Underwater photographer Khaled El Seweify will be showcasing his work during RAW Artists Montreal showcase on Tuesday December 10th. After being retired he decided to pursue his passion for the underwater world and photography. With his work he’s raising more awareness for our fragile planet. You can find more information on Holiday RAWk here: https://rawartists.com/montreal/holidayrawk2019
What led you to become an underwater photographer?
Funny you ask. I had been diving since 1979 and was starting to find it “boring”, yes, it is an amazing sport and fantastic things to see but it started to feel “routine”. All this changed when a good friend and I went on a dive vacation in 2006 to Red Sea, Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai, Egypt. He was, and still is, an avid shooter of video and stills underwater. Back then you only had a choice of shooting video or still but not both at the same time. On the very first dive he decided to shoot video and said “here take my camera to shoot pictures”. That is when my eyes opened to the amazing world of marine life, photography, and beauty underwater. When I went back home I immediately bought my first rig and have not looked back.
What are some of the challenges of underwater photography?
Ask any photographer and I would bet most if not all will answer “lighting” or “white balance”. As you may know, as we descend, we start to lose light AND colour in the spectrum starting with yellows and reds. That is why when you see pictures on the web, so often, they will have a blue or green tint, depending on the water. Lighting your scene is key, that takes proper equipment and placement. Similar to picture taking on land. But then there is another problem, backscatter, this is where light is reflected of suspended particles in the water between camera and subject. To be honest, I also find being patient and learning about marine life so that I can capture that “moment in Dive”.
Is there a place you dream of shooting that you haven’t already visited? If so where?
On my Bucket List, I would love to go back to the Far East. I have been to a couple of spots but that was very early in my shooting life. I would dream about going Raja Ampat, Komodo, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Bali, and more. One area that is still very special in my heart is Sharm el Shiekh, Red Sea.
What do you have planned for the RAW Artists Montreal showcase on Tuesday December 10th?
First of all thank you for the opportunity to showcase my art. I hope to bring some of my images that I find special, even form my early days. I will be bringing printed still images on different media and will also have a slide show with some other pics. Also, I will bring my gear to show what it takes to capture images underwater.
Artist profile: https://rawartists.com/khaledelseweify