How did you get started in underwater photography?
When my wife and I did our first trip around the world in 2003, I bought my first digital compact camera with an underwater housing. It was an Olympus C-5050. With that camera on the same trip, I took an image that ended up on the front page of an English dive magazine. That was a really good start for me, and I thought it was fun to show other people and divers my pictures.
What came first – diving or photography?
I have always been interested in photography since I was young; I got my first camera when I was around 10 or 12 years old. My older brothers were doing photography and even had a darkroom at home, so it grew out of that.
What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?
I’m using two set-ups from Nauticam. A Nikon Z6 and Nikon D500 along with Inon Z330 strobes. The lenses I use are both from Nikon and Tokina with ports from both Nauticam and Zen. The newest thing in my kitbag this year is the Nauticam macro to wide-angle lens 1 (MWL-1) which is a wet optic that converts a 60mm full-frame equivalent macro lens into a 150º close-focus wide-angle lens.
Favourite location for diving and underwater photography?
It’s a very difficult question to answer because I love almost everything underwater – from the tiniest of critters to the biggest animals and wrecks. I don’t believe I have yet to photograph my favourite scene. I’ve found so many beautiful and amazing things that it’s hard to choose just one in particular. I also don’t think I’ve been to my favourite location yet. For the last few years I have mostly been diving in Asia and so am now trying to branch out to other destinations.
I love the incredible shark diving and beautiful reefs in Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina. I really like to dive the Silfra fissure in Iceland. The crystal clear glacial water filling the Silfra fissure has been filtered for decades through underground lava rock, providing over 100 metres of underwater visibility. The unique and beautiful underwater scenery that you experience in Silfra is found nowhere else on Earth. I will also say that the Baltic Sea is high on my favourites list because of all the wrecks. The beautiful reefs in Alor make that a favourite too.
Most challenging dive?
Some of the diving around the Baltic Sea can be a bit challenging because of the cold, murky waters. And sometimes visibility of two to four metres, a water temperature averaging 6°C to 2°C in the winter to 20°C in the summer.
Who are your diving inspirations?
Other good photographers and many of my dive buddies. If I have to name one diver especially that inspires me, it would be Alex Mustard because he’s just the most awesome underwater photographer. Alex is very generous in sharing his techniques and is a very good teacher.
Which underwater locations or species are still on your photography wish list and why?
Humpback whales are still on my photography wish list because they are so majestic and unique.
What advice do you wish you’d had as a novice underwater photographer?
My advice for getting the perfect underwater shot is to master your diving and camera equipment before going into the water. It is important to have good balance and master buoyancy when you dive – with and without a camera. Safety is important!
Hairiest moment when shooting underwater?
Accidentally dropping my camera at the surface before descending on a wreck at 70 metres deep. That was one of the hairiest moment with a camera. And yes, I found it and the camera was still working!
What is your most memorable dive and why?
My most startling experience was not one I managed to capture on camera. My wife and I were diving SS President Coolidge which sank in 1942 off the island Esparto Santo, Vanuatu, when the cargo rooms became flooded with blue flashing lights.
Slowly we were totally surrounded by this glitter and I became completely disorientated. The peculiar blue lights turned out to be the bioluminescent eyes of a school of fish. The phenomenon – thought to attract or illuminate prey – can only be seen in total darkness, so turning on a torch would have stopped the effect.
Anders Nyberg is a Swedish freelance photographer with a passion for travel, diving and underwater photography. He started diving in 1997, and since then, has taken many dive trips around the world including Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Malta, Iceland, South Korea, Norway and the Red Sea.