Underwater Photography

Rock Beauty – West Palm Beach

I started diving in 1994 when I taught school on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands where I earned my PADI Open Water, Advanced and Rescue Diver certificate.  I returned to Florida for a year and did a little diving here on the east coast.

Golden Moray Eel on Veronica 2, a wreck in Grenada

In 1996 I returned to the Pacific to teach on Saipan for two years in the Northern Marianas Islands.  While there, I earned my PADI Dive Master and Open Water Instructor certificate.  But the photography bug did not bite until I returned to Florida once again.  I started with film in a Sea&Sea point and shoot camera.  Today, I shoot with a Panasonic EM5 with two Sea&Sea strobes for lighting.

Juvenile Spotted Drum – Boynton Beach

Over the years, I have had a chance to travel and dive throughout much of the Caribbean including Cuba and Belize.  This included a trip to Dominica where our group was greeted by Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm.

Cup Coral and Sponges on a Wreck – West Palm Beach

I also traveled throughout Micronesia and, after my return to the States, made a trip to Fiji and La Paz, Mexico.  These photos are just a taste of the many sitting on my computer.

Blue and Large Tunicates on an Orange Sponge on a wall in Belize


Buggy Eyed Secretary Blenney – Bonaire


Spinyhead Blenney – La Paz, Mexico


Nudibranch – Fiji


Baby Octopus – Grenada


Reef Shark, Roatan, Honduras


Flamingo Tongue, Roatan, Honduras


Sun Anemone Shrimp, Roatan, Honduras


Spotted Cleaner Anemone Shrimp – Curacao


Christmas Tree Worms – West Palm Beach


Christmas Tree Worms – Bonaire


Loggerhead Turtle – West Palm Beach


Sea Lion – La Paz, Mexico


Queen Angel – West Palm Beach

Donna McGrew has been a teacher since 1981 and a diver since 1994, “working” in places that many divers can only dream of visiting.  She joined OLLI around six years ago when she retired.  Her favorite classes have been Great Books, the zoo and OLLI’s aquarium classes.  She’s part of the online Game SIG, the Movie SIG and the OLLI Outdoors SIG, and is on both the Finance Committee and Membership Committee.  She will be teaching a class with Diane White in May on photo composition, including tips and practice.


20 Replies to “Underwater Photography”

  1. Beautiful! Breathtaking! What a sense of liberation you must feel as Jacques Cousteau described, “From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.” Your accomplishments are no mean feat and neither is your photographic artistry. Thank you for sharing, Donna.

  2. Wow -Looking forward to see your experience on Octopus on Saturday, this exemplifies depth of Olli where one gets to meet different talents and interests Thanks

  3. Spectacular! The color of the subjects and their variety made me imagine what else is under the surface of our oceans and seas. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow! Stunningly beautiful photos of an underwater world that is almost beyond imagination. Just beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  5. Love them all, especially the baby octopus! Can’t wait to co-teach the photo class with you that will be in Summer catalog!

  6. Donna, have you ever entered any of your photos in the yearly Smithsonian or National Geographic contests? These photos are certainly professional quality!

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