This week’s featured underwater photographer is Massimo Zannini, a sharp shooter from Italy and official ambassador for Nauticam whose current camera of choice is a Nikon D850. Born in Bologna, Italy, in 1968, Massimo always had a love of nature and the sea, and became a qualified scuba diver in his early 20s. Still, it wasn’t until 2008 that he finally started experimenting with a compact setup before eventually upgrading to the professional DSLR system that he now uses to capture amazing images of some of the ocean’s most iconic marine life.
Massimo’s passion for diving and photography has taken him all over the world in the search for new experiences and exciting subjects to shoot. As his photography skills improved, he decided to enter his work into various contests, and after receiving various accolades in both national and international competitions, he made a name for himself as a versatile underwater photographer and is now well known for his excellent macro and wide-angle work. Although he travels often, Massimo still regularly dives in his local waters and is an active member of the Italian Underwater Photography Society editorial staff. A popular and respected member of the Italian dive community, he can often be seen at trade shows and photography workshops hanging out with other photo pros.
Among the selection of images that Massimo submitted for this feature are ocean giants such as sperm whales and whale sharks, alongside smaller critters and fish found in macro diving destinations in Southeast Asia. While sea lions and sharks are undoubtedly thrilling creatures to encounter underwater, my personal favorites among Massimo’s portfolio were all taken in Italy and showcase subjects and behaviors that we’re less familiar with or have never seen before. His salamander and over/under crab images both provide an insight into what cool creatures can be found in freshwater environments in his home country—and who knew that cuttlefish could hunt and kill fish twice their size?!
Freshwater crab, Italy
Cuttlefish on the hunt, Italy
Juvenile salamander, Italy
Ghostfish in sea fan, Philippines
Juvenile turtle, Borneo, Indonesia
Harlequin shrimp, Philippines
Schooling trevally, Cabo Pulmo, Baja California, Mexico
Sea lion, Baja California, Mexico
Whale shark, Mexico
Sperm whales, Mauritius
Caribbean reef shark, Honduras
Plastic pollution, Anilao, Philippines
Clownfish and eggs, Philippines
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