I first arrived, and dived, on Malta over six years ago, and it didn’t take me long to realise the islands’ potential for great underwater photography what with its dramatic underwater scenery, drop offs, caves and wrecks. Plus, there’s an abundance of marine life; yes, I said ‘abundance’. You just have to know where and what to look for.
I recently ran an underwater photography course for two people and I over heard them say that they may have to cover a large underwater area to meet the performance requirements for the second dive of the course. Once underwater, they didn’t go any deeper than ten meters or travel further than 15-20 meters from the entry and exit point of the dive. Once they knew how to work the camera, they found plenty to photograph in a very small area.
Malta is great for someone wishing to learn how to shoot underwater photographs as the water is warm, clear and has lots of shallow areas where they can practice. The islands cater though for all types and levels of underwater photographer, whether a pro photographer from a dive magazine or a new diver wanting to share his new-found world with family and friends.
For people keen to shoot wide angle there are a number of great wrecks, from the old favourite the Rozi Tug boat to the new P29 patrol boat. The cave systems also lend themselves very well to wide angle as most of them have great light, allowing the photographer to capture the wonderful blue light shining in from the outside.
Great wide angle marine life is also possible on Malta as yellow tail barracuda are often seen above or near to the right arch at Cirkewwa, and dusky grouper also love to come in close and inspect themselves in their reflection in the housing lens.
For macro shooters, there are a number of Nudibranch (sea Slugs), all of which have wonderful colours from yellows and blues to violate and pinks. In and around the caves and swim through photographers can find hermit crabs and very often Morey eels. Not to mention all of the octopus, scorpion fish and Cuttle fish.
I’ve been shooting underwater seriously for the last couple of years and there are still shots I would like to get, from marine life to different angles on the wrecks.
So get out there diving and enjoy the Maltese waters. And remember, take only pictures, leave only bubbles.
Photo: Marcus Grant
Learn Underwater Photography
Marcus Grant runs undewater photography courses. For more info, see his site: racoonboyphotography.