Bottlenose dolphins fly by in the blue at Darwin’s Arch in the Galápagos
The Galápagos Islands in Ecuador are world famous thanks to Charles Darwin and his legendary trip to the islands on board the HMS Beagle in 1835. The diversity of life and the large number of endemic species of birds and other animals he discovered eventually led to his theory of evolution, and supplied the content for his groundbreaking book, The Origin of the Species. Besides providing the foundation for much of what we understand about the natural world today, the Galápagos Islands are also regarded as one of the world’s best dive destinations, and the variety of life below the surface offers underwater photographers the opportunity to capture unique images of marine iguanas, sea lions, sea turtles, and hundreds upon hundreds of sharks.
Despite the abundance of marine life at every dive site, shooting underwater in the Galápagos provides a stern test of one’s diving and photography skills. Strong to ripping currents are common, and you must also be comfortable swimming out into the blue if you really want to get among the best of the action and immerse yourself in giant schools of fish and hammerhead sharks. The plankton and cold water upwellings that make the region so productive also reduce visibility considerably, making wide-angle work even more challenging and correct strobe positioning essential.
Those who have visited the islands will understand perfectly how difficult it is to put together a decent collection of images on a trip to the Galápagos, which makes our latest Destination Portfolio by Fabrice Dudenhofer all the more impressive. As you can see, Fabrice has managed to capture some amazing shots of the region’s most iconic marine life, and the fact that you cannot really tell he is shooting in difficult conditions is perhaps his biggest achievement. Feast your eyes on just a fraction of what the Galápagos Islands have to offer, and book your once-in-a-lifetime trip to follow in Darwin’s—and Fabrice’s—footsteps.
Yellowtail surgeonfish are found in large numbers feeding from rocks and the reef
A pair of green sea turtles dance in deep water
Galápagos sharks school in large numbers alongside scalloped hammerheads
A curious sea lion hiding below a rocky outcrop poses for the camera
Mola molas can be found in the cold, deep water at Punta Vicente Roca in Islabella
Starfish motion blur
The colorful Mexican hogfish is a common sighting on most Galápagos dive sites
A booby looks down at the divers below
A portrait of a green sea turtle
The famous schooling hammerhead sharks below Darwin’s Arch
Up close and personal with a big Galápagos shark at Wolf Island
The endemic marine iguana feeding on algae underwater
Giant eagle rays patrol the reef looking for prey among the rocks
An artistic angle of a Galápagos green turtle
Sea lions move fast and play with divers at numerous dive sites in the region
A perfectly lit scalloped hammerhead stands out from the rest of the group
A bright pink scorpionfish
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