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Photographer of the Week – Thien Nguyen
By Matthew Sullivan, March 21, 2024 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

A young sperm whale calf nurses from its mother at the surface, East Africa

Ocean leviathans are often much sought-after photographic subjects. DPG Photographer of the Week Thien Nguyen not only photographs the largest of ocean beings, but he provides scale and context by including freedivers in many of his images—intimate moments shared between human beings and marine megafauna. Thien is a Vietnam-based shooter, but his adventures have brought him all over the world photographing marine life, almost strictly while freediving.

You wouldn’t know it, considering the staggering amount of awards and accolades Thien’s imagery has garnered, but his photography journey began relatively recently, in 2017. If there is a competition or publication out there, chances are you will find Thien’s images featured; everything from the Siena Awards and Ocean Geographic Photographer of the Year to National Geographic and the BBC.

A glance through Thien’s portfolio here reveals impressive skill at not only capturing beautiful moments, but a fantastic understanding of natural light and how to best use it to create compelling pictures. From freedivers beneath airplanes, to beautiful reef scenes, to split shots, to beautiful sperm whale family portaits, Thien’s imagery is a pleasure to behold.

A freediver cruises over the sand with a green sea turtle, Vietnam

A porcupinefish inspecting a discared plastic cup, Nam Du Island, Vietnam

Two sperm whales snooze in the sun rays, East Africa

Just offshore a tropical rainforest, a green sea turtle surfaces for a breath, Vietnam

A sperm whale family share some social time together, East Africa

A freediver and a plane! Con Dao National Park, Vietnam

A sea star stands out in a beautiful coral garden, Hon Yen, Vietnam

A freediver amongst giants: Sperm whales off the coast of East Africa

A freediver swims alongside the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark, Maldives

A pod of spinner dolphins galavanting far out into the Indian Ocean

A model poses in shallow, healthy mangroves in Con Dao National Park, Vietnam

A humpback mother and calf swim together off the coast of East Africa

A dance in the deep between a sperm whale and a freediver, Indian Ocean

To see more of Thien’s award-winning work, please give him a follow on Instagram and visit his website, www.thiennguyenimages.com.


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