A group of humpback whales, French Polynesia
This week’s featured photographer is Irene “Panchita” Orozco, trip leader and underwater photographer for the travel company Nomad Expeditions. Formerly a graphic designer, Irene discovered her passion for the underwater world after being introduced to scuba diving by her partner Cristobal Prerez, and she now spends most of her time swimming with pelagic marine life in Baja using just a mask and snorkel. She first picked up an underwater camera in 2015, and quickly learned how to capture awesome wide-angle images of sharks, whales and dolphins.
Pelagic safaris are her specialty, and many of her images feature huge baitballs of small fish being attacked by marlin, sea lions and other iconic marine predators. As you can see, she mostly shoots wide-angle images of big animals at home in Mexico, but when she travels abroad, she also seeks out similar encounters in South Africa, French Polynesia and Norway. My favorite image of her selection is the group of humpback whales in crystal-clear water in French Polynesia. To see so many of these gentle giants in such perfect conditions must have been a dream come true, and if this image doesn’t make you want to join Irene on one of her trips then nothing will!
During her time at Nomad Expeditions, Irene has also worked alongside some of the best photographers in the business, including her friend and mentor Henley Spiers. She has clearly picked up some useful advice and tips from the pro's along the way, so expect to see much more of Irene’s work once we can travel freely again and she can go back to guiding epic adventures to some of the world’s best dive destinations. Until then, I’m sure she will continue to improve and practice her skills on some of Baja’s best!
Spinner dolphins captured far offshore in the Pacific Ocean
A sailfish and sea lion hunting on a sardine baitball, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Mobula munkiana schooling outside of the bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico
A booby resting on a log, offshore in the Pacific
Sea lions hunting sardines, Baja California Sur, Mexico
An orca passing by while looking for striped marlins, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Skipjacks feeding on sardines, Baja California Sur, Mexico
A booby resting on... a turtle, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Mexico’s famous schooling mobula rays, Baja California, Mexico
A common dolphin hunting sardines, Port St. Johns, South Africa
A striped marlin hunting sardines, Baja California Sur, Mexico
A Chilean devil ray that had just fed on a baitball, Baja, Mexico
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