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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Sylvie Ayer
By Matthew Sullivan, November 2, 2023 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

A marine iguana feasting on algae in the shallows, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

This week’s Photographer of the Week column features the spectacular work of Swiss shooter Sylvie Ayer. Looking at the quality of her images, you could be forgiven for thinking that she is a longtime underwater photographer. Sylvie says she has been passionate about the splendor of “the world of silence” since her adolesence. She started to dive in 1999 and became a PADI instructor in 2011, but only started making underwater pictures two years later. In the relatively short amount of time since, she has produced some world-class images, many of which have been awarded in various prestigious photographic competitions. Her manatee image featured here has become especially well known. 

A glance through Sylvie’s portfolio shows how well traveled she has been in the decade she has been shooting underwater. The list of locations includes popular spots such as the Galápagos Islands, The Bahamas, and Indonesia, alongside less-common destinations like Costa Rica, Sudan, and Mozambique.

Sylvie’s goal is not only to capture magical memories and express her emotions through photography, but to allow others to discover the richness of the underwater realm through her images—in the hope that people will become more aware of the urgent need to protect the ocean and the life within.

A bull shark “smiling” for the camera off Mozambique

A beautiful window in the reef, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The psychedelic patterns and colors of the juvenile emperor angelfish, Komodo, Indonesia

A head-on portrait of a longhorn cowfish from Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

A moody, fine art-esque image of a Napoleon wrasse, Palau

Bull sharks criss-crossing in the blue waters off Mozambique

A Florida manatee portrait bathed in spectacular light, Florida, USA

The less commonly seen Denise pygmy seahorse, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The famous manta train in the Maldives

A manta performs a barrel roll at the surface, Maldives

Silhouette of a California sea lion and a stand of kelp, Los Cedros, Mexico

A dugong, the bigger, rarer relative of the much loved manatee, Red Sea, Egypt

An unfortunate anemone shrimp sporting a parasite underneath its carapace, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Making its home on a deadly fire urchin, this zebra crab gets a free ride on its toxic buddy, Komodo, Indonesia

Check out more of Sylvie’s beautiful work on her website, www.sylvieayer.com, and give her a follow on Instagram.


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