Vincent Kneefel - Featured Underwater Photography Blogger

Interview with Underwater Photographer Vincent Kneefel

By Scott Gietler


The other day I caught up with Underwater Photographer Vincent Kneefel, who lives in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


vincent kneefel underwater photography


Although Vincent is only 25 years old, he has had experiences in diving, underwater photography and marine conservation that many of us will not have over the course of a lifetime.


sperm whale underwater photo by vincent kneefel

Sperm Whale, Azores, photo by Vincent Kneefel. Canon 5D, Sigma 15mm fisheye lens


The following is an edited version of some of the discussions that we had.




Scott: Vincent, when did you learn diving?

Vincent: When I was 15, on vacation. I then got my divemaster certificate, and then became an instructor.


Scott: What is one of the reasons you love diving so much?

Vincent: Nothing is better for me, than seeing extraordinary marine life


Scott: Where are some of the places that you have dived?

Vincent: I spent a few years traveling, working as a divemaster or instructor in places such as South Africa, Thailand, Sipadan, Australia, the South Pacific, Galapagos islands and Baja, Mexico.


I'm thinking, wow, this guy has really lived in a lot of places and seen a lot, and he's only 25. I know that Vincent has already visited over 50 different countries. Just when I thought that was a lot to have under his belt, we started talking about marine conversation, and his passion for it.


vincent kneefel underwater photography

Whale shark feeding, Sea of Cortez, Baja Mexico. Nikon D100, Sigma 10-20mm


Scott: Vincent, can you talk about your experience in marine conservation?

Vincent: Well, I've made reports on shark finning in Costa Rica, taking photographs in Puntarenas documenting illegal shark finning. I also did a study in the Galapagos islands on marine park management, although from that study I learned many things that really saddened me. I also was the event organizer for world ocean day last year - it was quite an honor to have David Doubilet and Fabien Coustau come over for it, it was a great event to be a part of.


Scott: What do you spend your time doing now?

Vincent: I work in sustaniabiility, I'm getting a phD in the field of sustainable business strategies, from an environmental and social point of view.


mobula ray leaping, sea of cortez, underwater photo by Vincent Kneefel

Leaping Mobula Ray, Sea of Cortez, Mexico


Scott: I notice you enjoy photographing whales and whale sharks, what do you find most challenging about photographing large animals like that?


Vincent: For me shooting these animals had foremost to do with the experience; from when I was young I always dreamt of seeing whales. It is a truly magical feeling, swimming next to an animal that is the size of a schoolbus.


The most challenging aspect is being in the right spot at the right time (with your gear fully prepared) and not interfering with the natural behavior of the whale. This takes a lot of time and patience; someone like Flip Nicklin knows to read the behavior of the whales. I hope some day I will have that kind of experience.


Scott: Do you have any advice for people new or looking to advance their underwater photography?


Vincent: My advise would be to start diving without a camera and take all the time to look around you. I recently started taking art classes and I am now taking more advanced photography classes, since everything I did so far was self-taught. First and foremost your underwater experiences should be fun, the pictures you are looking for will follow.


Scott: When did you start your underwater photography blog?

Vincent: 3 years ago


Scott: What can other underwater photographers do to get more involved in marine conservation and make a difference?

Vincent: So few underwater photographers are truly involved. They care, but they don't stand up and actually speak up as much as they could.


You can visit Vincent's web site at or his blog at


He did a tremendous amount of work organizing world ocean day 2009 in the Netherlands, here you can read the program.


He blog's every other day on average, on marine conservation and underwater photography issues.


Stay tuned for some great marine conservation articles from Vincent which will start appearing soon on the Underwater Photography Guide.

hammerhead shark, cocos island, underwater photo by Vincent Kneefel

Hammerhead shark, Cocos island, underwater photo by Vincent Kneefel. Nikon D100, Sigma 10-20mm