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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Derek Singer
By Matthew Sullivan, March 2, 2023 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

Normally chimaeras are restricted to waters beyond diving depth, but at several sites in Puget Sound, they can be found in shallow water, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

Despite growing up in the diving mecca of South Florida and spending many vacations snorkeling in the Caribbean, our latest Photographer of the Week did not learn how to dive until moving to the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest. Derek Singer was inspired to become a diver by an image of a giant Pacific octopus in Charles Seaborn’s book, Underwater Photography. If ever there was an animal to motivate one to become a diver, the giant Pacific octopus is a great one! Immediately after completing his open water classes, Derek began taking his little Sony point-and-shoot on his dives.

While he has had the privilege of diving all over the world, Derek says he is thankful to live in an area with as much great diving as can be found in the waters around Seattle. His portfolio here is largely focused on the marine life found in Puget Sound. Over the years, Derek has been able to spend countless hours over hundreds of dives building his lighting technique and composition skills in Puget Sound. He has rather a unique image style, and it is quite recognizable: Just take a cruise through his Instagram page and you’ll quickly notice. He particularly likes the challenge of finding and highlighting vibrant colors in Puget Sound’s mucky dive sites. While the area isn’t known for color, the animals themselves can be stunningly beautiful.

Derek credits several trips with Richard Salas as being the catalyst to really change his approach when it comes to underwater image-making. He learned to take his time with a subject, focus on interesting ideas, and really hone in on making that idea happen, as opposed to flying from subject to subject just taking documentary images. The results speak for themselves.

The colors and textures of a giant Pacific octopus, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

Grunt sculpin, one of the Pacific Northwest’s iconic macro subjects, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

The stunning eye of a red Irish lord, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

A female giant Pacific octopus guarding the next generation, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

One of the most sought after critters in the Pacific Northwest, the spiny lumpsucker, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

Eye detail of a Pacific red octopus, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

Giant basket star, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

The characterful face and hairdo of a mosshead warbonnet, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

Striped snailfish resting in a discarded glass bottle, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

The iridescent eye of a stubby squid, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

An icon of the Pacific Northwest, the wolf eel, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

Pacific spiny lumpsucker, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

A stunning scenic view in the Pacific Northwest, Puget Sound, Washington, USA

A tropical image for good measure! Manta ray at night, Hawaii, USA

To see more of Derek’s unique imagery from the Pacific Northwest, check out his Instagram page or his website, derekcs.darkroom.com.


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