Underwater photography: interview with Emmanuelle Camallonga

25 jun, 2020


Emmanuelle Camallonga is a French photographer. She specialises in Underwater photography, Macro photography and uses wideangle lenses. In an interview, Emmanuelle describes how her favourite picture of a sea lion was taken and gives a couple of professional tips for beginners.


- Tell us about your favorite cameras, lenses, flashes. What equipment do you need for a great shot?

- I shoot with Canon DSLR 7DMark II and Canon 100 D. I mainly do underwater photography and work with a Tokina 10/17 fish-eye lens and two optics in macrophotography, the macro 100mm for very close-up shots and the 60mm EFS macro for extreme closeup. For flashes, I use the Inon Z240 or Z330 flashes in fiber optic connection with the internal flash of my 7D MarkII box. For the underwater image, my camera is placed in a Nauticam waterproof case.

- Which of the photographers or artists inspire you?

- I have admiration for many underwater photographers, such as Amos Natchoum, Laurent Ballesta, Suzan Meldonian, Jerome Kim, Ken Tongpila, Adriano Moretin, Vanessa Mignon, etc. Underwater photography, involves scuba diving apart from mastering the photographic material. 

This is very different from terrestrial photography.

- What quality, in your opinion, is most important for the photographer?

- For me, a photographer is the expression of a look, a mean of transmitting emotions on any event. An underwater photographer must be able to blend into the marine environment without destroying what surrounds him, making themselves as discreet as possible. We are bound to nature and the goal is to sublimate it without artifice.

- Tell us about your favourite picture. Where and under what circumstances was it


- One of my favorites pictures is à sea lion in La Paz, Baja California. There is a sea lion Colonie named Los Islotes. That was a long time ago. I wanted to see these animals, and also make pictures of them. Finally, I saw a very young sea lion around me playing with my bubble, and he was coming to see my dome he became surprised from his reflection, I don’t know for sure, but it was really pleasant to be with this wild animal trying to communicate. That wasn’t so easy since these animals are very speedy. Eventually, this picture got some success on National Geo Farsi and Italy too. Of course, that was a satisfaction for me, but the most important thing for me is to be on the ground to show beauties of the ocean world.

- Could you give some professional tips for budding photographers? 

- I think that an aspiring photographer must learn the basics, frame his subject, play with the light, and therefore know how to use the reports, ISO, aperture and speed. For me they must work within the moment and try to play on settings to appreciate what suits them best. Everything depends on what types of images they make. If they would like to be an Underwater photographer, they had to learn to dive too…