Manta ray, Big Island, Hawaii
Simone Matucci is a scuba instructor from Florence, who is the latest in a long line of talented Italian divers to be included in our underwater Photographer of the Week feature. Being landlocked during his childhood meant that Simone didn’t get certified until he was 20 years old, when he moved to Spain, but he immediately fell in love with the underwater world, and it wasn’t long before he was traveling the globe and sharing his passion with others. He spent years working as a dive instructor in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand, before eventually settling for good on the Big Island in Hawaii.
Like many divers starting out in marine photography, his first underwater camera was a small compact. He used it to its full potential, winning the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 compact category with an epic shot of humpback whales in Tonga. He has since moved on and purchased a full-frame DSLR camera with multiple lenses.
He divides his time between looking for pelagic species in the blue and diving at night in search of critters on Hawaii’s famous blackwater dives. As you can see, his portfolio contains images from both activities and features giant whales, sharks and rays alongside alien-like macro critters from the abyss. Simone admits that both kinds of photography excite him in equal measure, because you never know what you will find in the open ocean during the day or at night! He also shoots landscape images above the surface, and includes a couple of excellent slow shutter images to complete the collection.
Sharpear enope squid on a blackwater dive, Kona, Hawaii
Great white sharks, Guadalupe Island, Mexico
Trembling nudibranch double exposure, Indonesia
Humpback whales at the surface, Tonga
Sunset in Kona, Hawaii
Sperm whales, Pacific Ocean
Cask eel on a blackwater dive, Kona, Hawaii
Oceanic whitetip long exposure, Hawaii
Snooted frogfish, Big Island, Hawaii
Bottlenose dolphin, Hawaii
Snooted golden lace nudibranch, Hawaii
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