My name is Akira Nanjo. I am an underwater photographer who lives in Okinawa Japan.
Since I was a young boy I have been in love with nature. I vividly remember pouring over the World Picture Book thinking about the different countries I could visit when I got older.
In 1992 I joined the Taiko Arts Group (KODO) and visited 24 countries in 12 years, travelling around the world to connect with people through music. When I visited Miyako Island, Okinawa in 1997, I was captivated by the rich colours of the coral that spread out under the sea. Later, when I dived in Sado Island, Japan, for the first time, I felt that my body was flying in an endless transparent expanse slowly blending into the blue of the ocean. It was a turning point for me, afterwards, I was determined to start diving in earnest.
The environment of Okinawa fascinates me, one so blessed by both sea and nature that it demands to be shared with the world. I moved to Okinawa to get my instructor’s qualification and to study underwater photography. After I got the certification, I started working for a diving shop as an underwater guide. I gave lectures on diving and sold cameras. Throughout these activities, I told people how wonderful underwater photography is.
While I was an instructor there for eight years, I was able to dive and take photos of wonderful underwater creatures in the Kerama Islands (Okinawa), Lembe (Indonesia), Bohol, Bali Kasag (Philippines), Simiran (Thailand), and North Male Atoll (Maldives). From starting underwater photography, I have gained experience in using a single-lens reflex camera, wide, macro, semi-water surface, and movie shooting. Currently, I use the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 Mark II as my main camera, with the M.Z.D ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO for wide, and the M.Z.D ED 60mm F2.8 Macro lens for macro. I also shoot macros and movies with the underwater light RGBlue SYSTEM 02,03. Whenever I shoot, I try to express the rich colours, expressions, and movements of the sea animals while taking care to maintain the beauty of the blue ocean.
In 2021, I started working as a freelance underwater photographer to seek more encounters in the world’s oceans. I want to tell more people about the beauty of the underwater world and the joy of photography. My goal is to pursue this passion in a way that brings attention to the blessings the ocean has for us, and to inspire others to admire and protect its beauty for themselves and the next generation.
Now, the world is strongly influenced by COVID-19 and I hope I will be able to travel soon again soon.
Passing Life to a New Generation, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Skylight of Happiness, Similan Islands, Thailand
The Purple Light of Life, Anemonefish, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Momentary Break, Green turtle, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
The Light of God, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Jumping, Flying, Soaring, Green turtle, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Whereʼs Waldo? Moorish idols, North Male Atoll, Maldives
Kerama Parade, Swallow-tail cardinalfish, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Growing up Fast, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Crystal King, Rock shrimp, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Flower Viewing, Okinawa main island
Shining at the End of Life, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Lovely: Chura-san, Randallʼs prawn goby, Bohol Islands, Philippines
Almost the Same, Coleman shrimp, Lembeh Islands, Indonesia
Golden Angel, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Young Noble, Anemone shrimp, Kerama Islands, Okinawa
Find Akira on Instagram @akira_nanjo_uwphoto
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