Home Underwater Photography Underwater Photographer of the Week: Luis Perez Suarez

Underwater Photographer of the Week: Luis Perez Suarez

Luis Jorge Perez Suarez’s ethos for his underwater photography is preservation. In this Q&A we take a look at his portfolio and learn more about a close-up encounter with a Cuban crocodile…

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How did you get started in underwater photography?Underwater Photographer 1

It started as a hobby, but soon after I realised that underwater photography is an indispensable tool for preservation.

What came first – diving or photography?

Underwater Photographer 2I think first you have to be a diver and then use a camera. It is very important to achieve good buoyancy and then start using a camera.

What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?

Underwater Photographer 3

I work with two Canon cameras. The first with a wide-angle 10-17mm lens, and the second with 105mm Macro or 35mm to make portraits of fish. I also use two flashes to highlight the colours and two lights of 3000 lumens for videos.

Favourite location for diving and underwater photography?

Underwater Photographer 4There are many places that are my favourites – Cuba, Colombia, the Red Sea, Thailand and the Maldives, but I think that each place is unique and that is why “The next will always be the Best.”

Most challenging dive?

Underwater Photographer 5

The most difficult ones are always the deepest because they require a lot of previous organisational work. For example, some ships below 30 or 40 metres.

Who are your diving inspirations?

Underwater Photographer 6

I have had the opportunity to meet great underwater photographers and also many people who are dedicated to the preservation. All this is very important for any artist but the real recipients of my work are the children. Thus, being able to sow a seed of hope for preservation.

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

Underwater Photographer 7One place that is on my list is Chuuk Lagoon and its World War II cemetery.

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

Underwater Photographer 8For a submarine photographer, great advice is: the best photo is never more important than the life of the species being photographed.

Hairiest moment when shooting underwater?

Underwater Photographer 9

I have had very important encounters with animals but without doubt the most complicated was one with a Cuban Crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer). I took several pictures as I got closer and closer to being 50 centimetres. In a moment he opened his mouth to tell me that that was the limit. I believe that respect is very important in all areas of life, even more so when we are in the homes of others.

What is your most memorable dive and why?

Underwater Photographer 10No doubt when I dived with sharks for the first time. I think it is very important that you never lose your capacity for amazement. Unfortunately, many diving professionals have stopped feeling the magic they felt the first time they dived. In many moments of my dives, I cry when seeing the beauties that we have and that we must preserve.

Follow Luis on Facebook here or check out his instagram page.

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Lorna Dockerill
Lorna Dockerill
Lorna fell in love with scuba diving back in 2011 during a trip to Thailand and Australia. Having always dreamt of seeing a sea turtle in the wild, her dream was realised on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef while training to become a certified diver. Since then she’s developed a passion for the natural world, writing about wildlife photography – both the on land and underwater kind – for the past eight years.

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