Photographer Spotlight - Jose Antonio Salido Moriel
I am excited to introduce my August Underwater Photographer - Jose Antonio Salido Moriel. He is a software developer living in Spain who moved to the Mediterranean Sea to dive more. He dives almost every day and loves photographing Nudibranchs! You can follow him on Instagram at @carvitoadventures - Keep reading to find out more about Jose and his journey with SCUBA & Underwater Photography!
Hi, Nudi Lovers!! My name is Jose and I’m a Software Developer from Sevilla, Spain. Although I’ve traveled a lot around the world, I’ve lived my entire life in Sevilla. I play guitar, piano and I used to play drums in lots of bands for over 25 years. I run marathons, I love DIY projects, woodworking, electronics and of course, photography. I enjoy trying new things, living new experiences and I’m really curious about how things work, about the unknown, about the unseen… like nudis, those critters that non divers never heard about… 😂😂
A little over one year ago, I met Emi (IG @emi_markovic ) and we both agreed that we needed more and more diving… so we moved together to La Herradura (Granada, Spain) in the Mediterranean Sea. This place is the number 1 dive site in Europe to spot nudibranchs, sub-tropical weather, small town, friendly people… and we are super happy diving almost everyday and spotting nudis we’ve never spotted before 😀
When and why did you start diving?
As surprising as it may sound, I discovered scuba diving only 4 years ago. It was meant to be one of those things I try, enjoy once, and don’t feel the attraction, just like skydiving or skiing. But diving changed the way I understood life and I felt I needed to take it seriously, I needed diving to be a safe activity so it could be fun and enjoyable, so I took every course after OWD: AOWD, Rescue Diver, Divemaster… and then I jumped into tech diving because I wanted longer bottom times, deeper diving… Around 250 logged dives in 2022… yes, you can say I like diving… even carrying double tanks 😂😂😂
How and why did you get started with photography?
As many others, I suppose, I was already a photographer before I started diving so for me, some part of the way was already walked. I already understood the foundations, lightning, etc. But underwater photography wasn’t something I was planning to do. I used to take some pictures underwater from time to time but then I bought an Olympus TG6. It was my camera when I discovered nudibranchs and I still take it with me as a backup camera when I travel. If you’re willing to start underwater photography and you don’t know where to start, TG6 is for you.
Tell the community a little about your photography setup! Dive gear and photography must haves.
As also happened to many others, the lack of a Manual Mode in the TG6 was quite a big deal to me. I needed to gain control over exposure. A friend of mine, Pau, was selling his old S100 so there was my opportunity.
- Canon Powershot S100 in a Recsea aluminum housing
- Strobes are Sea&Sea Y110
- Focusing light and snoot: Weefine Smart Focus
- Hand light: Weefine SN1500
- Wet lens: Saga +15
- Easyfit quick release rings for lenses
What I like the most from compact cameras (as an advantage to reflex cameras) is sync speed. I can still shoot when reflex can’t. Of course, there are downsides as well, that’s why I’m trying to save some money for a new kit… a reflex kit… but I will keep the S100… it’s wonderful.
Must haves: light. Whatever you are planning to do underwater, do it with light. Learn to control lightning and you’ll have 90% of the work done 😉
What is your favorite Nudibranch and where can you find them?
This is like asking if you love more dady or mumy, it’s a trap!! xxDDD
I have my preferences, of course. I normally talk about “local” nudis (those present in the Mediterranean Sea, where I live) and “outside” nudis (those I find when travelling).
My “local” top 5 is:
1. Peltodoris atromaculata
2. Diaphorodoris papillata
3. Felimida luteorosea (and luteopunctata)
4. Nemesignis banyulensis
5. Antiopella cristata
It’s not an ordered list and I feel like it’s organic. If you ask me next month, it may be slightly different. We have 247 (identified so far) species in the Mediterranean Sea, it’s an open list 😉
My “outsiders”: I can’t choose one either. I spent this summer (over 2 months) in the Philippines and Bali so my heart, so far, is with Indo-Pacific species: Hypselodoris, Goniobranchus, Halgerdas… love them. But I also enjoy the smaller world: Dotos, Cyerces, Eubranchus, Costasiellas…
I would love to spot Melibe colemani… maybe this summer 🤞
Your go-to resource for identifying nudibranchs or other creatures you see underwater?
My number 1 resource are my friends. There’s only a handful of nudi freaks and we all know who we are. I normally dive with marine biologists, experts, photographers with great knowledge… so, for me, it’s easier to text a friend: LST from @litoraldegranada, @davisubgranada, @antuan_puertas, @enricmadrenas, @mediterranean_species, @oscarmontferrer … all are top photographers and they know about nudis more than I could learn even if I lived 3 lives.
I also have a book from Xavi Salvador (@mediterranean_species) to identify “locals”.
When I can’t identify an Indo-Pacific nudi, I normally ask Anouk (@nudibranch.ia) or look for it in Gary Cobb’s guide.
And always before posting, I check in WORMS if name is still accepted or deprecated.
Your goals for underwater photography or diving.
As a diver, my next step is deco processes and advanced nitrox. I hope I can have it finished by the end of this year. As an underwater photographer, I love playing and experimenting with new techniques, I feel I need to improve my skills with the snoot but, on the other end, I also enjoy high key images so, as you can see, I have lots of things to do… lots of diving till I master those skills.. anyway, I enjoy the process of learning more than getting soon to the goal 😉
Lastly, some tips and tricks for other underwater photographers who are just getting started.
I get this question asked frequently and I always say, normally about what equipment to get: “it’s not the bow, it’s the archer”. I mean that you’d be surprised with how little you need to get great results. I spent one and a half years with nothing more than TG6 in one hand and a flashlight in the other hand, shooting with the built-in flash.
Of course, as soon as you can, get a strobe, it makes the difference. But, as I said, work on your technique, spend hours practicing, not only underwater, get to know your gear… you want to be that great archer who hits the center with any bow and not the one that needs the new generation bow to finally not get even close.
Those are my advices but not only for those starting, I apply to myself everyday.
Oh!! I almost forgot… if you are getting started with UW photography… PLEASE, work hard on your buoyancy control. Be respectful with marine life and the environment, don’t touch nudibranchs (or anything), don’t lay on the bottom, even if it’s sandy… many creatures live in the sand. For stabilization, carefully place a finger and let your camera rest on that hand. Marine life (and myself) will appreciate that 😘
Last but not least: Thanks, Hannah, for contacting me, I felt gifted. I stopped using social media several years ago but I decided to create an IG account last summer for my uw photography and 99% are nudis pictures. And I believe @ilovenudis was one of the first accounts I followed, if not the first. I’m still asking myself what was it on my IG that caught your eye but, whatever it was, I’m so happy I did that… 🤗
Safe diving and happy nudi hunting to you all!!