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Scubaverse Underwater Photographer Interview: Ken Kiefer

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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: Ken Kiefer


Ken Kiefer is an award-winning underwater photographer based out of Houston, TX.  His goal is to create stunning imagery that builds love and wonder for the underwater world.  He does a majority of his work with large predators; sharks, crocodiles, and rays, but also likes to show the beautiful interactions of humans with these often-misunderstood animals.   Ken brings an artistic twist to submerged visions, whether it be oceans, or swimming pools.  He’s proud to be an ambassador for Ikelite Underwater Systems, Sherwood Scuba, Akona and Pulse.

NRB: How did your underwater photography start?

KK: My underwater photography journey started similar to many other underwater photographers, I’m sure.  I had been diving for years and really wasn’t able to use words to describe some of the amazing visuals that could be seen under the water.  I wanted to show images to friends and family to help them understand how amazing this world is and entice as many as possible to join me.

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

KK: I’ve always been partial to Canon digital cameras; with my latest being the current favorite.  It’s a Canon R5.  The lenses that I use the most are the 8-15mm fisheye and the 11-24mm.  Before digital, I used a Nikonos 5 and still have it in working order. The rest of my camera equipment is made up of Ikelite equipment.  Housings, Strobes, etc. all from  Ikelite and I have used and loved their gear for many years.  Works great and they have the most amazing service!

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

KK: My first advice would be to make sure your underwater skills are absolutely flawless before you decide to pick up a camera.  I’ve been on too many dives with people new to diving that try to use a camera to the detriment of their own safety and the health of the reef and others.  After that, the most important advice that I have is to learn your equipment inside and out and use it as much as possible.  Even if it’s practicing in a bathtub, pool or pond – anything to get you familiar with all of the controls and what various lighting and angles can do to an image.  The more scenarios that are practiced, the more ready you will be for quick opportunities and the better you will be able to create the look that you desire.

NRB: What, or who, has been the single biggest inspiration for your underwater photography?

KK: So many individuals and visual outlets have brought me inspiration and fired up my creativity it wouldn’t be fair to elevate one above the others.   But, truthfully, sharks have been my single biggest inspiration.  Ever since I was little I was first terrified of sharks because of Jaws, and then fascinated by them as I read and learned anything that I could about them.  They are the driving force behind me getting under the sea and I still love learning and creating with them.

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

KK: My favorite location is wherever I am as long as there is large animal life and decent visibility!  I really can’t choose a favorite because I love so many amazing places.

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

KK: I’m always on the lookout for opportunities.  I have a general idea of what my goals are and shots that I envision, but I don’t let that stop me from quickly adapting and taking advantage of a visual that I hadn’t thought of when it appears.

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

KK: I love creating.  I love the process of getting ready and coming up with ideas and possibilities.  I love every minute that I’m able to be underwater with people and animals.  And, I really love seeing it all come to fruition when an image is finalized.

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

KK: I have a long list of bucket list critters that I want to eventually shoot; orcas/narwhales/humbolt squid/leopard seals/ and many more . . .   but, I also really want to shoot a baby platypus in clear water – I think that would be amazing!!

To see more of Ken’s work follow these links:

Website: https://www.kenkiefer.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KenKieferPhotography

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ken_kiefer_underwater/

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 www.frogfishphotography.com

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Let’s talk about diving… don’t miss DIVING talks 2022 (Watch Video)

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This year’s DIVING talks event will take place in Troia, Portugal from October 7-9 2022.

For more information, contact Arlindo Serrão via e-mail: arlindo.serrao@portugaldive.com or check out www.divingtalks.com.

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Get up to 25% off your holiday in the Emperor Divers Autumn Sale

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Emperor Divers is offering some amazing Autumn savings across a whole range of liveaboard and daily diving holidays.

Among the highlights include 20% off selected sailings for the rest of 2022, early bird discounts for trips in 2023 and 2024 and a superb 25% off bookings for brand-new Emperor Harmoni.

There is also a 10% discount and extra free places for those booking charter sailings.

But time is of the essence as, not only do these offers sell out fast, the sale only runs until October 1st.

EMPEROR FLEET OFFERS

SAVE up to 20% on SELECTED 2022 SAILINGS

Secure the last available spaces for 2022 with discounts of up to 20% across Emperor’s Red Sea and Maldives fleet. These do sell fast and are updated regularly, please visit the website to check sailings under offer throughout the sale period.

