Foyer and Auditorium levels


“Lone star!”

A batfish cruises past a large school of snapper.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia, August 2015

“Potpourri” or “Tutti Frutti”

All sorts of fish inhabit the most biodiverse coral reef on the planet.
Here, a titan triggerfish, a clown triggerfish, a six-banded angelfish and parrotfish share a snacking location.

Raja Ampat, West Papua, August 2015

“Dolphin light”

These Atlantic spotted dolphins allowed me to swim with them for a moment. Every instant in the presence of dolphins is memorable…

Bimini, The Bahamas, September 2015


Atlantic spotted dolphins mingle near Bimini.

The Bahamas, September 2015

“The opening”

One dolphin is always more excited or vocal than the others...

Bimini, The Bahamas, September 2015

“Top 5”

Atlantic spotted dolphins hang motionless in ideal positions for a photograph.

Bimini, The Bahamas, September 2015

Atlantic spotted dolphins at play.

Bimini, The Bahamas, September 2015

“Group ascent”

Atlantic spotted dolphins rise in a bunch.

Bimini, The Bahamas, September 2015

“Sneaker approach”

The sucker part of a remora’s head looks much like the sole of a sneaker but is actually an evolved dorsal fin.
This animal was missing a host and seemed to want to attach to the divers in my group.

The Bahamas, April 2016

“Turtle in the blue”

A magnificent green turtle rises to the surface close to the Sea Aquarium site.

Exumas, April 2016

“The look”

An oceanic whitetip shark comes close on a dive off Cat Island.

The Bahamas, April 2016

Hyperactive creole wrasse around a sponge.

Every now and again a school of fish seems to go berserk around a certain object or in a specific spot. That was the situation for maybe 40-60 beautiful fish around a sponge off a wall in a dive location that was new to me. The fish were all over the place, excited and intrigued. Very interesting to watch.

The Bahamas, April 2016

Orangutan crab!

Found in the tropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific region, including off the coast of Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, the orangutan crab (Achaeus japonicas) is small, with a carapace that measures just 2cm across.
From its eyestalks to the tips of its very long legs, it’s covered in a rusty-red coat of fine hairs.

Indonesia, August 2016

A pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) on its gorgonian home 28–30 metres down.

Pigmy seahorses are only 14-27 millimetres long and come in 9 recognized species, all living in Southeast Asia.
Other dwarf seahorse species exist but, due to anatomical differences, are not considered true pigmy seahorses.

Philippines, May 2017

Oceanic whitetip shark surrounded by pilotfish at Elphinstone.

Egypt, December 2017

“Nurse shark blurred”

There are about a dozen resident nurse sharks at Compass that are fed daily. Feedings are both a huge draw to tourists, who are allowed to get in the water with them, and to the sharks. Whilst a dozen or so nurses are known and have names, other sharks, including lemons, sometimes join the fray.

Compass Cay, the Bahamas, December 2018


A Caribbean reef shark swims with bar jacks in front of it and a remora below.

Danger Reef, the Exumas, July 2019

“Soft coral snack”

A large hawksbill turtle makes a meal of soft corals, with strands and balls of a milky substance (resulting from the breakdown of the coral) forming as it feeds.

Egypt, November 2020

“Soft landing... with bubbles”

A dolphin can spin two to seven times in the air if it so chooses.

Egypt, November 2020

“Controlled descent”

The sperm whale calf I had the privilege of seeing three times during our expedition slowly descended and then remained in place after spending minutes at the surface with me during our most magical encounter.
The calf may have been settling to sleep; sperm whales sleep with their heads pointing skywards.

Dominica, August 2021
Taken on government permit

Lounge chair sea lion at Solymar hotel in Puerto Ayora.

At the Solymar the sea lions rule -- walking past guests, swimming in the pool, stealing lounge chairs… basically doing whatever they choose and living their best lives.
This one couldn’t have been happier -- and didn’t mind my camera at all.

The Galapagos, August 2021

“Manta magic”

This INCREDIBLE animal played with me – watching, following and leading me – for twenty minutes or more.
It repeatedly showed me its belly, making a perfect rotation towards me perhaps six times. It looked deep into my eyes and, at the end of our encounter, swam right under me, inverted and mirroring my speed, for an unforgettable moment. Unmistakable evidence that manta rays are indeed the most intelligent – and curious – of all fish.

Isla de la Plata — near Puerto Lopez, Ecuador, September 2021

Some of Sataya’s spinners...

Egypt, November 2021

“Guardians of the wreck” or “the wrecking crew”

A couple of batfish pass the bow of the Abu Galawa Kebir wreck, my favorite in the region.

Egypt, November 2021

“Unexpected guest”

This sea lion spent the whole afternoon on our tender!
A perfect photo op...

