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DPG’s 10 Top Feature Stories of 2023
By Matthew Sullivan, December 24, 2023 @ 12:00 PM (EST)


As we wrap up the year, and before jumping into new and exciting underwater adventures in 2024, it is the perfect opportunity to look back at some of the highlights from the past 12 months. You all made DPG content possible with your fantastic contributions and it is time to reflect on them.

This year’s top 10 features showcases everything from sharks to whales to seadragons. Take a look back at some of the best articles of the year and perhaps one or two you missed the first time around.

 

1. Entering the Dragon’s Den: The Weedy Seadragons of Flinders Pier

By Sam Glenn-Smith

Beneath the famous Flinders Pier, one of Australia's most iconic animals, the weedy seadragon, lives in relative abundance. Flinders is known for being perhaps the best spot in the world to see these most fantastical members of the seahorse family. Weedies are an incredibly photogenic subject and Sam Glenn-Smith tells us what it is like to dive with them, sharing a few tips on making the most of your weedy seadragon encounters.
 

 

 

2. The Southern Right Whales of Patagonia

By Julian Gunther

In the waters of Patagonia, snorkelers can come face to face with the charismatic and rare southern right whale. Braving cold, nasty weather and often dark, murky water, intrepid photographers get a chance to engage with these magnificant animals on their terms. Julian Gunther leads trips to swim with and photograph southern right whales and here he provides a comprehensive overview of the experience.
 

 

 

3. Photographing One of the Ocean’s Biggest Great White Sharks

By Jeff Milisen

Great whites are impressive enough no matter their size. But Jeff Milisen was fortunate enough—depending on your perspective—to photograph some of the largest great whites sharks ever seen. A dead whale far offshore Hawaii drew in dozens of sharks, including three monstrous great whites. Most people wouldn't want to be in open water with huge apex predators sans cage, but Jeff got to come face to face, cage-free with these epic sharks and tells us the tale.
 

 

 

4. The Nauticam EMWL for “Bugeye” Photography

By Nicolas Remy

Arguably no underwater optic has had as much fanfare or intrigue as the Nauticam EMWL—at least not since the Nauticam WWL-1. The ultimate close-focus wide angle tool has boomed in popularity, and regular DPG contributor Nicolas Remy has put the lens to very good use, writing a series of articles with tips and tricks to get the most out of this unique contraption.
 

 

 

5. Blackwater Blankets

By Alex Tyrell

As blackwater photography has continued to grow a hard-core group of disciples, one subject often rises above the rest on the wishlists of many a blackwater diver: the blanket octopus. Anilao in the Philippines has become a go-to location for finding these elusive cephalopods. Alex Tyrell takes us into the deep to hunt for blanket octos and provides a photographic guide to successfully coming home with keeper images.
 

 

 

6. Photographing Porbeagle Sharks in France

By Josh Schellenburg

France doesn’t usually come to mind first and foremost as a dive destination. However, for shark enthuiasts, the country is actually one of the best places on Earth to swim with the “phantom of the North Atlantic”—the porbeagle. Nobody is entirely sure why the coast of Brittany is a hotspot for this species, but there is a theory it is a breeding or pupping ground. Check out Josh Schellenburg’s feature to learn all about these elusive sharks.
 

 

 

7. Thinking Small: Macro and Supermacro Spotting and Shooting

By Stephen Wolborsky

Creating successful macro images is more than just skill with a camera. You first must be able to find some subjects! A knowledge of your subject and its natural history can be invaluable for locating cool critters and coming home with great images. Stephen Wolborsky comes to the rescue with some tips and tricks on locating elusive macro critters and how best to photograph them once found.
 

 

 

8. Shooting Abstracts: Underwater Photography for Hipsters

By Sage Ono

Monterey Bay based shooter Sage Ono takes a unique approach to underwater photography. He turns even the most basic subjects into abstract works of art. Well-known underwater critters like Spanish shawls or stands of kelp are given a refreshing new take. Sage gives us his insight into how to approach subjects with an eye towards the abstract and diversifying your portfolio with some unusual pictures.
 

 

 

9. Photographing Mo'orea’s Humpback Whales

By Scott Roberts

Who doesn’t love whales? Each year off the coast of Mo'orea, an island in French Polynesia, humpback whales and their calves congregate in the shallows. The mothers come here to give birth and raise their young in the warm, safe inshore waters. In recent years, Mo'orea has become a popular destination to swim with these leviathans as they go about their daily business. Scott Roberts put together a terrific guide to the Mo'orea whale experience.
 

 

 

10. Angled Relay Lens for the Nauticam EMWL

By Nicolas Remy

Not satisfied to create a revolutionary optic, Nauticam is constantly innovating. They recently added another tool to the EMWL arsenal: the angled relay lens. This gadget makes it possible to achieve low angles more easily, so divers can get a real flamboyant cuttlefish’s eye perspective. Check out the latest installment in Nicolas Remy’s excellent EMWL series.
 

 

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