How did you get started in underwater photography?
I grew up between my dad’s dark room and my mom’s fairy tales and sewing machine. My dad was a scuba diver. I started diving 23 years ago and I never stopped. After a couple years of scuba diving I wanted to show my mom the underwater world, so I purchased my first little point-and-shoot camera to bring back images to share. And that is how it started. For the first few years I was shooting marine life only, and then seven years ago I found my passion for creative underwater photography.
What came first – diving or photography?
Diving, 23 years ago.
What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?
Camera-wise, I use the Nikon D810, the Nikkor 17-35mm, an underwater case from Sealux, two underwater flashes from Subtronic, one video light, cables, a GoPro and many spare parts!
Favourite location for diving and underwater photography?
I don’t really have only one. I love the Bahamas, because I have a friend there, and the same in Egypt. But there are many locations.
Who are your diving inspirations?
My inspiration comes from the people who try to protect the ocean, coral reefs and marine life. Those are for me the heroes and inspirations.
Which underwater locations or species are still on your photography wish list and why?
I would love to dive in Raja Ampat, the Galapagos and many, many other locations. I would also love to see Great Whales and spend some minutes of my life with them.
What advice do you wish you’d had as a novice underwater photographer?
Think twice before you spend big money on the gear, ask people what to buy, read reviews and buy something which will be for long time, so you don’t need to change your gear in a year. If there is a chance, rent the gear in the beginning and then decide what you really need and what type of underwater photography you would like to focus on. Visit some workshops, it will save you money and time in the end.
Hairiest moment when shooting underwater?
I do not like hairy moments when I am shooting with models, so I try to avoid them and have good safety divers.
What is your most memorable dive and why?
From my creative photography, it was for sure the time with my friend Cristina Zenato in the Bahamas. We did the shoot in a big dress between sharks, or in mangroves. For diving, I think it was my first meeting with a shark, ever. I will always remember this. It was in the Maldives in 1997.
Lucie Drlikova is an award-winning underwater photographer, originally from the Czech republic and currently living in Prague. She grew up being exposed to art and culture through the passion of her father’s dark room and her mother’s fairy tales and story books. She started diving at the age of twenty-two and has never stopped. Convinced that being an artist was not supposed to be a job but only a hobby, Lucie never thought she would one day become a professional underwater photographer. She continued to pursue this as a passion combined with her love for scuba diving. However, during her growing career, her health became affected by the high stress levels. So Lucie decided to change something in her life. She quit her job and decided to follow her dreams through photography and diving.
See more of Lucie’s work at www.waterlanddreams.com