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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Melanie White
By Daniel Norwood, December 12, 2019 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

Ornate ghost pipefish, Sangeang, Komodo, Indonesia

Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, I tire of the continuous propaganda and irrelevant information that populates my news feed on a daily basis, but on the other, it’s a great way to keep in touch with family and friends around the world and view interesting photographs and videos. From a photo editor’s perspective, it is also an excellent place to find new talent, and that is exactly how I discovered the work of this week’s featured photographer, Melanie White.

Friend and fellow DPG contributor Francesca Diaco had just returned from leading a photography workshop in Komodo, and while posting some of the images taken by her group, a couple of excellent shark and manta shots caught my eye. This soon led me to Melanie’s own Facebook page, where I found lots of other excellent underwater photos and soon had the next candidate for our weekly feature. After reaching out to see if she would be interested in taking part, I was surprised to discover Mel had only been diving since 2016 and didn’t start taking underwater photographs until a year later.

I’m sure you will agree when looking at her portfolio below, she has made some impressive progress in just two years, and joining dedicated underwater photography workshops has undoubtedly played a part. She dives a lot, too, and has visited some amazing destinations this year including Komodo, Raja Ampat and French Polynesia. When she is not traveling around the world with her underwater rig, Mel works with some very different tools, and owns her own dental practice in Evansville, Wisconsin.

While she might be an experienced dentist, Mel still considers herself in the early stages of learning to shoot underwater—but looking at the images below you would never guess. She already has a decent collection of both wide-angle and macro images, and I am sure in the future, there will be plenty more to come.

Pygmy seahorse, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

Porcelain crab, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Peacock mantis shrimp, Mafia Island, Tanzania, Africa

Network pipefish, Lembeh, Indonesia

Squid, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Emporer shrimp on Tryon’s Risbecia, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

Seascape, Gili Banta, Komodo, Indonesia

Table coral with ternate chromis, Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo, Indonesia

Manta ray, Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo, Indonesia

Gray reef shark and crescent-tail bigeyes, Toau, French Polynesia

Mandarinfish, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Bridled burrfish and arrow crab, Little Cayman

Melanie in her element

For more of Melanie’s fantastic work, follow her exploits on Facebook.


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