Pixel 101: Conversation with the Masters of Underwater Photography with Alex Mustard


Pixel 101:

20:20 Vision



Alex Mustard [United Kingdom]

Professional Underwater Photographer



Adam Hanlon [United Kingdom]

Publisher & Editor-at-Large, Wetpixel

Alex Mustard is an underwater photographer and marine biologist. He took his first underwater photos when just 9 years old. Alex has a PhD in marine ecology and worked as a marine scientist until 2004 when underwater photography became his career.

He has been winning international photography awards since his teens and his work is particularly well known from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, where it has featured in 14 different portfolio books of winning photographs over the last 20 years. In 2013, he was named overall winner of the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and is still the only underwater winner of that title. His book Reefs Revealed (2007) won the International Prize for Best Book of the Year at the World Festival of Underwater Pictures. He is the founder and chair of UPY: the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition.

He is especially known for sharing his knowledge, his best-selling book Underwater Photography Masterclass (2016) was reprinted just two weeks after being released. He runs highly popular underwater photography workshops all over the world. During the lockdown, he has recorded more than 200 episodes of Wetpixel Live, an educational YouTube on underwater photography with Adam Hanlon.

He has written over 500 illustrated articles for magazines around the world on underwater photography, marine life and scuba diving, and photographed over 200 underwater cover shots. He has contributed to more than 50 books, including those that accompany landmark documentary series, such as David Attenborough’s Life On Earth, Blue Planet and Our Planet.

In 2007, Nissan built a concept car version of the NV200 specifically designed around his needs as an underwater photographer, although he does not get to use it as it is now displayed in the Nissan museum in Tokyo! Alex is an Ambassador for Mares and the Fourth Element.

He has been an editor at Wetpixel.com since 2006, and a committee member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers since 2002. In 2016, he received the ADEX Award for his ‘Extraordinary Contribution to Underwater Photography” and in 2020 he was awarded the Golden Trident from the International Academy of Underwater Sciences.

In 2018, he received national recognition, receiving the title of MBE from Queen Elizabeth II for ‘services to underwater photography.”