Written by Danielle Schofield
The scuba community is bursting with epic photos, from mind-blowing marine life encounters to idyllic destinations. We flicked through our PADI Instagram page to bring you five of many bucket list subjects worthy of any underwater photographer’s shot…
Almost all of the #Galapagos Islands are preserved as a national park. A truly unique cluster of twenty volcanic islands, this internationally acclaimed dive destination lies in the Pacific just west of Ecuador, South America. Best known for Charles Darwin’s visit in 1835, the Galapagos Islands have become a vital international center for conservation and science. Located at a major intersection of several ocean currents, these islands are home to a staggering array of marine life, nearly 20 percent of which is found nowhere else. Amongst a number of incredible sights, it’s possible to witness giant schools of hammerhead sharks, like this encounter photographed by @simonjpierce.
[box style=”rounded”]Tip: Shoot upwards into the sun, and use a high shutter speed to keep silhouettes sharp.[/box]
Visit the Galapagos Islands and you could find yourself amidst tens or hundreds of hammerhead sharks swirling above your head. Their unmistakable silhouettes against the blue make a truly iconic photo and a diver’s dream come true.
The natural sinkholes along the Yucatan Peninsula are a photographer’s playground, where rays of sun light up dramatic limestone formations and underwater jungles. In caverns like Angelita or The Pit, hydrogen sulphide layers create a mystical atmosphere for award-winning photos.[box style=”rounded”]Tip: Use a wide-angle or fisheye lens to convey the magnitude of the cenote chambers.[/box]
The Giannis D
At Egypt’s Abu Nuhas reef, the Giannis D shipwreck can be explored from 5m to 25m, making it accessible for every level of diver. With a striking lineup of shapes, shadows and structures adorned by soft corals and marine life, it’s earned its reputation as one of the most photogenic wrecks in the Red Sea.[box style=”rounded”]Tip: Swim out from the reef to capture the stern in full, and include a diver in the shot for scale.[/box]
Search the sea grass and gorgonians of Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle and you might just spot one of these camouflage masters. Less than one inch tall, pygmies are among the smallest seahorse species — and one of the biggest goals for macro underwater photographers.[box style=”rounded”]Tip: Be patient and use minimal lighting — a calm pygmy will give you the best shots.[/box]
[box style=”rounded”]Tip: Be mindful of your surroundings and camera gear to avoid entanglement with safety lines.[/box]
Diving below ice is challenging, exhilarating, and another top photo opportunity. This sub zero environment is ever-changing, with moving ice, fleeting sunlight and divers’ bubbles coming together to create stunning, one-of-a-kind images.
Of course, there’s also sharks in Bimini, sculpture parks, the mighty Thistlegorm, Jellyfish Lake… the list is endless. Share your favourites by tagging your photos with #PADI on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Still seeking inspiration? Visit PADI Travel and start planning your ultimate photography trip today.