In an ongoing series, Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Editor Nick Robertson-Brown talks to underwater photographers from around the world that he admires. In this blog: Ivana Orlović Kranjc
IOK: Born at the center of Balkan Peninsula in Belgrade, Serbia, hundreds of miles away from the seas it was almost incredible to foresee that Ivana Orlović Kranjc would chose to make sea her passion, home and a workplace. In the last ten years Ivana has been dedicated to underwater photography. Today Ivana is using Nikon D850 in Subal housing. Her specialities are underwater selfies with inhabitants of underwater world and her great split images. Her commitment and exceptional quality were recognized by Mares company and since April 2017 she became Mares Ambassador, one of the biggest brands in the world of diving.
Mares Ambassador; Padi and SSI diving instructor; National Geographic Serbia Photographer
Facebook: Ivana Orlovic
NRB: How did your underwater photography start?
IOK: For many years I have worked as an instructor and managed a diving center. At some point, I wanted to change something. That’s when I fell in love with underwater photography, because it is a lot more than just a simple “snap”. You have to understand the sea and the routines of its inhabitants, perfectly. You need to have a perfect buoyancy and an eye sharp enough to find interesting objects to photograph. But in order to have a recognizable work among photographers from all over the world, you must be very original! Once I started photographing, I have never dived without the camera again.
NRB: What is your favourite u/w camera equipment (past & present) & why?
IOK: Nikon D810 & Nikon D850. Answer is very simple. Those cameras not only make stunning photos but also produce a great video material. Housing I have been using for years is Subal Underwater housing and I am more than satisfied.
NRB: What would be your advice to anyone new to underwater photography?
IOK: With the camera you are not just a “random passer-by” on the reef, it makes you stop, see, explore, learn more and enjoy more…. For me personally, the most beautiful when, upon ascending, I know I have photographed a creature I haven’t seen before… I sit at the computer and start, with the great help of my friends from around the world, marine biologists, to gather information, explore and learn. Then, I pass it to my diving students via social networks, learning them about the magic of the underwater world.
NRB: What image are you most proud of and why?
IOK: Definitely on the photos of my, back then, six-year-old son who was born in water and is always with us on many diving destinations. He is my favourite model and I am always surprised how much he knows about the sea life and how much he enjoys water.
NRB: Where is your favourite dive location, and is it for the photography?
IOK: There are many locations that live everyone breathless, not just divers, but I have definitely experienced something which knocked me off balance, recently. As a judge of the worlds biggest fiving magazine www.Scubashooters.com I was sent to Anilao, Philippines to the world’s biggest underwater photography competition. More than 240 competitors from all over the world. While they were competing, I couldn’t wait to dive myself and explore the far known macro world of Anilao with my camera. They drove us to the location, and we descended. We fell to the 3m deep sandy plateau. Visibility was mediocre. A few blades of grass. Nothing. I thought I had a better location in front of my center, on the lake in Belgrade. I stayed still and sharpened my eyes and mind. And then a most beautiful underwater movie started in front of my eyes. Sand started moving, grass blades started moving, glass bottles started getting eyes… Everything started swarming from life. I simply didn’t know what to photograph first. Nudibranchs, frogfish, glass shrimp, pipefish, pipehorses and seahorses, eels, gobi, clown fish lying on their eggs…. One whole new micro cosmos was created in front of my eyes!
NRB: What do you look for when you are making your images?
IOK: We have all photographed moray eels, octopus ore dolphins a lot of times…but I search for a special scene. Few months ago, in Egypt, I had found a moray eel having a remora cleaner in its mouth. I realized I had to be very patient to make an incredible scene, because I know that it will widely open its mouth at some point. And it did, 45 minutes later. And I was ready. Snap. Phenomenal photo, different perspective and I was awarded for my patience with an exhibition photography.
NRB: If you could photograph any one thing/place what or where would that be?
IOK: I would like to dive with and photograph whales on Tonga and orcas in New Zealand.
To see more of Ivana’s work click here.