks swims towards the bow of the wreck. Shot with: Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 8mm f/1.eight Fisheye, Sea&Sea YS-D2 Strobes
What acquired you interested by underwater images?
There have been two causes I turned involved in underwater images. First, I hoped to create photographs of sharks that may encourage the general public to care about them. After studying about simply what number of sharks are killed by people yearly and the way some species are on the verge of extinction, I needed to do one thing to assist. The second purpose that I needed to take footage underwater was to doc my son’s journey as a scuba diver with autism. My son Richard is 21 years previous now, and he has been diving since he was 17. He was licensed by way of the Handicapped Scuba Association, and he likes to dive. When individuals see photographs of Richard diving, I hope that it helps to dispel misconceptions about what these with disabilities are able to.
What’s your favourite fashion of underwater images?
I’m undoubtedly a wide-angle photographer. Though I've shot a little bit of macro, I take pleasure in huge issues — shipwrecks, manatees, dolphins, turtles, sea lions, and naturally sharks.
Any favourite topics?
It’s no shock that sharks are my favourite topics. In any case, they’re a part of the rationale I picked up a digital camera within the first place. I’ve been within the water with over 15 totally different shark species to date, and there are nonetheless so many extra species I need to photograph.
Any favourite locations?
My favourite dive vacation spot is North Carolina on the east coast of the U.S. It’s wide-angle photographer heaven. Between the lots of of shipwrecks that line the coast, and the immense number of giant marine life comparable to sand tiger sharks, barracuda, southern stingrays, dolphins, and enormous faculties of jacks, there's by no means a scarcity of topics.
What’s your underwater setup?
Up thus far I’ve used the Olympus OM-D E-M1 digital camera physique, Olympus 8mm f/1.eight fisheye lens for broad angle, Olympus 60mm f/2.eight lens for macro, Nauticam housing, Zen DP170 glass dome port, Nauticam macro port, and i-Divesite Symbiosis SS-2 strobes. Nevertheless, as of my subsequent dive journey I shall be shifting on to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII with Isotta housing and ports.
Do you've gotten any ideas you'll be able to share with new underwater photographers?
I’d like new underwater photographers to keep in mind that even us execs take a LOT of unusable photographs. Each time I'm going out to shoot, there are a number of pictures which might be overexposed, underexposed, out of focus, and so forth. For each picture that the general public sees, I’ve in all probability deleted one other 20 to 30 or extra. So, don’t be too exhausting on your self in the event you solely get a number of good photographs throughout a day’s diving. However do check out these pictures that didn’t work out and ask your self what you possibly can have completed in another way. By no means cease studying, and by no means cease making an attempt to enhance.
By visitor writer Tanya Houppermans
Discover extra of Tanya Houppermans’ work on her website.