Dmitry Marchenko meets turtles, sharks and blennies on his undersea forays
I’m originally from Angarsk, a city in Siberia that’s about as far from the sea as you can get! In 2009 I moved to Egypt to work, and while I was there I took an Advanced Open Water Diver PADI course in the Red Sea. I fell in love with the world below the waves. After I’d completed about 30 dives, I looked at taking up underwater photography.
I’d never really used cameras and I didn’t have a clue how they worked beyond pointing and shooting. I found a camera I could afford – a Sea & Sea DXG1 compact digital camera that was perfect for an underwater beginner. I was lucky enough to be friends with a professional photographer, who gave me a crash course in shutter speeds, aperture and ISO, and practice did the rest.
I loved being able to capture all the wonderful things I encountered underwater, so I quickly upgraded to a camera that could do my aquatic subjects justice: a Nikon D70s and a set of SB-800 flashes. You need to use flash underwater, or everything will end up looking blue in your pictures.
The best thing about shooting underwater creatures is the variety of bright and beautiful beasts you come across. I love shooting anything from Napoleon fish to tiny blennies  as they’re really cute and look perpetually happy!
Some people are scared of meeting creatures of the deep, but I’ve almost always found them incredibly peaceful. I wouldn’t say I’ve never been afraid, though. Once I was shooting an Oceanic Whitetip
01 Blenny Nikon D700, Nikon AF-S 60mm f/2.8G ED, 1/500 sec, f/11, ISO320