SAVE up to 25% on Emperor Harmoni 2023 & 2024 SAILINGS

Confirm your Emperor Harmoni 2023 or 2024 departure before 1st October and save up to 25%

  • Emperor Harmoni 7 nights from €2,470
  • Emperor Harmoni 9 nights from €3,175
  • Emperor Harmoni 12 nights from €4,230

Applicable on selected 2023 & 2024 departures. Cannot be combined with standard group free places.

BOOK EARLY & SAVE 10% on 2023 & 2024 SAILINGS

Confirm your 2023 or 2024 Red Sea or Maldives liveaboard before 1st October and save 10%

SAVE up to €230 – Best of Maldives

  • Emperor Explorer from €1,890
  • Emperor Serenity from €1,795
  • Emperor Virgo from €1,660
  • Emperor Leo from €1,750
  • Emperor Voyager from €1,480

SAVE up to €130 – Red Sea

  • Emperor Elite from €1,075
  • Emperor Superior from €1,030
  • Emperor Echo from €940

Applicable on all 2023 & 2024 departures excluding the following: Maldives February & March 2023 & 2024 and Red Sea October & November 2023 & 2024. Can be combined with standard group free places.

10% plus EXTRA FREE PLACES for CHARTERS

  • Raja Laut, Indonesia: 10% off pp plus 10 pay, 2 free.
  • Serenity, Maldives: 10% off pp plus 22 pay, 4 free.
  • Elite & Superior, Red Sea: 10% off pp plus 22 pay, 4 free.

Charter Extra Free Places apply to all 2023 and 2024 departures excluding Harmoni, Explorer, Maldives and Indonesia February & March and Red Sea October & November.

EMPEROR DAY DIVING OFFERS

5 days’ diving package for €250, plus free 12L nitrox and full equipment rental for only €60

Applicable on prepaid bookings only for either Sharm el Sheikh or Marsa Ghalib. Minimum 5 day package for all 2023 dates excluding October and November.

EMPEROR VALUE

LOW DEPOSIT 10% deposit for FIT bookings and for a limited time only, €1,200 deposit for group and charter bookings.

EXTRA 5% DISCOUNT on back-to-back departures Looking for a trip that is more than 7 days, then book 2 x 7 nights with an additional 5% discount (5% off each trip). You can choose to stay on different boats, different itineraries and even depart from different ports.

NO ADDED EXTRAS, FREE NITROX, & COMPLIMENTARY WINE Emperor’s inclusive liveaboard pricing means no added extras; the price you see is the price you pay. All Emperor Liveaboards includes park and port fees, fuel surcharges, all taxes, free Nitrox and a glass of wine with dinner on any Red Sea, Maldives or Indonesia liveaboard. Cheers!

OFFER TERMS & CONDITIONS

These offers are for promotional purposes and for use by Emperor Divers’ partners and form part of Emperor’s AUTUMN SALE.

All prices are quoted per person, based on guests sharing a twin berth cabin and are for promotional purposes only. There are limited places on each sailing under offer and are subject to availability. Offers and free group places cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount unless stated.

Valid on new bookings received and confirmed between 18th September to 1st October 2022.

Group bookings (6+), full and private charters: €1,200 non-refundable deposit within 7 days, 10% due 60 days after confirmation. 25% due 26 weeks prior to departure. Normal payment terms with balance due 56 days prior to departure and cancellation terms apply.

For more, visit www.emperordivers.com/autumn-sale-2022

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Save up to 1/3 off a trip to Indonesia! Your chance to dive Bali, Komodo and Raja Ampat aboard the NEW luxury MY Emperor Harmoni for less! Launching in September 2022. Emperor Harmoni is Emperor Divers Indonesia’s brand new liveaboard. Built of Sulawesi Ironwood and offering a truly new experience to liveaboard holidays, experience a true sense of sailing the Indonesian seas in freedom, style, comfort and confidence with her two engines. Enjoy spacious diving and relaxation areas or relax with a massage on deck. Example price based on Bali departure to Komodo WAS £2900 / NOW from just £1995* per person based on sharing a twin luxury cabin including: 1 night in Bali before the boat departure with airport transfers One way flight from Labuan Bajo to Bali after the liveaboard with 20kgs baggage 7 nights onboard MY Emperor Harmoni with 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee All diving with guide, cylinders & weights, Marine Park & Port Fees Free Nitrox 1 cocktail party on a local island (weather allowing) Return airport transfers * Price excludes international flights, these can be quoted at the time of reservation Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Other Dates available - book before 30 September! Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk. More Less

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