In this ongoing series, we’ll chat with prominent and up-and-coming underwater photographers. Today we highlight Brook Peterson.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I learned to dive in 2011 thinking it would just be a fun thing to do. However, my curiosity overpowered my good sense and immediately I had a compact camera in my hand. Eight months later, I purchased my first DSLR. Happily, I live in Southern California, home of some of the best scuba diving on the planet. Macro and wide-angle photography are equally interesting to me. I frequently travel the globe in hopes of seeing something spectacular and am never disappointed. My camera helps me document those priceless moments underwater so that I can share them with those who are stuck on land.
How long have you been an underwater photographer?
Since I began diving in 2011.
What got you interested in underwater photography?
The moment my head went underwater, I was overwhelmed by the intensity of the scene and wanted to share it with my non-diving friends. I purchased my first camera the following day.
What’s your favorite style of underwater photography?
It isn’t so much that I prefer macro over wide-angle or vice-versa, but that I enjoy the challenges of using light in diverse circumstances. For example, I love the look and challenge of using remote or natural light in large areas such as shipwrecks. But I am just as stimulated by using snoots on tiny subjects.
Any favorite subjects?
California sea lions come to mind. They love to pose and I am always delighted when one comes to play with me underwater.
Any favorite destinations?
For macro photography I love Anilao, Philippines. For wide-angle photography I love the Red Sea.
What’s your underwater setup?
I use a Nikon D810 in Sea&Sea housing with YS-D2 strobes. I am also a gadget snob, so I have a bag full of accessories, lights, filters and lenses.
Do you have any tips you can share with new underwater photographers?
Yes. Watch social-media groups to see what others are shooting and to gain inspiration. Know what your equipment is capable of and plan your shots ahead of time. Most good shots aren’t just luck — they are the result of experience combining with patience and planning.