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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Alex Permiakov
By Joseph Tepper, October 1, 2020 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

Alex Permiakov’s macro images emphasize color and contrast

When Alex Permiakov visited the Philippines on vacation in 2015, he had no idea it would lead to an entirely new career path. Few underwater photographers do. However, within just five years, Alex has managed to earn his open water certification, become a dive instructor, and now manage and co-own a dive center on Panglao Island in the Visayas. If that wasn’t enough, Alex has also transformed into a promising underwater photographer—after all, with such a bounty of subjects to shoot, how could you blame him?

Alex started with an Olympus mirrorless camera and has worked his way up to a Nikon D850 in a Nauticam housing. Alex’s passion is most definitely the small stuff: His style is marked by bright, colorful subjects contrasted by stark black backgrounds through careful composition or snooting.

“You always can find something to shoot,” says Alex about macro underwater photography. “There’s no need for fancy subjects to make a good shot—all you need is patience and some creative lighting to make ordinary subjects pop and shine.”

The subjects aren’t the only thing shining. Alex recently won his first underwater photo prize in the Small Exotic Animals competition. Shine on! 

Freeloader: A small fish hides behind a jellyfish for protection


A juvenile warty frog fish shows off its spots

Eyes on the prize: A whip coral goby guards unhatched eggs

Alex likes to use snoots to create dramatic lighting in his photos

Dentist time: A shrimp goes to work cleaning out the mouth of a reef fish

Who you calling small? A pygmy seahorse pops against a black background

Alex likes to make even common subjects unique through careful composition and lighting

It’s all fireworks behind this razor shrimp

Three’s company: An emperor shrimp clambers over a pair of nudis

Alex currently uses Backscatter’s Mini Flash and Optical Snoot to create awesome shots such as this

Simple is sublime, as is the case with this abstract image of a nudibranch

For more of Alex’s work, check out his Instagram page


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