One of the best ways to learn photography is to see other photographers’ work. We try to find some of the best underwater photographers in the world, and showcase their work, along with the gear they use, to help other aspiring photographers improve, learn new skills and get inspired.
This week we will feature the talented David Pearlman!
Like so many of my colleagues, my passion for underwater photography and scuba diving began when I was a little boy. I spent hours and hours looking at picture books filled with images of sharks and other magnificent underwater creatures that filled my imagination with hopes of swimming with them some day. As I got older, watching The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau was an absolute must, and of course reading and seeing the movie JAWS and the documentary Blue Water White Death so captivated my imagination … that I got certified to dive in five-foot visibility and forty-degree water in Racine Quarry, Wisconsin at the age of fourteen. A few years later, in 1983, my dream of diving in the ocean finally came true with my first saltwater dive in Aruba—and that was it … I was hooked!
That led to my spontaneous decision to put off college for a year and move to Hawaii, where I took my first underwater photos. Those images are not included in my portfolio today, but some of the images presented in this feature are scanned transparencies (slides) taken well before the digital era began. Now, with digital cameras, photography has just gone off the charts, so we no longer need to worry about capturing perfect exposures each time as we were limited to the 36 shots in our rolls of film. Although the competition has grown exponentially over the past two decades, the work that I am seeing from everyone, including my own, far surpasses those old days of film. I have had the good fortune of being able to travel to so many wonderful dive destinations to create my images. And while I truly love all life in the sea, my main passion has been and probably always will be for sharks. I hope you enjoy my work.
These days I am shooting the Canon 5D Mark lV with the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens, Canon 16-35 f/2.8L lll and the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro USM Lenses. I house this system with the Nauticam NA-5DlV. I light with two Inon Z-330 strobes. The older film images were taken with the Nikon RS system.