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DPG’s 10 Top Feature Stories of 2016
By DPG Editorial Staff, December 31, 2016 @ 04:00 AM (EST)

They say nostalgia isn't what is used to be… but as another year draws to a close, we just can’t help ourselves as we think back on all the fabulous feature stories that have appeared in the pages of DPG over the last 12 months.

Choosing a mere 10 articles to represent our spectacular year of underwater imaging is no easy task, so we’ve not only gone with a selection of our favorites, but also showcased the diversity of the work shared by DPG contributors and editors. 

So here they are: our editor’s picks for “DPG’s 10 Top Feature Stories of 2016.” And don’t be too melancholic; we’ve got many more awesome articles on the horizon in 2017!


1. Photographing Polar Bears with Amos Nachoum

By Joseph Tepper

If there’s one photographer whose name is synonymous with “big animals,” it’s Amos Nachoum. From anacondas to orcas, there isn’t much that has escaped the lens of this intrepid shooter. One subject, however, proved tricky even for this veteran wildlife photographer: swimming polar bears. More than a decade after first trying it—and almost getting into trouble in the process—Amos finally nails it. Read the full story



2. Mastering Color in Underwater Photography

By Alex Mustard

If you want to master color, why not learn from the master himself? In this introductory article—illustrated with the expected inspiring images—Alex Mustard explains the ins and outs of getting color back into your underwater images. Discover how using filters effectively and why properly controlling your strobes are key to making your images “pop” like never before. Read the full story



3. Cageless: Diving with South Africa’s Great Whites

By Daniel Botelho

For many of us, it would be a dream to experience the thrill of cage diving with great whites, but being out of the cage with the ocean’s ultimate predator? That might be more like a nightmare. Not so for pro shooter Daniel Botelho, who has made a name for himself photographing the big stuff. Daniel doesn’t do it for the adrenaline rush, though; he aims to show through his images that great whites are no crazed man-eaters but “shy” and “complex” animals. Read the full story



4. Freediving with Blue Whales and Sperm Whales in Sri Lanka

By Ian Bongso-Seldrup

Alex Roubaud and Alex Voyer enjoy a level of intimacy in their underwater encounters that can only come with ditching the tank, but even for these adventurous freedivers, swimming with a blue whale was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. Find out how they got incredible pictures of their interactions with the largest animal known to have ever existed. Read the full story



5. Finding Art at Stingray City

By Susannah H. Snowden-Smith

As the tourist hordes prove on a daily basis, Grand Cayman’s Stingray Sandbar is about as close as you get to an aquarium without the glass walls. But it’s also the perfect studio for the underwater photographer to experiment with different kinds of gear, technique, and lighting. Susannah Snowden-Smith goes to town in Stingray City and returns with images good enough to hang on your wall. Read the full story



6. A Beginner’s Guide to Underwater Portrait Photography

By Jenna Martin

A good photographic portrait is a pretty straightforward affair, but take your model underwater, and you have a wholly different set of challenges on your hands. Jenna Martin can’t promise you instant success, but she has lots of great advice to share that will give a head start to anyone who wants to try their hand at this specialized kind of underwater photography. Read the full story



7. Fine Art Black and White Underwater Photography

By Christian Vizl

Marveling at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams in his youth, Christian Vizl has always had a passion for the “elegant and evocative mood” that only black and white imagery can portray. And just as in those masters’ street and landscape photography, Christian’s underwater photography has managed to articulate a powerfully artistic expression of a world full of color and life. Read the full story



8. Shooting GoPro Wide-Angle Video in Raja Ampat

By Hergen Spalink

Inspired by DPG’s hugely popular Underwater Photographer’s Guide to GoPro, Hergen Spalink set sail for Indonesia’s beautiful Raja Ampat region armed not with his trusty DSLR, but his Hero 4 Silver and a bunch of crucial accessories. Here, Hergen shares the stunning footage that resulted from his “experimentation” and all his tips and tricks for getting the best out of everyone’s favorite action cam. Read the full story



9. Decisive Moments: Photographing the Sperm Whales of the Azores

By Wade Hughes

Having completed no fewer than nine expeditions to Portugal’s far-flung volcanic outpost, the Azores, underwater photographers Wade and Robyn Hughes have developed an impressive understanding of one of its most magnificent marine visitors—sperm whales. Their efforts are reflected in this fascinating account of their encounters and the impactful pictures they brought back. Read the full story



10. Avoiding Manipulation in Macro Underwater Photography

By Daniel Geary

The smallest marine critters aren’t just easy prey for the bigger fish; they’re also getting pushed around—quite literally—by some of the humans who come to take their picture. But it doesn’t have to be this way: As marine biologist Daniel Geary suggests, with a little ingenuity and application of technique, these little beauties can make amazing subjects—without being manhandled. Read the full story in Part 1 and Part 2.






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