A born creative, Erin Quigley was always meant to be in the spotlight. Long before becoming an underwater photographer, Erin began her career as a Tony-nominated costume designer working on Broadway and in Hollywood.
Her attention to detail designing costumes transitioned seamlessly into her career as a photographer and image-editing guru: Where other photographers might skim over a small flaw in an image, Erin makes sure every picture is presented perfectly. It’s that dedication that has helped create her success while competing for Tony and underwater photography awards alike.
Let her immaculate images draw you into the drama of the wilderness below the waves…
“In the eddy of a strong current, I was suddenly surrounded by a big school of freaked out baitfish. The next moment they scattered for just long enough to reveal their predators, a gang of fast-moving mobula rays, and in that moment I was able to fire off a few quick shots before the fish swirled back and surrounded me again” © Erin Quigley
Where: Raja Ampat, Indonesia
When: March 2016
Equipment: Canon EOS-1D X, Nauticam housing, 8-15mm fisheye lens, dual Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes
Settings: f/13, 1/160s, ISO 400
“I staked out a spot at the edge of this cleaning station and put my camera on motor drive, taking sequence after sequence of mantas as they swam towards me through a glittering school of small fish. In post, after looking through hundreds of face-on shots, it was the lone capture of a manta swimming away that caught my eye.” © Erin Quigley
Where: Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll
When: October 2010
Equipment: Nikon D300, Subal housing, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens, dual Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes
Settings: f/10, 1/250s, ISO 200
Kiss of Light
“This technique, made popular by the inspiring Dr Alex Mustard, requires long strobe arms extended all the way out on each side, with strobes pointed back at your face instead of at the subject. A slow shutter speed creates a radial blur as you simultaneously press the shutter and turn the camera, and the resulting edge lighting freezes just the part of the subject kissed by the light.” © Erin Quigley
Where: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
When: January 2016
Equipment: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Nauticam housing, 8-15mm fisheye lens, dual Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes
Settings: f/22, 1/8s, ISO 100
“An emperor shrimp clings fearlessly to a Roboastra luteolineata nudibranch, no doubt hoping to share the leftovers from one of its cannabalistic feasts. In order to get the camera down at face level, I had to scout for a low point in the sand directly in the nudi’s path, set up, and wait.” © Erin Quigley
Where: Alor, Indonesia
When: August 2015
Equipment: Canon EOS-1D X, Nauticam housing, 100mm macro lens, dual Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes
Settings: f/16, 1/250s, ISO 160
“Blue sharks used to remind me of sweet little Disney cartoon characters until I swam with them in the cold waters of New England. These sharks were big, persistent animals with an attitude that didn’t hesitate to get right up in my face, time after time.” © Erin Quigley
Where: Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA
When: July 2016
Equipment: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Nauticam housing, 100mm macro lens, dual Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes
Settings: f/9, 1/160, ISO 640
Erin Quigley is an Adobe ACE certified digital imaging consultant specialising in customised workflows and editing strategies using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. She is an award-winning underwater photographer and video editor, and creator of GoAskErin.com, which provides one-on-one instruction, custom video tutorials, and Photoshop and Lightroom resources specifically developed for the underwater photographic community. Along with her private consulting business, Erin runs the Go Ask Erin digital help desk online and at The Digital Shootout.
This portfolio was originally published in Scuba Diver Australasia + Oceanplanet, Issue 1/2017, “Celebrating Women in Diving”. Check it out for informative and inspirational content about pioneering women, making waves! You can also get the e-magazine HERE.