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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Mehmet Gungen
By Matthew Sullivan, February 16, 2024 @ 10:00 AM (EST)

A stunning fairy basslet photographed in a small cave, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

This week's Photographer of the Week got his start in architecture photography back in the days of—gasp!—film. Mehmet Gungen hails from Turkey and it was during his school years when he took an elective photography course and learned how to operate a camera, and a darkroom. Mehmet credits those experiences with giving him a good understanding of the basics of photography.

Mehmet has been scuba-certified for over two decades now and, as many of us can relate to, upon completing his open water course, immediately went out and bought a camera. It was a simple point-and-shoot affair, but with that tool, he taught himself underwater photography through in-water time and by following photography forums online and reading every book he could possibly find on the subject. When the pandemic hit, Mehmet took one of Alex Mustard’s online workshops, and since travel has opened back up, he has attended almost all of Alex’s actual workshops. Mehmet credits Alex and his knowledge with dramatically moving his photography skills forward.

Since that first dive and that first point-and-shoot, Mehmet now has over 1,000 dives with a camera under his belt! He has moved on from that camera and now shoots the vaunted Nikon D850 in a Subal housing with Retra Flash Pro Max strobes and three of the best water-contact optics available: the venerable Nikonos RS 13mm, the Nauticam WACP-1, and the Nauticam EMWL.

A speedy Caribbean reef shark, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

A Caribbean spiny lobster feeling the world with its antennae, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Floating in space between continental plates in Silfra Fissure, Iceland

Photographed using a long expsosure really emphasizes just how speedy these sea lions are, Wolf Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Schooling yellowtail surgeonfish in the surf at Wolf Island, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

A school of snappers pass over a huge anemone and its accompanying anemonefish, Maldives

Two different moray species share space under the dive boat, Maldives

A classic scene in the Egyptian Red Sea: a liveaboard at sunset over a shallow reef

A beautiful hawksbill turtle flying underwater beneath the desert sun, Red Sea, Egypt

A pinkeye goby photographed under fluorescent light, Indonesia

To see more of Mehmet's work, please find him on Instagram and Flickr.


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