In this new section in our blog, we will feature our amazing Mozaik ambassadors so that you can get to know them better and learn about their fascinating lives.
The ambassador of this month is Adam Leaders!
Adam, tell us a bit about how you became a diver and UW photographer?
Originally from Chicago I had my first taste of SCUBA diving when I was 16 during a summer program in the BVI.
From my first breath underwater I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Unfortunately for someone in landlocked Chicago this was limited to watching documentaries, shark week and magazines (at that time). My lifelong dream became a reality when I moved to Costa Rica in 2010 and began pursuing diving professionally. I always knew that my focus would be on photo and video. Armed with the first generation GoPro underwater I started shooting short videos and photos for myself and local businesses. Fast forward to 2015 when I moved to Thailand I was making videos and taking photos for businesses full-time and finally saved up for a proper underwater camera. A Sony rx100iv in a nauticam housing with a WWL-1 wide lens (that I of course purchased from Mozaik) I began taking underwater photo and video courses and immediately started working as a staff photographer for dive shops across Koh Tao, Thailand. This where I really got an opportunity to hone my skills, shooting dive courses sometimes 4 dives day.
Now I am splitting my time between still shooting photos of divers, working on documentary films and creating promotional materials (photos and videos) for dive resorts/operations and travel companies both underwater and on land. I also have opened an online store that sells marine life themed products (such as jewelry) that allows me to give a percentage of sales to conservation efforts that are important to me.
My focus is on marine conservation and the human experience underwater.
I am currently a proud ambassador for Mozaik Underwater cameras as well as Shark Guardian – https://www.sharkguardian.org/
What’s your most memorable dive?
There have been so many dives that have been memorable. Any time you encounter Sharks, Mola, mantas it stays with you forever.
My most memorable would have to be my very first dive or the first time I encountered a Whale shark. I was in Koh Tao and had been working there for over a year and kept missing the elusive whale shark. It either left the site before we arrived or came right after I left. It’s existence seemed like a myth. Then one day we were moored up to a site named Green Rock ready to jump in and the captain got a call on the radio that a whale shark was at Chumphon, a site 30 min away. We all looked at each other, nodded in agreement and took our equipment off. Full steam ahead to Chumphon! We jumped in the water amidst all of the commotion from other divers and there she was, a 35’+ whale shark. I am so lucky to have photos from that dive and they still to this day remain some of my favorites of all time!
Which gear do you currently use?
Lens: 16-35mm f4, 55mm f1.8, 28mm f2, 16-35mm f4, 28mm f2
Housing: Nauticam housing
Wetlens: WWL-1 wide lens
Port: 180mm dome
Video light: 2x 12000 lumen video lights with ambient filters
Strobe: 2x Inon z330 strobes
How can we follow your work and get in touch?
Online shop: https://7seascollection.com/
Your Message to the World
My message to the world would be to take a more active role in your everyday life to protect and realize the vital importance the oceans and our water ways play in our AND our planets existence. We are unique in our solar system because we are the water planet, the only one that we know of. This is because of our exact temperature and fragile eco system that allows it to exist in the liquid state it is in. We crawled out of the oceans long ago and still have a responsibility to protect them. Also… don’t be a jerk to one another. 🙂
As far as underwater photography goes: don’t focus so much on gear. 95% of the time the limitations you have in achieving great images lies in your ability and creativity. Start with the basics and let your equipment grow with your skill, it’s so much better to reach your full potential with what you have rather than get overwhelmed with equipment that sets no boundaries.