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Breaking The Surface With Underwater Action Photographer Jose Debasa

Most professional photographers are expected to wear something formal to the events they are covering.


For Jose Debasa, his professional attire consists of a camouflage wetsuit and a pair of Deep Apnea fins.


We recently had a chance to speak with Mr. Debasa to talk about his exciting career as an underwater photographer and free diver operating out of Miami, Florida. What led you into the field of underwater photography?


Jose Debasa: Photography is something I’ve always had within me. I came to this country when I was 11 years old . . . and got my first camera freshman year–it was my first DSLR. Before that I had a little point-and-shoot I would take with me to the Everglades.


I always had a love for wildlife, so I would go to the Everglades and find whatever I could photograph. I would try to focus on species that were endangered or close to being on the endangered species list. Then I would get out there and try to document those animals in their natural habitat. I did that with a little Canon point-and-shoot.


About nine years ago I really got into deep-sea diving and spearfishing, and after seeing everything the ocean had to offer, exploring the ocean and exploring myself as a diver, I just had to take the photography underwater and share that with people. It started as a hobby, but now it’s [my profession] which I still love.


R: What kind of underwater photography equipment are you using to get your shots today?


JD: Right now the camera I’m using is a Nikon D700, and the housing I’m using is made by Aquatica. Before this camera I had a Nikon D200–but I lost that one to the ocean.


R: You mentioned spearfishing, so we have to ask: what’s your favorite fish to hunt, either with a camera or a spear gun? Any fish that’s been particularly elusive?


JD: I would say the most elusive fish for me is the Wahoo. It’s funny, because I’ve actually caught it on camera, but not with a spear gun.


My favorite eating fish that I go after every time I go out are black groupers or hogfish. We used to have a lot of hogfish in Miami, but over the years they’ve started to get fished out, so we actually have a season for them now. [Hogfish] are good eating fish.


Looking for a deeper look into the exciting world of underwater photography and spearfishing? Then visit Jose’s website at You can also check out his Instagram, and be sure to follow him on Twitter.



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