Underwater Photographer's Guild

A space for underwater photographers to exhibit and share their best works

Underwater Profile: Stephen Colquitt

Stephen Colquitt Stephen Colquitt 228 posts

1. How long have you been doing underwater photography?

I have been doing underwater photography as a hobby for about 5 years now. I have always had an interest in photography since I was young, but unfortunately limited funds kept me out of the game for a long time. I was lucky that a friend loaned me an old underwater (Nikonos V) for a little while. After that I was hooked. I just wish I had more time to spend doing it.

2. Tell us a little about why you took up underwater photography?

I have been SCUBA diving since I was 14 (so thats about 17 years). I have always have a fascination with underwater life and spent a lot of time snorkelling, spear fishing, and diving for crayfish when I was at university. My murderous ways have abated in the past 10 years and now I only tend to hunt underwater creatures to capture images of them and show people about the wonderful marine life that exists around the world. I love travelling too and underwater photography tends to take me to wonderful places.

3. What equipment do you use?

I currently use a Nikon D200 DSLR, in an aquatica housing. I also use Sea and Sea YS110 strobes.

4. What is your favourite underwater image that you have taken and why?


It took me 14 dives in Raja Ampat to find a pygmy seahorse. When I did finally find one ended up being one of the most difficult technical photographic challenges I have ever come across. Deep water (30m) and difficult boyancy, and it was so small (seahorse was only about 10-15mm long)

5. What is your favourite subject to take photos of?

I love both big and small things. Once upon a time I would have said nudibranchs, but I really enjoyed taking pictures of the giant potato cod on the Great Barrier Reef.

It reminded me of the family labrador.

6. What is your favourite image (taken by another photographer) in the Underwater Photographer’s Guild at the moment and why?

Its very difficult (most of the featured pieces are right up there) by today it is terrific ghost pipefish shot taken by Carlos Viloch. I would love to try and emulate it one day.

7. Are there any famous underwater photographers that inspire you?

I really enjoy the works of David Doubilet in his books and also in National Geographic. I also enjoy Roger Steene’s photography and I am amazed by the works being produced by young up and coming photographer Justin Gilligan.

8. What is the funniest thing you have seen underwater?

So many things, but nacosis has a certain way of altering ones reality. I do remember a certain cross dressing episode off Airlie Beach in queensland that involved a man swimming around in an overly tight pink lycra body suit. It made me shake my head.

9. What three underwater photography locations are on your must do list?

Fiji for soft corals
Galapagos Islands for the big stuff
Truk Lagoon to see some wrecks

10. Do you have any advice for people wanting to take underwater photos?

Be kind to the reef. Make sure you learn good boyancy control before you start taking photos and dont hassle out your subjects too much. Learn about marine life so you can understand where you might find cool stuff and what it might be doing, and also never let your safety guard down. There will always be other opportunities to ake that kick ass photo some other time.

Erik Schlogl Erik Schlogl 94 posts

Certainly would agree with a lot of what you’ve said, Steve, especially #10. Fiji is great for soft corals, especially the Somosomo Strait. I’ve done it once and would love to go back.

BTW, very nice layout!

Stephen Colquitt Stephen Colquitt 228 posts

Im getting married in March 2010. Trying to convince her that we need to go to Fiji on Honeymoon.

digitalimages digitalimages 1 post

Nice profile Steve and thanks for pointing out good diving etiquette – we’re in their world and that has got to be respected at all times.
Congrats on your impending wedding too!

Jason Ruth Jason Ruth 10 posts

Steve that is very well put together, well done.
Agree with your dive etiquette too. One thing I will add that can be very helpfull and that is a good dive buddy. I know at times with my wife and I that we sometimes play dive model, spotter/finder and photographer, with the roles constantly changing between us. I have finally got her to start posting onto RB, her profile being BlueAndBeyond
If your wife-to-be doesn’t dive it may be a good idea to change that ;-)
Great shot of Hippocampus Bargibanti, so hard to find (I have yet to see one for real so I say they don’t exist) and first time I have seen an image of one yellow.
Congratulations on the upcoming wedding.

aabzimaging aabzimaging 27 posts

Interesting read and the sea horse is a fantastic image!

Amanda Cotton Amanda Cotton 16 posts

Great post Stephen. I completely agree with number 9.

Mark Elshout Mark Elshout 10 posts

Nice blog there Stephen. I stumbled upon a portfolio of images from the Cocos Islands (2000 km west of Perth) the other day and have added that to my must visit dive sites. I also saw a portfolio in crystal clear water from a place near Venezuela that looks incredible impressive. So many places….so little time. (and money!). Thanks for your sharing. I enjoyed your whole portfolio.

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