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Photographer of the Week – Luis Fillipe Couto
By Matthew Sullivan, May 18, 2023 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

One of the ocean’s coolest critters, the aptly named flamboyant cuttlefish, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

Brazilian shooter Luis Fillipe Couto began his photography and scuba diving journey in tandem back in 2014. The camera that kick-started his love of underwater imaging? A borrowed GoPro HERO3, which he used to record dives on his honeymoon!

As many photographers who begin shooting with a GoPro can appreciate, Luis soon noticed the limitations of that camera. It was a passion for nudibranchs and wanting to capture them in all their glory that was the biggest impetus to start researching underwater photography basics and techniques—especially macro. It took a few years for Luis to save up for a “real” camera, but thanks to some generous friends, he was able to borrow a rig from time to time to practice his skills. 

The pandemic gave Luis the opportunity to hone his topside skills with birds and small subjects around his home while unable to travel and dive. Finally, at the beginning of 2022, he was able to buy a housing for his camera, which also coincided with a relocation to South Florida. While he was able to do several dives locally at the famous Blue Heron Bridge, it was finally in February 2023 that he was able to visit Raja Ampat and Lembeh Strait. Over the course of a few dozen dives, Luis produced some fantastic macro images that we are featuring in this portfolio. Considering Luis is so new to underwater photography, the quality of photographs is quite remarkable!

Luis stresses his passion for shooting underwater is still growing and that while he has a lot to learn, he looks forward to continuing to improve his pictures. Without doubt, South Florida is a perfect place to pursue his photography journey.
 

Thorny seahorse photographed with backlight, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

Pink phase Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

Yellow phase Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A Mexichromis multituberculata meandering over the muck in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A stunning narrowbar reefgoby photographed in the black sand of the Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A pair of Shawn the Sheep nudibranchs having a meeting of the minds, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A painted frogfish gone fishin’, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A spinecheek anemonefish peering out of its anemone home, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
 

A pair of lemon gobies grumpily staring at the camera from inside an old shell, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A wonderpus moving over the rubbly bottom, Indonesia
 

A soft coral goby on colorful soft coral, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

Bobbit worm: Not all critters are cute and cuddly! Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

The non-yellow morph Pikachu nudibranch, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
 

A diminutive bumblebee shrimp crawling among the spines of an urchin, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
 

To view more of Luis’ beautiful macro work, check out his Instagram page.

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