Featured Customers | Ken Byrne From the UK to Lembeh Strait

Nudibranch Copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing & Strobes

I'm 72 years old and still diving. I learnt to dive in 1985 while working in Saudi Arabia. I now mostly dive in the United Kingdom which was quite a shock the first time. I tried it in February but I persevered and bought a drysuit and love UK diving year-round. I still like to try to make one overseas trip each year for a spot of warm water diving.

I got my first camera when I was 10 years old so it was only a matter of time before I combined diving and photography. It did take a while though and I eventually bought a Nikon Nikonos V around 1994. I converted to a Nikon F60 SLR in an Ikelite housing in 1999. Since then, I've had Nikon D70, D80 and D7000 cameras in Ikelite housings and recently made the switch to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II in an Ikelite housing of course.

I made the decision to switch to Olympus after a particularly exhausting trip to Alor Island in Indonesia. That’s when I decided I needed something lighter weight. I use twin Ikelite DS51 strobes because I like the weight and love the benefit of TTL. My main interest is macro photography although I do have fisheye and wide-angle lenses which I use when the occasion arises - most recently, on a trip to the Bahamas last year photographing sharks.

 

Grey Seal copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

A playful Grey Seal at the Farne Islands in north east England May 2017. Nikon D7000 Tokina 10-17 @17 mm F/8 1/200 ISO 400 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Wondwerpus copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Wondwerpus looking wonderful. I love that the scientific name is Wunderpus photogenicus. Taken in Lembeh Strait Indonesia November 2009. Nikon D80 Tokina 90mm F/11 1/200 ISO 200 Twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Pygmy Seahorse copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Pygmy Seahorse taken in The Lembeh Strait Indonesia November 2009. The Lembeh Strait is probably my favorite dive location; there’s so much variety there. These are about the size of your fingernail and very difficult to see and photograph. Nikon D80 Tokina 90mm F/16 1/200 ISO 200 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Peacock worm copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Peacock worm this was taken at the A-Frames dive site in Loch Long, Scotland in December 2023. The water temperature was around 12ºC/53ºF. Much warmer than the 0ºC/32ºF at the surface. Taken using an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with a Panasonic 45mm lens at F/9 1/200 ISO 800 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Nudibranch copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Nudibranch on Bryozoan mat Menai Strait between the Welsh mainland and the Isle of Anglesey. A high energy site with currents of 12 knots is only diveable a slack water but well worth the effort. November 2012 Nikon D7000 Nikon 60mm F/16 1/80 ISO 400 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Pipefish copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Pipefish in Liverpool Duke's Dock opposite the Beatles museum November 2017. Life in the most unusual places. Nikon D7000 Nikon 60mm F/10 1/100 ISO 1600 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Skelton Shrimp copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Skeleton Shrimp taken at St. Kilda 50 miles off the Northwest coast of Scotland June 2021 about an inch long but not too active. If you can spot them, you've got a good chance of getting a shot. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Panasonic 45mm F/8 1/6 ISO 500 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Night Manta copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Night Manta taken in the Maldives November 2013. After a disappointing night dive, we returned to our liveaboard to find a Manta Ray feeding at the back of the boat. While most people headed for a shower and a beer, my buddy and I spent an amazing hour snorkeling with the magnificent manta. Nikon D7000 Tokina 10-17 @ 12mm F/16 1/250 ISO 800 Twin Ikeite DS51s.

 

Jewel Anemones copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Jewel Anemones St. Kilda June 2021 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Panasonic 45mm F/11 1/100 ISO 500 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

Shearwater copyright Ken Byrne Ikelite Underwater Housing

Shearwater taken at Handa Island Northwest Scotland. The unusual sight of a seabird swimming past at a 6-meter (20 feet) safety stop. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Panasonic 7-14mm @ 14mm f/6.3 1/125 ISO 1000 twin Ikelite DS51s.

 

 

Ken Byrne is a very experienced diver and passionate photographer. Ken has been using Ikelite products for more than 25 years with his wide variety of camera bodies. Brave enough to bear the cold water Ken takes his drysuit and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with an Ikelite housing diving year-round in the UK. See more of Ken’s work on his Facebook

 

 

Additional Reading

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Underwater Housing & Camera Review 

Nudibranch Underwater Camera Settings and Technique

An Insiders Guide to Diving Wakatobi Resort Indonesia

Manta Rays Underwater Camera Settings and Technique

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