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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Yatwai So
By Daniel Norwood, April 2, 2020 @ 10:00 AM (EST)

Juvenile sweetlips, Anilao, Philippines

Search online for this week’s featured underwater photographer, super-macro shooter Yatwai So, and you’ll see he keeps a low profile, but one thing you are sure to find are some of his impressive underwater images—inevitably featured among the winners of one prestigious underwater photography contest or another.

While Yatwai hails from Hong Kong, he dives almost exclusively in Southeast Asia at some of the region’s most well-known dive hotspots. He is a familiar face at resorts in the Philippines and Indonesia, locations famous for their diversity and world-class muck diving, and is a regular in Anilao, where he and his dive buddies specialize in macro photography and black-water diving.

Slow-paced critter hunting is perfectly suited to Yatwai’s style of photography, as many of the most popular macro subjects stay in the same area for days, allowing for repeat visits and plenty of time to experiment with new equipment and creative techniques. He has also been taking part in black-water night dives for years, before they became popular worldwide, and was one of the first photographers to enter these kinds of images into underwater photography competitions. His most recent victory was Gold in the toughly contested Macro Traditional category of this year’s DPG/Wetpixel Masters Underwater Imaging Competition.

Like many aspiring underwater shooters, Yatwai admits to studying the work of other pros and experimenting with similar techniques and ideas, and he clearly spends a lot of time thinking about the kind of images he wants to capture before entering the water. His portfolio is a great example of what can be achieved when you have a plan and the skills to execute it.

Diamond squid, Anilao, Philippines

Bubble shell sea slug, Anilao, Philippines

Peacock mantis shrimp, Anilao, Philippines

Jelly nose with jewelry, Anilao, Philippines

Larval glass eel, Anilao, Philippines

Needle shrimp double exposure, Anilao, Philippines

Hunting nudibranch, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

Crinoid shrimp, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

Porcelain crab in soft coral, Puerto Galera, Philippines

Tunicate amphipod, Anilao, Philippines

Porcelain crab, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

Snake blenny with parasite, Anilao, Philippines

An amphipod hitches a ride on a mollusc, Anilao, Philippines

Yatwai So and pooch

For more of Yatwai’s stunning macro and super-macro work, check him out on Instagram and Facebook.


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