How did you get started in underwater photography?
What came first – diving or photography?
Photography came first. I got my first camera when I was about eight-years-old. I actually majored in photography at UVIC (University of Victoria) in Victoria, BC, for my undergrad. I have spent lots and lots of time in darkrooms, as I worked with film for quite a long time.
What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?
My favourite location? That’s a tough one. There are so many great places around the world that offer different subjects and experiences. My top location for wide-angle would be South Africa, as there is such a diversity in marine life, sharks, whales and beautiful coral. For macro, I’m going to go with Lembeh, Indonesia – I just love spending time there. I do look forward to discovering backwater diving in Aniloa, Philippines over the next few years.
Most challenging dive?
I think the most challenging dive I have ever done was at Alcyone off of Cocos Island. The current was so strong, I could not bring my camera down – I could barely hold onto the descent line. I quickly learned that this type of diving is not for me. By the time I got to the bottom, I had used most of my air.
Who are your diving inspirations?
Which underwater locations or species are still on your photography wish list and why?
I would really love to see the basking shark, I find them incredibly interesting. Filming a Narwal would be a dream, but not sure how I could make that happen – they are shy and very remote.
What advice do you wish you’d had as a novice underwater photographer?
I would tell a novice photographer to keep at it. When I first started taking photos underwater, all my photos would turn out black. It was a long process. I was able to practice quite a bit, and work on the improving the quality of my photographs. I also believe in learning from others. I am constantly picking people’s brains, or I will go on a group photo trip to learn techniques and tips and tricks from other leaders in the industry. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect.
Hairiest moment when shooting underwater?
What is your most memorable dive and why?
Nadia Aly is an award winning wildlife photographer, with a focus on underwater marine life. She left her corporate job in 2012 to travel and dive around the world. Her primary goal is to educate people globally about the diverse populations of sea creatures that exist in our oceans. Nadia captures their beauty and uniqueness with her camera and then publishes these photographs and videos. She does this in an effort to raise awareness and interest in supporting efforts to conserve our oceans and their inhabitants.
As she continues to master the art of underwater photography, she takes interested clients on numerous underwater expeditions every year, through her company Scuba Diver Life Expeditions. Her specialities are the Sardine Run out of South Africa and Humpback Swims out of Tonga, where she takes guests to swim up close and personal with the Whales.