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Scubaverse Underwater Photographer Interview: Jillian Morris Brake



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: Jillian Morris Brake.

I am a marine biologist, shark conservationist, photographer and founder of Sharks4Kids. I live in the Bahamas with my husband and adopted pit bull. The ocean inspires me and is always where I go to reconnect. Photography is a beautiful way to be a voice for the oceans. I love sharing my shark photography and use it as a critical educational tool. I am a PADI Ambassadiver and proud to share my story with other people around the world. I hope my story inspires other women and young girls who are interested in marine science, sharks, diving…etc. I want them to know these careers are for them too. It was an honor to be named as an ocean hero by Scuba Diving Magazine and be listed in several articles alongside some of the incredible women who have inspired my career. Creating Sharks4Kids is my proudest accomplishment and it’s been an incredible journey. Writing my first children’s book, Norman the Nurse Shark was also an amazing experience. My life revolves around sharks and I feel so lucky to be living my passion.

You can follow my adventure on Instagram and twitter @BiminiSharkGirl and Sharks4Kids on twitter @Sharks4Kids and Instagram @SharkEducation

NRB: How did your underwater photography start?

JMB: My mom always took a lot of photos when I was growing up and I was fascinated by her camera. When I was in high school I started using her camera and really enjoyed it. As I started to travel for various internships and research projects, I decided to get an underwater camera setup. I bought a Sony in an Ikelite housing from a friend and the adventure began. I started by photographing flamingo tongues. They are beautiful and they cannot swim away from you. I have no professional training, but have just kept shooting and always learning.

NRB: What is your favourite u/w camera equipment (past & present) & why?

JMB: I really loved my Nikon D80. It was my first DSLR and it was amazing. I loved the challenge of learning how to make the camera do what your mind envisions. The first lens I purchased was the Tokina 10-17 and it’s still my favorite lens.

NRB: What would be your advice to anyone new to underwater photography?

JMB: Shoot! Shoot Shoot Shoot! The more you shoot the more you learn. Practice really does make perfect. Also, learn your camera topside first. It will help you make the camera do what you want once it’s in the housing and underwater.

NRB: What image are you most proud of and why?

JMB: I am most proud of the images that make me happy. They captured a moment I want to remember forever, and they always make me smile.

NRB: Where is your favourite dive location, and is it for the photography?

JMB: I love Bimini. So lucky to live in this incredible place and have remarkable wildlife to photography any day of the week. Sharks are my favorite thing to photograph.

NRB: What are you views on marine life manipulation, moving subjects?

JMB: I love the challenge of capturing a moment as it happens naturally. I know this is not always possible, especially if you are shooting for a client. The magic of photography is being in the right place at the right time and capturing an incredible moment.

NRB: What do you look for when you are making your images?

JMB: I look for cool angles and a unique way to share the story. How can I capture the “personality” of an animal? Does it look like a smile or a laugh? I think it’s fun to show a side people might not think of.  I also just take in the moment and see what happens. If you try to force something, it never comes out the way you envision it.

NRB: What motivates you to take u/w photos?

JMB: I believe in the power of images and their ability to tell a story. I want people to see sharks for their beauty. I use images to turn fear into fascination. I want people to see the ocean and sharks the way I do. Images help us change the conversation.

NRB: If you could photograph any one thing/place what or where would that be?

JMB: I really want to photograph Greenland sharks. They are fascinating, and I really want to dive with one.

To see more of Jillian Morris Brake’s work click here.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit


Jeff chats to… Underwater Photographer Ellen Cuylaerts (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ellen Cuylaerts about her diving and underwater photographic career.

As an underwater and wildlife photographer, Fellow of The Explorers Club and having a front seat in exploration being part of the Flag and Honours Committee, Ellen is also a Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She travels the world and tries to make the most of every destination and the path that leads her there. Ellen acts as an ocean citizen and believes as divers we should all be ocean ambassadors and lead by example. She is now based in the UK after many years in Grand Cayman.

Find out more about Ellen and her work at

Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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SeaLife launches new Android app for popular SportDiver smartphone underwater housing



SeaLife has launched their Android app for the popular SportDiver Smartphone housing. The SeaLife SportDiver is a compact, lightweight underwater housing that fits most Android smartphones and Apple phones from iPhone 7 and up.  The Android and iOS apps work with the current OS and the previous version, e.g. the Android app presently works with Android 11 and 10.

The SeaLife SportDiver housing allows divers to take photos and video with their smartphone down to 130 feet or 40 meters.  The heavy-duty housing is constructed of polycarbonate, stainless steel, aluminum and optical grade glass.  And while the SportDiver housing is “heavy duty”, it is not heavy, weighing less than 1.5 pounds (641 grams) on land, and offers near-neutral buoyancy in water depending on which smartphone is used.

The SportDiver ergonomic design is easy to hold and use, featuring a large shutter lever and rear control buttons for easy operation, even with dive gloves.  Snorkelers and Divers can get more creative with their photos or video shot by using advanced camera settings. Adjust Zoom, control exposure, Auto/Manual Focus, White Balance, Lens selection, RAW+JPEG mode, and many more settings depending on your phone model.

The SeaLife SportDiver includes the free SportDiver camera app for both Android and iOS. With the SportDiver app, you can easily switch between photo and video mode. The SportDiver app utilizes the native phone camera technology resulting in the same high-quality photos and videos that you would expect from your phone.  The app also offers a power-save mode that temporarily turns the phone’s camera off and dims the display; a touch to any button wakes it up immediately.

The App Playback mode shows full size photos and videos with a vertical thumbnail strip to easily locate your images. Videos start playing automatically when selected. All files are also saved to the phone’s camera roll.  The SportDiver housing automatically connects to your phone and the SportDiver app using Bluetooth® Low Energy wireless technology. No cables or buttons touch the phone and the housing offers ultra-low power consumption which is powered by two AAA batteries that last over 50 hours of continuous use.

For enhanced imaging results, a removable underwater color-correction filter is included with the SportDiver which restores natural underwater colors. The filter easily attached or removes underwater and includes a safety tether to prevent loss. The SportDiver housing features triple 1/4-20 tripod mounts which mounts to any light or light tray with standard tripod threads such as SeaLife’s own range of Sea Dragon underwater photo/video lights.  SeaLife also offers the SportDiver and Sea Dragon underwater light combined dubbed the “SportDiver Pro 2500 Set”.

For the phone’s safety and protection, the SportDiver has a sturdy holding spring and rubber grip tabs that securely hold the smartphone in place and add shock-protection. The SportDiver has “Dual Leak Alarms” which include an internal moisture alarm and a vacuum pressure alarm which alert the diver with on-screen warnings, audio and LED signal in the unlikely event the waterproof seal is compromised when there’s a loss of housing pressure or moisture is detected. The door of the SportDiver is sealed with a TPE O-ring and a robust cam-lock sealing latch that easily and securely locks waterproof door. To prevent interior fogging from residual moisture, the SportDiver uses the anti-fogging agent “Moisture Muncher” capsule which prevents fogging and internal condensation.

SeaLife SportDiver phone housings are available now. Since there’s no change in hardware or electronics, any SportDiver housing will be able to connect to both the iPhone or Android app.

The new Android app is available at the Google Play store now:

The official app name when searching is “SportDiver” by Pioneer Research.

SeaLife offers a “fit-guide” on its website for users to instantly determine if their phone model will fit into the SportDiver housing. Go to or simply scan the QR code above to see if your phone fits.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

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