A school of pink salmon heading upstream towards spawning grounds, British Columbia, Canada
Antonio Hou, a Vancouver Island based photographer and PADI Open Water Instructor is our newest Photographer of the Week. Antonio began his diving adventures in early 2021 in the cold waters around Vancouver. By late 2021, he had begun his underwater photography journey with a used Olympus TG-4. All too familiar to most photographers, dipping the toe into the underwater photography world quickly progressed into a full-blown passion for Antonio and another upgrade followed. He chose a Sony a6100 in a Seafrogs housing and that rig has been his constant companion all over British Columbia during the past two years.
The underwater realm of British Columbia is endless and incredibly diverse: plunging, colorful walls home to wolf eels and giant Pacific octopuses; seagrass beds hosting the adorable spiny lumpsucker; kelp forests crawling with hooded nudibranchs. His goal as an underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor is to share the beauty of diving in the Pacific Northwest with those who do not get to experience it firsthand. Especially as the diving in the Pacific Northwest can be demanding—dark, cold, low visibility, and strong currents can keep many a diver or landlubber away from this region.
Antonio is a volunteer diver for the Marine Life Sanctuary Society, a non-profit organization that aims to help preserve rockfish populations in Howe Sound, British Columbia. His goal with the organization is not only to educate the public about the importance of rockfish conservation but to share the beauty of diving in local waters. His latest project focuses on capturing the essence of overlooked dive sites around Vancouver and conveying that even the most “boring” or basic dive sites can host myriad critters and photo opportunities.
Antonio says he wants to express gratitude to his local dive shop, Ocean Quest, for continually supporting his journey to become a dive professional and to his mentor Shane Gross. He credits Shane with guiding him on his next venture of becoming a professional underwater photographer and journalist.
A red Irish lord, a staple of the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest, lit by snoot, Whytecliff, British Columbia, Canada
A painted sea star crawls across a rocky outcrop near God’s Pocket Resort, British Columbia, Canada
A giant orange peel nudibranch adds an extra splash of color to a scene at God’s Pocket Resort, British Columbia, Canada
An adorably grumpy looking male wolf eel poking out from its den near Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
The cutest fish in the sea, the Pacific spiny lumpsucker! Kelvin’s Grove, British Columbia, Canada
A portrait of a healthy pink salmon, during the early stages of the breeding season, British Columbia, Canada
There isn’t a bare inch of space on the walls near God’s Pocket Resort, British Columbia, Canada
The Pacific Northwest’s most iconic animal, the giant Pacific octopus, Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
A decorated warbonnet cozied up in its hidey hole, Egmont, British Columbia, Canada
Playful Stellar’s sea lions frolic in the shallows of Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada
A stubby squid, flapping through the night, Kelvin’s Grove, British Columbia, Canada
Hovering over a beautiful and delicate cloud sponge, Whytecliff, British Columbia, Canada
A sea nettle and its little buddy, God’s Pocket Resort, British Columbia, Canada
To follow along with Antonio’s underwater adventures, please give him a follow on Instagram.
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