Awards + Books

Book Review: Big Animal Underwater Photography

Book Review: Big Animal Underwater Photography

By Denise Pietsch

"When it comes to wildlife photography, few images elicit the same degree of shock and awe as those that capture the incredible marine species that roam the open ocean. The fact is underwater photography is challenging to say the least and despite a recent and ongoing surge in popularity, it still represents a fairly small contribution to the world of photography." - Josh Blank, Big Animal Underwater Photography

josh blank underwater photo ebook endorsed by ikelite

Ikelite Ambassador Josh Blank is best known for his incredibly powerful aquatic animal imagery. Photographing the oceans largest creatures up close and personal and in the midst of some of the most breathtaking behaviors, there's a reason Josh has tens of thousands of Instagram followers and a blue check mark next to his name.

Thankfully, Josh has written an eBook sharing the secrets that set his photography apart. In nine chapters Josh provides detailed lessons on the essentials - equipment, the exposure triangle, animal behaviors, composition, and much more. There's a host of reasons you'll want to add this book to your virtual library. Read on to find out why this eBook will be a game changer for you and to get a discount code for 15% off your purchase.

Big Animal Underwater Photography provides a ton of helpful tips and tricks that you can add to your arsenal to improve your photography. Personally, I found the Underwater Scenarios section to be a very useful troubleshooting guide. Whether the scenario is a fast moving shark or cloud cover, Josh walks you through the solution step-by-step all while explaining the science behind the solution. 

Each chapter and topic is thoughtfully, thoroughly, and succinctly explained to help the reader understand the Why behind the How of big animal underwater portraiture. I sometimes find that technical guides can either be too vague or too stuck in the minutiae, but Josh strikes the right balance in providing detailed technical advice. 

chapter 5 preview josh blank ebook endorsed by ikelite

While this eBook is geared toward big animal underwater photography - and contains great animal behavior insights to help set you up for success - there's plenty of lessons to learn for underwater shooters of all kinds. I found myself taking notes that could apply to any range of underwater photography subjects. Maybe you're a macro shooter who's looking to expand their technical range, or you're looking to introduce strobes to your system - there's plenty to learn here for underwater photographers of all ability, experience, and intent. Although this will definitely be a game changer for those of you with shark fever.

Practically speaking, the convenience of an eBook is unparalleled. You've got professional advice right at your finger tips, anytime you want it. Although many of these tips will be ones you won't forget, it's a great reference guide to carry in your back pocket just in case.


You can use the discount code WILDNARRATIVE at checkout to receive 15% off on Josh's website. If you've already purchased Big Animal Underwater Photography but want to keep exploring, we suggest browsing the rest of Josh's website for a deep dive on some of his most epic animal encounters, dive destination recommendations, and photo breakdowns. 



    Josh Blank

    Josh Blank is a diver and underwater photographer based out of the Gold Coast on the east coast of Australia. Through a combination of scuba diving and freediving, Josh is passionate about exploring the open ocean and photographing the larger marine species that inhabit the deep blue. With his photography he hopes to inspire, inform, and instill an interest in the underwater world. Read more...




    Denise Pietsch Bio Photo

    Denise Pietsch (pronounced “Peach”) currently manages Ikelite’s Photo School and social media presence. Denise hails from New Jersey, where she obtained a degree in Dance Therapy. After years teaching dance she migrated into the corporate world and eventually came around to Ikelite via the natural career path of fruit distribution and early childhood development. In the end, her lifelong love of photography and octopuses combined into the work she does now. In addition to sharing her energy and enthusiasm with the underwater community she also manages social media for her dog, Joe, collects vinyl records, and enjoys creating memories with her friends and family.


    Additional Reading

    Up Close and Personal: A Guide to Underwater Animal Portraits

    Sea Turtle Portraits with DS230 Strobes

    Featured Customers | Josh Blank Passionate About Predators

    Book Review: 101 Tips for Underwater Photographers

    Book Review: Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth

    Reading next

    Behind the Shots: Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023
    Women's History Month Reading List for the Underwater Enthusiast