Mikhail Semenov

Wildlife Photographer


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"From Russia with love."


"Educated as mechanical engineer and filled with a great desire to take underwater pictures, I created my first housing for the Russian Zorki cameras in 1979. 
My case was made out of Plexi-glas, not much different from the US Ikelite housing—which I didn’t even know by that time."


About the photographer


I made my first dive with my own construction under the ice of the Yenisey River and have never gone on a dive without a camera ever since. In 1983, I graduated from the Krasnoyarsk Marine School and became an instructor for underwater sports. In that function I did lots of diving and photographing in Siberia and at the Black Sea. The first photography prize I received in 1989 at the Silver Dolphin Festival in Donetsk—for my “Black Sea” portfolio selection.

All together I served ten years in the Black Sea Fleet as a military and commercial diver and was involved in the development and practical application of underwater photographic equipment under the program of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR. After my military career I worked for several years as dive instructor and underwater photographer in the Yalta Dive Center. Since 1998, I live in Moscow, freelancing for the diving magazines Octopus, Underwater Club and InVertum, and cooperating with the National Geographic Society Russia.

Working for magazines, I have visited many parts of the world and experienced more than 5,000 hours of diving in all oceans, from the Arctic to the equator. But I also know that one doesn’t need to travel to the end of the world to make a good shot—there are lots of interesting ponds, lakes and rivers nearby each and every Russian home. A good story can be found right at home; creativity is the main thing! In 2009, together with my friend Andrew Oborin, I published the photo album Russia: Underwater Insight, for which we were awarded the Russian national award for “Contribution to underwater activities”. In 2011, I was honored with the title Academician in Photography and awarded the national prize “Golden Eye of Russia”. Please enjoy my Edition Fifty Fathoms portfolio “From Russia with Love”.

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