This week we interview Alan Lo, a well-known commercial photographer based in Hong Kong. A graduate of the Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, UK, Alan has a unique and creative style that has seen his photography grow to reach an international audience. We hear more of his story: 

What made you want to become an underwater photographer?

As a commercial photographer for over 20 years, I put my love of diving and photography together and kind of automatically became an underwater photographer.

Your first underwater shot?

It was my first liveaboard dive trip in Komodo, Indonesia. I had rented a pocket-sized digital camera to capture whatever I saw during my dives.

The octopus using a clam shell for protection

The octopus using a clam shell for protection

The story behind your most memorable underwater shot?

That was the behaviour shot of the coconut octopus carrying two pieces of clam shell for protection. The whole movement of the octopus just made me go “Wow!”, and I had to shoot it.

Where is your favourite dive destination?

The Galápagos: You may be able to catch a glimpse of a marine iguana, or spot some yellow-bellied sea snakes. It also hosts playful sea lions and dolphins with huge sea turtles gliding by with ease.

The site you’d most like to dive, but never have?

Grand Bahama, UNEXSO Shark Dive: The feeding dives remain wildly popular, with some people likening the enchanting shark movements to that of a ballet.

The weirdest thing you’ve seen underwater?

Sea snake mating. It was at a volcanic island known as Gunung Api in Indonesia which lies like a lone sentinel 200 nautical miles north of Alor in the Banda Sea. There is nothing quite like a dive at Gunung Api: From the moment you descend along anywhere on the island you immediately encounter one, two, three, five, and even 10 or more sea snakes. Unlike their land-based relatives, sea snakes are not overly aggressive.

What camera equipment are you currently using?

  • Canon EOS-5DS R
  • Canon EOS-7D Mark II
  • Seacam housings and Seacam 150D strobes

What is the highlight of your career?

Being selected by Blancpain Edition Fifty Fathoms 2015 in the 50 of the finest underwater photographers worldwide, and becoming a Seacam Photographer and a Member of the Ocean Artists Society.

 

A mandarinfish swims into view

A mandarinfish swims into view

…And the low point?

The only low point is that I never have enough time to go diving!

Is there any particular shot that you still want to get?

I always have the idea in my head to create a “wow-factor” image, mainly playing with different lighting.

A goby rests on whip coral

A goby rests on a whip coral

For more of Alan’s work, visit www.alanlo.com.hk.