Featured Photographers

Featured Underwater Photographer – Yann Toso

One of the best ways to learn photography is to see other photographers’ work. Mozaik looks for 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 Yann Toso!

About Yann

I was born in 1997 in a small town near Udine, in the North East of Italy and raised there. I fell in love with the Ocean in the early childhood and started scuba diving quite immediately, completing PADI Open Water Diver course at the age of 10.

I went on in diving education and became PADI Instructor in 2018, with hundreds of dives focused on loving underwater creatures and trying to know them as best as possible.

Knowledge is always been important for me to understand this magic world laying under the surface of the sea and so I started attending academic studies in Udine University of Studies with a bachelor in ‘Natural and Environmental Sciences’ and went on as a student in my actual Master of Science career in ‘Marine Biology’ at Marche Politechnic University.

Parallel to my studies, I learned how to take pictures underwater, falling deeply in love with this discipline. My goal as an underwater photographer is to show on the mainland what I am able to see deep in the oceans and spread the awareness on the beautiful world laying below the surface. In particular, I have a special interest in making my photography low-impact, trying always not to disturb the environment and its inhabitants, both motile and sessile ones, by always focusing in keeping neutral buoyancy, not touching, chasing, or harassing and in general not stressing marine life, even with the conscious use of the strobes power and distance.

Yann’s Gear

Camera body: Sony Alpha-68

Favourite lenses: Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Minolta 16mm f/2.8 fisheye

Wet lens: SubSee Magnifier +10

Housing: Gio-Sim housing with 6.5” Gio-Sim dome and macro flat port

Strobes: Inon z-240

Video lights: Mares Eos 10rw 1000l

Snoot: Snooty

Yann’s Work

A Felimare villafranca nudibranch shot with an incredibly low depth of field to give a faded effect.

A night picture of a Sepiola sp. Taken with the slow-sync technique while the organism was lit by a torch, then framed with a snooted strobe.

A little blenny shot with the snooted slow-sync technique.

A wide angle picture of my sister doing a free dive in Dolphin Island – Li Galli, Tirrenian Sea.

Tide pools in Mount Conero (Italy) are made of limestone, these whitish rocks allowed me to give this ‘white background’ effect to the port shrimp Palaemon elegans.

Detail of the eye of a Parablennius gattorugine taken with the snooty, an optic-fibred snoot with a lens which allows to stay at a considerable distance from the subject, disturbing it the less as possible.

Portrait of an Aidablennius sphynx, taken with the snoot in a rock pool.

Mnemiopsis leydi is a ctenophore extremely invasive in the Mediterranean sea. In late summer and autumn it is present in huge numbers just below the surface in Adriatic, so I decided to take a split-level shot of them at the sunset in Grotta Azzura of Ancona (Italy).

Antiopella cristata is a nudibranch that often swim ‘upside down’ taking advantage of the surface tension of water to escape from rock pools. In this case a wave took it down from the surface layer, making it float in mid water.

Black water in 20cm. Sometimes we can also find incredible plankonic creatures in the tide pools. One example is this hydrozoan jellyfish Pandea conica.

A Facelina rubrovittata nudibranch feeding on an hydrozoan.

Nudibranch upside down: when tide lows, nudibranches take advantage of the surface tension of the water to be drifted out from tide pools, where they would most probably die. Taking the picture from few centimeters below the surface I had the chance to get the mirrored image.

Very little blenny photographed in Trieste (Italy) with a very low depth of field to frame the subject into the beautiful red and yellow algal turfs.

Snooted detail of the polyps of an Alcyionium palmatum taking in Mali Cutin, one of the most beautiful dives in Croatia.

A school of batfishes Platax teira swimming just near a little pier in Makadi Bay (Egypt) at sunset. I waited until the last moment to shot to have the fishes in a perfect diagonal lining.

A tecnical diver swimming just below the haloclin in Cenote El Pit in Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Get In Touch With Yann

Jill B

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