I am a South African underwater photographer and started diving in 2013. I specialize in conservation, nature, and underwater photography, along with expertise in product and stock photography.
I love traveling and take pictures all over the world, but I mostly take pictures in False Bay, Cape Town, where I live. Here, we have temperate waters which usually have a green hue and lower visibility and can be quite a challenging environment for photography.
If we are open and aware, nature lends us glimpses of connection, moments that truly imprint on our souls. Like a visit from a shark in murky water appearing and disappearing in a few moments like a shadow passing by, an octopus trustingly reaching out to touch you, floating weightlessly next to a huge whale shark, or even a friendly fish inquisitively checking you out and coming very close. By respecting their world I do my best to become part of it, like a spectator going unnoticed not imposing on my surroundings, but rather, actively observing. That is what I like to capture. This is what I want for my photography, connecting people to the ocean and nature.
Anemone Art // Macro picture of a purple sea anemone with striking colouration fading into a black background. Depicting a weird and wonderful, almost alien world. This picture was taken with a 100mm macro lens on a low visibility dive. Gordon's Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Blue Gas Flame // A beautiful Bonisa nakaza nudibranch or a Blue Gas flame (as they are locally known). This is a popular species in False Bay, Cape Town and is endemic to South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Cold Water Reef // A wideangle shot of a vibrant reef that's not often this clean and clear with a chilling 10'C. Gordon's Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Dip-dye Fan Worm // Closeup of a Giant fanworm (Sabellastarte longa) with striking coloration in its fan. This picture was taken with a 100mm macro lens on a low visibility dive. Gordon's Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Fish in a Fan // Barred fingerfin fish (Cheilodactylus pixi) sitting on top of a large Sinuous sea fan. Simon's Town, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Interconnection // A picture of a happy and free bottlenosed dolphin illuminated by sunrays shining through the water's surface. Calmly looking at the viewer expressing our interconnectedness. Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Oceanic Blacktip Shark // A calm shark passing by on one of Aliwal Shoal's famous shark dives. Umkomaas, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Rays of Light // Mezmerising light rays shining through the surface of the water highlighting the fish as silhouettes and lighting up their fins. Showing the underwater world as a magical place full of mystery and wonder. A beconing image to explore and protect. Natural light image. Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
Sanctuary // A green sea turtle grazing on the sea grass illuminated by light rays. The turtle sanctuary creates a safe space for many turtles and it's definately working as we saw a big number of large and smaller individuals here. The first time we went to this snorkel spot the afternoon sun was just perfect for catching light rays. Natural light image. Nosy Sakatia, Madagascar. © Madelein Wolf
Strike a Pose // A charming common octopus entertaining me with his antics. He seemed interested in me, so I passed some shells on to him and he took them. It's great to have such incredible interactions with animals. I love the connection. Simon's Town, Cape Town, South Africa. © Madelein Wolf
The Dream // An enchanting scene with natural light of a coral outcrop in between the sea grass beds with two lionfish hovering like guard dogs. This images takes me back to the calm and quiet every time. Nosy Sakatia, Madagascar. © Madelein Wolf
Primary camera: Canon EOS R6 inside an Ikelite Underwater Housing. Madelein uses the Ikelite Flat Port with the 100mm macro lens or 35mm macro lens. Behind the Ikelite 8" Dome Port Madelein uses the 17-40mm lens.
Secondary camera: Canon 750D with the 100 macro lens, 10-18mm lens, or 24mm lens.
Madelein Wolf is a conservation and nature photography based out of South Africa. When she's not out in nature or underwater capturing moments of connection, she's being the lens capturing product and stock photos. Madelein focuses on photographic moments that will leave an impact on her viewers and help them feel more connected to nature, in an effort to help protect it. Follow more of Madelein's adventures and stay connected to nature with her: Instagram @sealife_madeleinwolf, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok @sealife_madeleinw.