These destinations are all about great diving and the mysteries of the deep, but they’re alluring above water as well: Each features its own cultural milieu and enchanting scenery, what Kevin Palmer calls “a magical interplay of the bizarre and the beautiful.”
(c) Damion Berger
Damion Berger -- “There is such a wealth of scenes — from the Festival de Cannes to Monaco’s Grand Prix, the rich bronzed bodies of Saint-Tropez and swimming pools filled to the brim with hyperactive, liberated kids.”
(c) Brian Skerry
Brian Skerry -- When shooting underwater in his favored New Zealand, Skerry recommends packing a range of lenses from superwide (such as 14mm) to macro (60m or 105mm). “There is such diversity, you’ll want to shoot everything, from whales and seals to tiny creatures like nudibranchs and blennies.”
(c) Tanya G. Burnett/islandexposure.us
Tanya G. Burnett and Kevin Palmer -- “Beyond spectacular photo opportunities, this region is often sited as having some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet,” says Burnett.
(c) Jeff Rotman
Jeff Rotman -- “Every place is unique. But the Red Sea’s special beauty is its lush and rich coral reefs, including a lot of soft corals, as well as the animal and marine life found there.”
(c) 2009 guidomueller.com
Alexander Mustard -- “Rocky cliffs plastered in red soft corals, yellow sponges and white anemones; the world’s largest sea slugs and bizarre fish like the decorated warbonnet and grunt sculpin; add to this the chance encounter with a giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels and sea lions, and it really is a dream destination.”
IN THE BAG:
Along with watertight camera housings and lenses ranging from fisheye to telephoto, the underwater photographer never goes out without a good suit.
• “The area is remote and the water is cold,” says Alexander Mustard of Port Hardy at the north end of Vancouver Island. “This means you need to be comfortable diving and operating your camera while wearing a drysuit and thick gloves.”
• Of diving in New Zealand, Brian Skerry adds: “Diving in some southernmost locations requires a drysuit, whereas the northern parts are warmer and only a wetsuit is needed. So it can be equipment intensive. That said, equipment can be rented in a number of locations.”
• “My key equipment is a great drysuit,” says Paul Nicklen of Antarctica. “There are sometimes 19 hours of light there, and if you’re warm and happy, you can keep working.” note: Drysuit diving requires special training.