Photographer Spotlight - Jillu @divechillz
If you follow us on Instagram - you have seen his photos! Jillu is also known as @divechillz and has SO many beautiful photos and videos of Nudibranchs. He lives in the Maldives and is always on the search for good Nudibranchs. Read below for more about his SCUBA background and why he got into underwater photography.
Tell us a little about yourself and where you are located.
Hello guys, my name is Jillu but the nudi community knows me as @Divechillz in instagram, I am a scuba diving instructor based at the capital city of the Maldives, Male City. Scuba diving is a hobby and searching for nudis is my passion. I am always looking for the next new one as I am contributing to the data base of Maldives on nudibranchs, seaslugs and flat worms.
When and why did you start diving? How did you get started with underwater photography and why?
I was introduced to scuba diving by a friend back in 2015, just did a discover scuba dive but wasn’t that convincing first and after a few years my eldest brother @junmba became a Scuba Instructor and he wanted his 1st students to be from his family. So that’s how I came back to the diving scene. On the 1st training dive, he showed me something like a slug with beautiful bright color which was so amusing to me and which I had no idea that exists in the world. Later on, I asked him what it was and he said that’s a nudibranch and that’s how I was introduced to nudibranch world and became interested in these amazing creatures. Back then I didn’t plan to do underwater photography but soon after I finished my advanced open water diver course, I had a keen interest in taking underwater photos of small critters.
Tell us a little about your setup! Dive gear & photography gear must haves
So, I decided to invest in an Olympus Tg-6 with Olympus PT-059 Underwater housing with a dual dive light setup.
Your favorite Nudibranchs and where you can find them 🐌
I have a huge list of favorite nudis, well who doesn’t. So, I will just mention a few of my favorites Chromodoris gleniei, Thecacera picta, Goniobranchus tritos, Hypselodoris dollfushi,Hypselodoris nigrostriatal & many more. And all of these beauties can be found in our house reef located in the capital city Male, Maldives.
Your favorite place to dive 🌎 and a few places at the top of your bucket list
I haven’t dive to many dive sites even though we have great locations to dive. As I have a full-time job in another respective field, I mostly get time to dive in the weekends and most of the time what I want to see (NUDIS) can be seen in the dive sites around the city. I really want to visit the dive sites in the north and south Atolls of the Maldives and as per my bucket list I wanted to visit Romblon Philippines, Queensland Australia & Okinawa Island Japan.
Some tips and tricks for other underwater photographers and your goals for underwater photography! 💕
As a beginner underwater photographer, I just wanted to say that its ok to ask around if you don’t know anything. There is always some expert photographer out there to help you. And if you are looking for critters, learn about their habitat and take you time on the dives to find them, slow dives are the key. My next target is to upgrade my camera gear with a strobe. As for my goals, I wanted to become one of the best nudibranch spotter and nudibranch photographer in the Maldives, which I am sure I will be able to achieve as I am supported by the best diving professionals at our local dive center @divedesk. And I really like to thank you @ilovenudis for this awesome opportunity.
Thank you to Jillu for his time and photos! Do you know someone that loves Nudibranchs and takes great photos? Email us! Shop@ilovenudis.com