Featured Photographer | Jose Castellano
I’m a biologist, scuba diver instructor and underwater photographer from Spain. I’m also the founder of Biology for Divers, a project to share my passion and knowledge about the sea with people. I have spent most of the last twelve years diving all-over South-East Asia, especially Indonesia.
I graduated in zoology at the University of Granada, Spain, and later enrolled in various marine biology and oceanography courses at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
After my studies, I wanted to leave the lab behind and go back to what had brought me to the university in the first place; the love for and interest in all the creatures of the sea. I pursued a career as a diver, discovering the underwater worlds of Egypt, Thailand, Spain, Indonesia, Maldives and Burma.
As a dive guide, I took thousands of people below the sea to explore its many beauties, and found myself explaining for hours to other divers what they had seen, how the creatures interact with their environment, and how they are all part of the same enormous ecosystem as ours; planet earth.
My next step was to combine my academic knowledge and my passion for diving by developing a series of marine biology talks to inform divers about what they see on their dives. I have done this for several years now on liveaboards around Indonesia and I really love to see the divers gain an understanding of marine life and, therefore, enjoying their trips even more.
Three years ago, I took a camera for the first time and I got totally hooked to underwater photography. Since then, I have been awarded and mention in several international underwater photo contest like Beneath the sea, Ocean Art, Ocean Geographic or the DPG/Wetpixel photo contest. Apart from the challenge of portraying the beauty of the underwater world, I find underwater photography the perfect tool to combine with the marine biology lectures as a way to understand better marine life and, therefore, realizing the importance of protecting it.
School of spadefish under a pier Alor, Indonesia
'Piers in Indonesia can be full of life and photo opportunities, I love the combination of manmade structures and how nature takes over them'
Coral head Red Sea, Egypt
'I found anthias some of the best subjects to enhance a reef shot and Egypt has plenty of them. in this case, I was lucky to dive with a superb model also'
Satomi's pygmy seahorse Raja Ampat, Indonesia
'This is one of the smallest pygmy sea horses species reaching a maximum of 1.4 cm. they are nocturnal and they move a lot so they are a real challenge to photograph'
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse and golden damselfish Komodo, Indonesia
Soft coral and glassfish Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Gorgonia sea fan Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Mandarinfish mating Banda Islands, Indonesia
Schooling bannerfish Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
Reef manta Komodo National Park, Indonesia
'The coral reef in Komodo is one of the most beautiful and colourful in Indonesia and I always like to try and shoot the top part of the reef, where the sunlight hits. In this case, a reef manta ray passed next to me while I was photographing this coral head. I thought about swimming after her but I decided to try and get her in the frame'
Olive sea snake Manuk island, Banda Sea, Indonesia
'Nobody lives on this island and the reef is extremely rich. One of the highlights of the diving in Manuk is its remarkable high number of sea snakes, count sometimes on the hundreds in a single dive'
Tubastrea coral Ambon, Indonesia.
'Tubastreas are stony corals that don’t have photosynthetic algae on their skin, so that allows them to live in caves and shady places. The ones on the photo were in the entrance of a cavern right outside of Ambon Bay and they look to me like a bouquet of flowers'
Pygmy sea horse Komodo, Indonesia
'First species of pygmy sea horses to be discovered and one of my favourites, I found their camouflage spectacular and a real challenge to photograph'
Red-spotted blenny Banda Island, Indonesia
Nudibranch Bornella anguilla. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Black bush coral Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Coral reef Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Find Jose on Instagram @biology_for_divers