Featured Photographer | Pete McGee 

Featured Photographer Pete



My name is Pete McGee, I live in Sydney and learnt to dive in the 80s. Growing up we had aquariums at home and I absolutely loved snorkelling so diving was the natural next step. I stopped for years, but 10 years ago I got back into it big time. Motivated to do something positive for the marine environment, I joined a marine conservation group and started participating in citizen science projects.

My early photos weren’t great. I used a compact camera in auto mode to capture images of plastic bags, fish ID shots and seagrass. Functional, but not very pretty. I was keen to improve and create images that showed the beauty of nature and the need for conservation. 

Upgrading to an early mirrorless camera and adding strobes was a game-changer. I’m still using the same camera (Sony NEX7) eight years later but have learnt a lot technically. Just as important is learning how to find and approach subjects, and to create images I like. I look for interesting backgrounds and try different lighting techniques.

Sydney has surprisingly good diving, which has been a blessing during COVID. I’ve chosen photos (mainly) from three favourite shore dive sites. There is a tremendous diversity of marine life at the harbour and open ocean dive sites.  I use a 15l tank so I can take my time, and let the subjects relax if needed when I find them. 

Sydney’s best muck site is Chowder Bay in Sydney Harbour. The wharf is a magnet for anglers and bait rains down on the divers beneath. The overabundance of this food supports an unnatural ecosystem where larger animals are caught by anglers and smaller animals thrive.  Perfect for macro photography!

1a.Shelly Beach Crested Horn Shark eating a shark egg

Crested horn shark,
Shelley Beach, Australia 


4c. Raja Ampat Sweetlips

Raja Ampat, Indonesia 


2d. Chowder Bay Dumpling Squid

Dumpling squid,
Chowder Bay, Australia 


1c. Shelly Beach Weedy Seadragon

Weedy seadragon,
Shelley Beach, Australia 


3c. Bare Island Red Red Indian Fish

Red Indian fish,
Bare Island, Australia


4b. Bali Mimic filefish

Mimic filefish,
Bali, Indonesia


1e. Shelly Beach Giant Cuttlefish

Giant cuttlefish, 
Shelley Beach, Australia 


3e. Bare Island juvenile Eastern Smooth Boxfish

Juvenile eastern smooth boxfish,
Bare Island, Australia 


2e. Chowder Bay Gloomy Octopus

Gloomy octopus, 
Chowder Bay, Australia


2a. Chowder Bay Clenching pygmy leatherjacket

Clenching pygmy leather jacket, 
Chowder Bay, Australia


1d. Shelly Beach Eastern Blue Groper

Eastern blue grouper, 
Shelley Beach, Australia 


2b. Chowder Bay Blue lined Octopus

Blue-lined octopus, 
Chowder Bay, Australia 


3a. Bare Island Seahorse and finger sponge

Seahorse and finger sponge,
Bare Island, Australia 


2c. Chowder Bay Seahorse on the pool net

Seahorse on the pool net,
Chowder Bay, Australia 


Find Pete on Instagram @petemcgeephotography or on Facebook @GoodVizPhotography

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