Home Underwater Photography Underwater Photographer of the Week: Sylvie Ayer

Underwater Photographer of the Week: Sylvie Ayer

Scuba diving instructor and underwater photographer Sylvie Ayer has a passion for allowing others to discover the richness of our oceans through her lens. We uncover her inspirations and finest moments in the deep…


How did you get started in underwater photography?

Many divers showed me their photos during dive trips, and I thought it was great to be able to capture images of all these beautiful underwater creatures. So I said to myself, I too want to take pictures and express my emotions. I started in 2013.

What came first – diving or photography?

Diving. It was almost 20 years ago.

What’s in your underwater photography kitbag?

  • Nikon D810
  • Subal Housing
  • Strobe Inon 2 X Z240
  • Lenses: Nikon 16-35mm, Nikon 60mm, Nikon 16mm, Nikon 105mm.

Favourite location for diving and underwater photography?

I have several favourite places. It all depends on what I want to see and photograph. If I have to choose a place, I choose the Maldives.

Most challenging dive?

Mozambique. It was to photograph the bulldog sharks. It is already necessary to master the techniques of diving, not to be stressed and to understand the behaviour of the shark. At one point, we were surrounded by 11 sharks. It was 100% adrenaline!

Who are your diving inspirations?

As far as diving inspirations go, I would say Umberto Pelizzari, the multiple record holder of freediving. If it is the underwater photography, I would say Guy Steven. He was my first inspiration for underwater pictures.

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

The list is long. The Tonga Islands for the humpback whale, the Acores for the mako shark, the blue shark, and spermwhale. Then, South Africa for the tiger shark and the sevengill shark. The Galapagos, as for me it is the legend of the dives, then Crystal River for the manatees. And anywhere for dolphins!

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

Transmit an emotion and tell a story.

What is your most memorable dive and why?

I have two: Once was being with a school of hammerhead sharks for 30 minutes near the coconut island in Costa Rica with them just over our heads. Another was being surrounded by dozens of manta rays in the Maldives. Breathtakingly beautiful. There is no word to describe that.

Sylvie Ayer

Sylvie Ayer 1

Passionate about the world of silence since her adolescence, Sylvie Ayer explores the ocean of our planet.

In 2011, Sylvie obtained her PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor license. It was only in 2013 that she started to take underwater pictures. Her goal is to not only capture magical memories and express her emotions, but also to allow others to discover the richness of our oceans, hoping that every one becomes aware of the urgency to protect them. 

When she is not underwater, Sylvie Ayer teaches and transmits her passion for music (drums and percussions) teaching in a Music Academy in Switzerland.

Check out Sylvie’s work at http://sylvieayer.com


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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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