The Galapagos, February 2022


Polynesia, August 2022

“Reef walker”

When they’re not hiding among rocks or corals or actively swimming… octopus are crawling in and out of spaces and walking over the reef.
The way they move their arms is fascinating and, given that octopi are capable of changing both their skin color AND ITS TEXTURE, the variety of appearances is staggering. The way this one had its arms trailing – and not all facing the same direction – was very interesting.
My guide Nikita and I found this wondrous creature on my first dive in Bora Bora.

Polynesia, August 2022

Blacktip reef sharks and triggerfish at the surface.

Polynesia, August 2022

Blacktip reef sharks under the surface.

Whilst feeding the sharks in the area has been banned, the blacktips that come en masse to one of the more popular spots may still be expecting a snack, whether in the form of a gift or extra food thrown overboard

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

“Eagle Ray fever!”

Never in my life had I seen so many spotted eagle rays in one place or gathered together in a school.
I think my guide and I counted 80 or more on one dive. This image shows the most beautiful formation I experienced during the Bora Bora expedition.

Polynesia, August 2022

“Manta all flapped up…” or “Manta light”

All too often a subject moves while you focus on it … or it’s hard to fit the whole animal in your frame.
This image seems lovely in particular not only because of the light but also thanks to the position of the reef manta’s “wings”. It is by far and away one of my favorite manta images…

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

An anemone partially flipped over (possibly from light current) with its resident clownfish and damselfish close. This was on a deep-ish dive in the location where the eagle rays gather; but we couldn’t find the rays.

Clownfish have a symbiotic relationship with anemones — and don’t get stung by them like other fish do. Most of the time we don’t see damselfish in anemones. But sometimes we do, and they frequently reside in the same anemones as clownfish. Clownfish and damselfish are closely related at the anatomical level.

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

“Garden eels galore”

Garden eels are everywhere on some sandy bottoms.
They live in large colonies, some even reaching an acre of surface area, and come in about 10 varieties. They spend most of their time with their long and very thin bodies partly out of their burrows, moving with the current and catching food.

The minute you get too close they immediately retreat into their holes – sometimes dozens of them at the same time.
I’ve only ever managed to capture two decent shots of individuals. But they are now shown in public aquariums and one can get a good look at them there.

Polynesia, August 2022

“Gill cleaning!”

A reef manta receives services from a cleaner wrasse.

Divers often visit “cleaning stations” to observe the thousands of animals that frequent them and an intriguing grooming process.
The wrasses set up an animal version of a car wash with fish, rays and even turtles receiving care in the form of parasite and dead skin removal.

Clients sometimes line up and patiently wait their turn.

In places like Cocos and the Galapagos in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, where cleaner wrasse are absent, it is barber fish, a species of butterflyfish,
that take care of the sharks and rays.
There, the cleaning stations are usually in slightly deeper water.

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

“Rise up”

Reef manta ascent.

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

“Damsels not distressed”

One of the most beautiful things I saw last summer was small groups (families?) of damselfish hovering above and, some of them, nestling in corals. They swam for cover when I got close but looked unbelievable from an acceptable distance. Wonderful opportunities such as the above presented themselves perhaps four times during the trip.

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

“Silver sphere”

A small school of barracuda swam in fantastic formations, including a near-perfect circle, on one of our outings.
The flash only ever hits some of the fish, partially because they are never all equidistant from the camera.

Bora Bora, Polynesia, August 2022

“Quarterly report”

A tightknit group of spinner dolphins prepare for ascent.

Sataya, Egypt, November 2022


When a dugong feeds, the substrate goes everywhere.

Egypt, November 2022

“And we’re off!”

Dugong starting her ascent for a breath at the surface.

Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022

“Itchy dugong!”

Watching our lovely friend rub herself on — or scratch herself with — this discarded tyre was an interesting and rather curious experience.

Near Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022

The female dugong is seen here with a tyre that we observed her play around and scratch herself with several times.

Egypt, November 2022

“Holy dolphins”

If you’re extremely lucky, you witness what looks like light coming down from the heavens to illuminate your subjects.

Sataya, Egypt, November 2022

“Onwards and downwards”

Spinner dolphins in the shallows — my favorite situation in Sataya.

Egypt, November 2022

“The tribe”

I was lucky they came to such shallow water, making it easier on my lungs… and that
They looked so magnificent at that moment.

The different angles and positions really make the shot.

Sataya, Egypt, November 2022

“Centered favorite”

One of the spinner dolphins in Sataya this year was missing a large part of its dorsal fin.
We saw the individual nearly every day, and I grew fairly attached to it.
We’ll never know what wounded it – a shark, boat or something else – but I do hope to see it again next year.

