Featured Photographer | Leslie Sherlin
I was in college when I first got certified but could only afford to go diving every couple of years after that. Twenty years later I was visiting Maui for a friend’s wedding and I went diving nearly every day earning my advanced open water and a couple of specialities. A few months later I returned to Oahu and earned my rescue and master scuba diver certifications. I had officially gotten bitten by the diving bug. Upon returning back home to Mesa, Arizona, I signed up for and completed my divemaster and instructor certifications. I worked up to IDC staff instructor level and logged several thousand dives. Now, alongside a great set of friends, I am an owner of a scuba retail and training store, No Limits Scuba in Chandler, AZ. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some amazing destinations and I wanted to be able to properly take and share photos of those adventures which was the impetus for my learning to shoot underwater photography.
I was drawn to photography, but film didn't create the quick response for learning that I needed to really understand the craft. With the technological advances and easy availability of digital cameras, the instant feedback loop provided the opportunity for me to instantly understand the impact of my shot.
As I began to explore the photographic experience, I became inspired to try and capture the beauty of my other passion, scuba diving. At the time my young daughter and wife did not scuba dive yet and despite this on every family vacation, I would leave and spend countless hours diving. Bringing back photos of my adventures provided the opportunity to share the joys and create a bond between my daughter and the ocean that still exists today. As a junior rescue diver and aspiring photographer herself, five years after my journey began she is now starting her underwater photography.
I am currently finishing the last few courses of a master’s degree in photography. I most enjoy the genre of nature and landscape and particularly the subgenre of underwater photography. When the opportunity presents, I always appreciate the opportunity to share in portraiture or other event photography bringing a creative flair and breaking just enough of the rules to be interesting without challenging the paradigms of the art.
My favourite destination to shoot underwater is Fiji. I’ve travelled there several times and I just can’t get enough. I’ll spend an entire trip just focusing on wide-angle and then another trip on macro. There’s so much beauty there are no two dives that become redundant even at the same site. Although Fiji is my favourite I’ve logged hundreds of dives in Hawaii, as well as dozens in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Red Sea, Mexico, USA (California, Florida & Washington), Honduras, Belize, Aruba, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Turks, and even the North Sea (out of The Netherlands). I don’t have a favourite underwater subject matter but wrecks and nudibranchs never disappoint!
SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea. Homage to Alex Mustard.
Forward mast of the Giannis D
Giannis D, Red Sea
Pontoh’s pygmy seahorse,
Nembrotha chamberlaini nudibranch mating,
Angelfish on reef,
Chromis in the coral head,
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Orange painted frogfish,
Porcelain crab in anemone,
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Crevices and red gorgonian,
Clownfish in anemone,
Chrisoula K wreck,
Find more from Leslie on his website