Pygmy seahorse at Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, IndonesiaEquipment: Olympus E-3, Ikelite Housing, Sigma 105mm Macro lens, Inon Z-240 Strobes. Settings: f/14 @ 1/125, ISO 100
Underwater photographer Alvin Ho lives in Singapore and has been diving since 1998. In 2004, he bought his first underwater camera setup. Eager to share his underwater experiences with family and friends, Alvin’s passion for underwater photography was born. He’s been perfecting his craft ever since.
Sport Diver: What camera setup do you use?
Alvin Ho: At the moment, I’m using a Canon 50D DSLR in an Anthis Nexus housing with various lens. For lights I use Inon Z-240 strobes.
Sport Diver: Do you prefer macro or wide-angle?
AH: I prefer macro for the variety of critters that you can see on every dive as well as the many ways you can shoot a subject. Wide-angle opportunities are in general more fleeting and not as plentiful in the region where I live.
Sport Diver: Do you have a favourite moment underwater that you can tell us about?
AH: One of my all-time favourite moments underwater happened in 2010 on my first and thus far only trip to Palau. We did a dusk dive in German Channel where the guide briefed the group about the resident manta rays that congregate there to feed. It was a magical, hour-long dive where we shared the sea with about five to 10 manta rays who cruised by, did barrel rolls and was graceful as can be. We all surfaced from the dive hooting and with wide grins on our faces. It was so good that we did two dusk dives in the subsequent days of the trip. The subsequent dives never did match the magic of that first dive.
Sport Diver: Do you have a favourite animal that you like to photograph?
AH: My favourite animal/critter is the diminutive pygmy seahorse. I hope to photograph all the newly discovered species of pygmy seahorses soon!
Sport Diver: Why did you choose the photos in this gallery?
AH: I chose a variety of critters I’ve shot at different locations over the years. Some were difficult shots, some were lucky shots and some were because I was at the right place at the right time.
Sport Diver: Were any of the photos in the gallery especially hard to shoot?
AH: The Xenia coral shrimp is quite a challenging subject to shoot as they constantly move about the pulsating opening and closing of the xenia coral. It is not only difficult to frame through the viewfinder; the camera’s auto focus struggles to keep the shrimp in focus!
Sport Diver: What advice do you have for beginning underwater photographers?
AH: Dive and shoot as often as you can (practice makes perfect). Pick the brains of accomplished photographers. There are many good ones around who are more than happy to help you out with your pictures. Read dive magazines or look at what other photographers are shooting — their pictures may give you a fresh idea or even a new technique to try out.
Sport Diver: Where are you going next?
AH: I’m going to Lembeh Strait in December for a Photo Shootout followed by my first trip to Raja Ampat.