A magical mobula encounter in Mexico
A great way to discover new underwater photographers is by checking out the winning images in high profile photography contests that receive thousands of entries. That is how I first came across the work of this week’s featured photographer Jerome “Jack” Israel.
Jack won third place in the macro category of this year’s British Underwater Photographer of the Year competition for an image of three nudibranchs eating eggs, and with the assistance of Google and social media (he doesn’t yet have his own website but he’s working on it), I managed to find more of his awesome work and invited him to put together a portfolio of his favorite images. As you can see below, he is not just a one hit wonder, and his chosen selection features both excellent macro and wide-angle shots from a variety of different locations.
He currently works as a PADI dive instructor at Squalo Divers in Miami, and many of his best images were taken at well-known dive sites in South Florida. Thanks to his previous career working for the US government, Jack also speaks fluent Russian and specializes in teaching and leading Russian groups or individuals who want to learn to dive in the area. Anyone who has dived in this part of the world will know it has plenty to offer, including deep wrecks and sharks in West Palm Beach, and a world-class macro site at the famed Blue Heron Bridge, and Jack is a regular visitor to both of these locations. He also teaches underwater photography classes locally, and is a long-standing member of the South Florida Underwater Photography Society.
When he’s not diving in his home state, Jack travels often and has visited a number of destinations in the Caribbean, and further afield, to explore different underwater environments and photograph new subjects. He currently uses a Nikon D850 in an Ikelite housing, and credits much of his current knowledge and inspiration to British shooters Alex Mustard and Martin Edge, who have both written excellent books about creative underwater photography that he has studied and clearly learned from.
Don’t be surprised to see more of Jack’s work among the winners galleries of photography contests in the future.
Pink anemone shrimp, Curaçao
Yellowhead jawfish with eggs, Bonaire
Lookdown under the pier in South Florida, USA
A colorful barnacle blenny in Costa Rica
Candy crab pose, Bali, Indonesia
Tritonia nudibranch in the Florida Keys, USA
Grunts and porkfish under a South Florida pier, USA
Perfectly lit porcelain crab, South Florida, USA
Pink tube sponges, Curaçao
Phyllodesmium iriomotense nudibranch, Bali, Indonesia
Lettuce sea slug, Martinique
Favorinus mirabilis eating eggs, Bali, Indonesia
The Captain Dan wreck, South Florida, USA
Jack on his way out to take some awesome underwater images
See Jack’s latest images by following him on Instagram.
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