Engbretson Underwater Photography

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News From Behind the Scenes at Engbretson Underwater Photo and Stories about the Freshwater Environments We Visit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"How did you get started in Underwater Photography?"

The question people most often ask me is "How did you get started in underwater photography?" If you're wondering the same thing, here's the story.

I began taking pictures underwater in 1993. I’d been an avid fisherman all my life, but one sunny August afternoon, instead of grabbing my rod and reel, I grabbed a cheap mask, snorkel and fins that were 3 sizes too small and dove into a clear water lake near my home. That day changed my life. As a fisherman I remember staring down into the water from the boat or at the end of the dock and wondering “What’s down there? Are there any fish in this lake? What do they do down there all day long?” Diving under the surface of the lake that August day was like stepping into a new world. I couldn’t believe the radiance of this underwater landscape. Plants, rocks, sunken trees covered in green algae…it was simply breathtaking! An underwater paradise! And then there were the fish. I saw more fish in one afternoon than I had seen as a fisherman in the previous year! It was my first glimpse into an astounding silent world filled with unsurpassed beauty and teaming with life!

As the days and weeks passed, I found myself fishing less and less and snorkeling more and more. Eventually I bought a cheap underwater camera so that I could take pictures and show others this amazing new world, and photos of what the fish looked like “on their own turf”. It wasn’t long before I wanted to go deeper and take better pictures. I began buying scuba equipment and more sophisticated cameras and learning the craft of underwater photography. Eventually, I sold an underwater picture of a bass to a small fishing magazine. By this time, I had fallen deeply in love with the underwater realm and the fish that lived there, and I knew that this passion would become my life’s work.

Today, 17 years later, I’m a freelance photographer. My underwater fish pictures appear in fishing and outdoor magazines around the world. I sell pictures to book publishers, calendar companies, advertising agencies, state natural resources departments, and so on. I spend 7 months a year taking pictures underwater in the lakes and rivers of the upper Great Lakes Region where I live. Often my life feels like a non-stop vacation and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else.
Click Here to go to my Home Page and View My Underwater Fish Pictures

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