ADEX Ambassador for Underwater Photography (Compact Camera): Tim Ho


We bet you’ve seen his amazing shots everywhere. It’s Tim Ho, the underwater photographer who can make magic with just a compact camera.

Tim is part of our upcoming #ADEXPixelExpo – 8 Monthly Global Webinar Series. This September, we focus on Dive Safety and Education. Read on to find out more!


Image from Tim’s Facebook.

Tim started diving in 2003 when his close friend (who was a diving instructor) persuaded him into doing the open water course, which sparked an interest in scuba diving. Since then, Tim has self-taught himself into producing notable imagery with just a compact camera, and without the aid of Photoshop and Lightroom editing, nor the use of strobes.

Not only is he an avid diver and underwater photographer, but he is also the proud owner of Anilao Photo Hotel, which is catered towards underwater photography. Tim’s adventures have seen him based across Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, but he is currently spending his time in the Philippines where he runs the “Anilao Photo Academy”. He has switched his cameras between Canon IXUS80is, Canon G10, Canon S95, and Canon S 100.

Image by Tim Ho

How he started

Tim started underwater photography in 2007 while on the Perhentian Islands. With a Sony Ericsson camera-phone placed in a plastic bag-like case, the excitement of playing mp3s on the phone while taking photos of divers underwater thrilled him. Beginning with 3- to 5-metre dives, Tim would progress further to 18 metres. Beyond that, the plastic would compress the buttons, making it impossible to operate anymore.

He continued using his mobile phone camera until the year 2009 when Tim purchased his first underwater compact camera — the Canon IXUS80is. In the same year, Tim left the city to become a full-time dive instructor in Malaysia. When he’s not teaching dive courses, he works as a videographer on a liveaboard as well as contributes photos and articles to various magazines.

As upgrading his camera was too expensive, he began exploring its operations and gaining a deeper understanding of how it operated on his own. To this day, his methods and compact camera techniques are used as reference materials for photography training. His earlier works are used as a benchmark for compact cameras by photographers. 

Adventures with Compact Camera

Image by Tim Ho.

Tim takes such beautiful underwater photographs, that most people cannot believe that his gear of choice is not a fancy SLR system, but a simple compact camera and a small torch. His work is a testament to the fact that photography is all about the idea and not about the gear.

As Tim finds it tedious to participate in competitions, he uploads images taken in 2009 and 2010 were to — which was more to test the response and get tips and pointers than to participate in a competition.

Tim was placed in the 2010 annual winners list and was one of seven medal winners out of almost 11,000 entries from across the globe. This emboldened Tim to continue shooting and experimenting with his Canon G10 with no strobes, no flash, and no Photoshop. Tim also made the cut in the Edition Fifty Fathom’s 50 Macro Portfolio’s list among other notable photographers.

Tim does not carry any strobes with him, instead, he shoots using unmounted natural light or handheld torchlight. If any light is needed, he will make use of any LED light he can find around him.  

Tim greatly enjoys creative and experimental photography. By taking the time to observe a subject that has already been shot by millions of others, he will try to come up with something unconventional and out-of-the-box. 

Hear more from Tim Ho!

It’s about time you fully explore the potential of what your camera is capable of before moving to the next camera. Adam Hanlon, the publisher & Editor-at-Large of Wetpixel, will be hosting the #PIXEL21 – Conversation with the Masters of Underwater Photography Compact Camera with Tim!


Organised by the digital platform for ADEX Asia Dive Expo, ADEX Pixel Expo, #APE 8th Monthly Virtual Event 2021 celebrates the diversity of the ocean and its diving landscape, with a series of events happening on the 8th of each month, with an aim to bring trending dialogue and deep-rooted tales on the pulse of scuba diving, with inspirational guests and insightful stories!

This September Edition focuses on Dive Safety and Education. Click here to find out more about upcoming events and schedule!