How did you get started in underwater photography? 

Underwater Photographer of the Week: Alex Dawson

It basically started when I got certified as a scuba diver in 1993. I rented an analogue camera shortly after and got one decent picture. In 1995 I bought my first camera – a Sea & Sea Motormarine II. In 1999 I upgraded to an SLR and in 2004 I went digital. 

What came first – diving or photography?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

It was the diving. I was so fascinated by the underwater world and my PADI advanced instructor was a good photographer, so I think he inspired me too. 

What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

A top of the line Nikon camera, and I’ve been using Sea & Sea housings since 2004 now. I just love them. I’m glad they are rated to 100m now that I’m diving deeper. Plus, always some kind of fisheye lens. I don’t own a macro lens.

Favourite location for diving and underwater photography?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

Norway is my favourite destination. It is every diver’s, with the fjord diving, great wrecks, fantastic coastline, wild orcas and humpback whales.

Most challenging dive?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

Deep technical dives in cold seas where you battle to stay warm on long decos in freezing waters, and stops take forever. 

Who are your diving inspirations?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

Two of my favourite underwater photographers are Zena Holloway and Julian Calverley.

Which underwater locations or species are still on your photography wish list?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

French Polynesia is my next big dream destination and I should do Bikini atoll while I’m on the other side of Earth. 

What advice do you wish you’d had as a novice underwater photographer?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

Find a style you like, shoot raw and get really good at post production. That will take you very far.  

Hairiest moment when shooting underwater?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

I’m a very careful diver and I don’t really have any hairy memories! I like sharks and orcas and they don’t frighten me. I just get very fascinated. 

Most memorable dive and why?

Underwater Photographer of the Week Alex Dawson

The first really deep dive for me on an extremely well preserved wreck that I’d wanted to dive for 10 years, before I had the right training and equipment to do it. It was magical! The wreck is Aachen, a 100-year-old steamer that sits upright at 85m in the middle of the Baltic Sea. 

Alex Dawson

Award winning photographer Alex Dawson specialises in commercials, branding, underwater and drone photography. Follow Alex on Instagram at @alex_dawson_photography or check out his website: www.alex-dawson.com

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