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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Montgomery Gilchrist
By Matthew Sullivan, June 13, 2024 @ 07:00 AM (EST)

How a coral reef should look, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Without question, lots of different hobbies were picked up during the COVID period. New DPG Photographer of the Week Montgomery Gilchrist picked up underwater photography! Montgomery began his underwater photography journey in his local waters around Southern California, a fantastic place to hone photographic chops. From the kelp forests of the Channel Islands, to the sharks and molas far offshore in blue water, to the famous life-encrusted oil rigs, the diving in the region can be truly spectacular.

Montgomery says his motivation to begin shooting underwater was to “reveal the unseen world beneath the surface to people unfamiliar with underwater ecosystems and landscapes.” It is no surprise then that his portfolio here features images that show large swaths of habitats and ecosystems. While he still shoots most often close to home, he has also traveled to far-flung destinations like Anilao in the Philippines, Raja Ampat in Indonesia, and even northern Scotland.

Montgomery’s weapon of choice underwater is a Sony a7R III and considering the subject matter he most enjoys shooting, it will come as no surprise that his favorite lens is the Canon 8–15mm fisheye. He admits that he does dabble in macro but that the Sony 50mm macro is largely an exercise in frustration, so it gets far less use than his fisheye! With Montgomery having really just begun his underwater photography journey, he will no doubt be producing many more fantastic images in the coming years. We are already looking forward to seeing what he’ll do!

Stands of ethereal kelp bend in the chilly waters of Cairns of Coll, Scotland

Highly venomous but very docile, a Chinese sea snake, Manuk Island, Indonesia

The oil rigs of southern California are covered head to toe in marine life, California, USA

Up close and personal with coral polyps, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

A large tube anemone bent over in the current while a school of herring passes overhead, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

An stand of beautiful red whip coral with a triggerfish background, Koon Island, Indonesia

A swirl of life: Striped catfish and fusiliers dance in the currents, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Glass minnows swarm around a beautiful soft coral, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

A barracuda tornado, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

A shy longnose hawkfish shelters in a sea fan, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

A stunningly healthy patch of coral reef, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

A school of glassfish huddle around a coral outcrop, Raja Ampat, Indonesia



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