Underwater photography captures mesmerizing marine life
Dive into Israeli photographer Gleb Tolstov's award-winning portfolio.
These aren't your typical underwater photos. Each of Israeli photographer Gleb Tolstov's images captures much more than the subject in question – it clues us in on their personalities, their habitats and ultimately, what makes them beautiful.
With an impressive collection of awards and accolades from the Eilat Red Sea International Photography Competition and from UnderwaterPhotography.com, Tolstov's underwater pictures stand out above all the rest. It's his ardent love for nature, his appreciation for marine creatures and his adept diving skills that allow him to capture such striking photos.
With the careful attention Tolstov pays to all of his subjects, it comes as no surprise that he can't pick a favorite. "I love them all," he tells From the Grapevine. "Colorful nudibranchs and shrimp, schools of glass fishes, baracudas, eels, squids, box fishes, crabs ... The list is very long and all of them look very good [in] a picture."
We couldn't agree more – so we're sharing some of our favorites!
Tolstov's favorite dive site in Israel is (of course!) Eilat. The incredible coral reef offers plenty of subjects in a variety of settings, from the vast schools of fish and mysterious shipwrecks for wide-angle shots to the tiny creatures that Tolstov captures with his macro lens.
Just as important is the clarity of the water. The Red Sea's warm waters are clear and clean, offering a visibility up to 130 feet.
Photography equipment in hand, Tolstov recently took a diving trip to the Philippines and explored a new underwater environment, where he says he saw coral reefs, sharks, sea horses and even whale sharks.
That's one of the best parts about underwater photography – once you have the equipment and the skills, you can take on any marine environment for photo opportunities.
Interested in trying your hand at underwater photography? Tolstov has a few words of wisdom.
"Before you go underwater and try to shoot, you have to know what you want to get [in] a picture," Tolstov explains. "You have to learn the habitat of the animal, its behavior, its natural friends and enemies."
That's not all – in order to master underwater photography, you've got to be a skilled diver, Tolstov says. "You have to perfect your diving skills in order not to disturb your photo model and not to harm the environment."
Above all, Tolstov says: "You have to love nature. Every creature is wonderful and unique!"
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Related Topics: Animals