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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Simon Biddie
By Matthew Sullivan, July 20, 2023 @ 03:00 AM (EST)

A huge male California sea lion bursts through a baitball while others lounge on the surface, Baja California, Mexico

Some photographers (including yours truly) take a very long time to figure out how to make appealing wildlife pictures. Then you have some individuals, like this week’s Photographer of the Week, who figure it out seemingly in no time! Simon Biddie has been a diver for decades but only last year, in 2022, did he merge his loves of diving and photography, and begin shooting underwater. That makes his portfolio here all the more impressive, as he has some truly world-class images. 

Simon hails from and currently lives in Scotland, but he grew up in the subtropical climate of Thailand, where he learned to dive as a teenager. His diving adventures have also taken him to Aruba, Mauritius, and Mexico. Despite living in the UK for most of his life, he only recently braved his cold local waters and learned to dive in a drysuit.

Simon first picked up photography as a teenager, favoring abstract and fine art style imagery. That changed in 2018 when he devoted himself to wildlife photography before transitioning to underwater photography four years later. Simon says this late adoption of underwater image-making was due largely to only diving sporadically in recent years. His preference is generally for big animals using wide-angle lenses and that is apparent here. 

Despite being new to the underwater photography game, Simon is already making an impact and has had pictures awarded in the Environmental Photography Awards, Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day, WildArt Photographer of the Year, BioPhoto Contest, and Oasis Photo Contest.

While not traveling and honing his interest in underwater and wildlife photography, Simon works as a doctor in intensive care, and a molecular genetics researcher. As someone who thrives on technical challenges, Simon aims to continue developing his craft and has plans for many future diving trips, both warm water and cold, in search of the countless wonders of the underwater world.

Brown pelicans fighting over potential food scraps, Baja California, Mexico

A striped marlin hunting down a baitball, Baja California, Mexico

An olive ridley turtle cruising through the impossibly blue water off Baja California, Mexico

Baitfish swirl around a snapper as it no doubt looks for a potential weak individual to target, Baja California, Mexico

California sea lions frolic below a huge baitball, Baja California, Mexico

Two small fish inspect a large floating egg mass, Baja California, Mexico

Mobula rays, a close relative of the manta, on the hunt, Baja California, Mexico

Gorgeous coral and seafan growth on a wall just below the surface, Baja California, Mexico

Sometimes sea lions get a bit too curious! This young California sea lion is tasting Simon’s dome port, Baja California, Mexico

Underwater photographer Henley Spiers frees an olive ridley turtle from a buoy rope, Baja California, Mexico

Ghostly mobula rays cutting through the night, Baja California, Mexico

To keep up with Simon and to see more of his award-winning work, please visit his website, www.simonbiddie.com or follow his Instagram page.


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