In 2007, Russian underwater photographer Alexander Semenov graduated from Lomonosov’s Moscow State University in the department of Zoology. He specialized in the study of invertebrate animals, with an emphasis on squid brains. Soon after, he began working at the White Sea Biological Station (WSBS) as a senior laborer. After four years of working at the WSBS dive station, he became chief of the diving team. He now organizes all WSBS projects, and dives by himself, always with a camera.
Of his sea life photography, he writes: ‘When I first began to experiment with sea life photography, I tried shooting small invertebrates for fun with my own old camera and without any professional lights or lenses. I collected the invertebrates underwater and then I shot them in the lab. After two or three months of failure after failure, I ended up with a few good pictures, which inspired me to buy a semi-professional camera complete with underwater housing and strobes. I’ve spent the following field season trying to shoot the same creatures, but this time in their environment. It was much more difficult, and I spent another two months without any significant results. But when you’re working at something every day, you inevitably get a lot of experience. Now after four years of practice, I get a few good shots almost every time I dive’.