Sataya, Egypt, November 2022

“Grounded grey”

The lovely female dugong was sleeping when we found her unusually close to the reef that morning… She was rocking side to side when I got close to her. Most of the week we saw her on white sand and the color contrast was greater; but this grey against grey looked exceptional.

Near Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022

“Golden friends”

Unlike the male dugong we spent time with in 2017, who was covered in remoras, this female had these beautiful jacks for escorts – much like oceanic whitetip sharks tend to be accompanied by pilot fish.

Near Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022


The female dugong, a new and much-admired acquaintance, takes flight...

Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022


Being marine mammals, dugongs must go to the surface to breathe. Our girl sometimes stayed there quite long, even when there were lots of snorkelers around her. Other times she would just take a breath or two and go right back down. The jacks she spends time with rarely head to the surface with her.

Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022

“Just hanging out...”

Our beloved female dugong just under the surface.
It might seem unlikely to a stranger but, over the course of our expedition, I grew to rather love that face.
We spent a lot of time with this girl...
She moved elegantly and actually looked sweet!

Near Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022

“That face…”

A Curious and proud batfish was the phenomenal consolation prize when we couldn’t find the dugong one day. And what a prize it was.
A BEAUTIFUL and bold animal that came to me again and again during a period of perhaps 10-12 minutes. It never swam more than 5 meters away from me…

Marsa Alam, Egypt, November 2022

“Reef fish”

Egypt, December 2022

“Miss Direction”

Spinner dolphins dispersing.

Sataya, Egypt, December 2022

Lit up glass fish in the Abu Galawa Kebir wreck.

Egypt, December 2022

“The Look of Love!”

Or at least that’s what this magnificent animal saw in my eyes.

Sataya, Egypt, December 2022

“Middle of the action”

Dolphins look their best when they’re having fun.
And these animals couldn’t have seemed happier.

Sataya, Egypt, December 2022

“The advance” or “Reconnaissance”

We went to Dolphin Reef – much closer to shore than Sataya – for the last two days of our expedition.
There, it is bottlenose dolphins that we encounter, not spinners.
Bottlenose are much larger and thicker animals.
This year we had 14 dolphins at the start of our first dive – whereas the last time we only saw 4.

The visibility was poor and the dolphins kept cruising up and down the reef, not staying with us.
In this image the group was approaching us the second time and in a lovely formation.

One big difference between Sataya and Dolphin Reef is that, whilst you’re usually only allowed to snorkel with dolphins – as is the case in Sataya, you dive Dolphin Reef. Generally speaking… dolphins and whales are afraid of the bubbles and steer clear of divers.
But the bottlenose of Dolphin Reef, also known as Dolphin House, are habituated to divers.

Egypt, December 2022

Once again it seems as if holy light were shining down on my precious and beloved subjects.

The spinner dolphins here were in shallow water – easier to get to. Holding one’s breath is hard, though, and always seems a struggle to me.
Hence, capturing an image like this one under duress is always a delight.

Sataya, Egypt, December 2022

“First approach”

Simone_filmmaker and I had been waiting a bit for an encounter with the bottlenose that morning, and just as we were both starting to lose a little hope and I’d become distracted — turning away from my buddy/exhibition partner, and looking for any other lifeforms, the dolphins came right next to Simo and pushed past him towards me.

Dolphin Reef near Marsa Alam, Egypt, December 2022

“The Squad”

Dolphin Reef, Egypt, December 2022

“Big bubbles!”

Now and again a dolphin will exhale more than usual or in an atypical way. These were the biggest bubbles I’ve ever SEEN from a dolphin!
SIMO, simone_filmmaker on Insta, was just as impressed as me — and captured fantastic video of this moment.

Sataya, Egypt, December 2022

Can we say this dolphin flipped me off?

One of my favorite spinner dolphin photos from last season in Sataya, this was the image we used for the poster and press at the UN oceans conference and at the Ismaili Center in Lisbon last July.

The dolphins look so good when seen from underneath and in images taken below the surface.
It just adds something.

I also love this shot because it is the individual/lone dolphins that come to check you out
that are most interesting in their behavior. And they get in all sorts of positions during a good encounter with
visual contact.

Egypt, December 2022

“Anthias everywhere”

Egypt, December 2022

Incredible spirals of Turbinaria reniformis coral.

Wakatobi, Indonesia, January 2023

A clownfish peeks out of its anemone home on our penultimate dive at Wakatobi.

Indonesia, January 2023

Beautiful green turtle in flight.

Wakatobi, Indonesia, January 2023

Pink skunk clownfish at home in their anemone.

One hardly ever hears about it but there are actually 28 recognized species of clownfish (also known as “anemone fish”) around the world!

Wakatobi, Indonesia, January 2023

A beautifully colored leaf scorpionfish rests on its leg-like pectoral fins on a branch of coral.

Wakatobi, Indonesia, January 2023