FORUM – WOMEN IN DIVING

It’s not everyday you get to sit down with some of the world’s top female underwater photographers together in one room. Come and join them as they share and discuss their expertise and experiences photographing the underwater world; be it the biggest whales to the tiniest of parasites. From tropical colourful reefs to cold dark kelp forests. From waiting a minute to spending weeks for that one perfect shot. It’ll be worth it.

NURUL YAZID

For as long as she can remember, Nurul has always been fascinated by the ocean. She learnt to swim at the age of 3 and was already snorkelling with fishes by the time she was 5. Whilst kids her age aspired to be firemen, doctors or their favourite superheroes, she wanted to be a dolphin trainer. She always knew that one way or another she would end up being a part of the underwater world.

After quitting her corporate life in Kuala Lumpur, Nurul followed her dreams to become a Dive Instructor. She worked on various paradise islands including the Perhentians, Mabul and Pom Pom Island, where she won multiple awards for her outstanding achievement as a PADI Instructor. At some point, she decided to pick up Underwater Photography as a new challenge and immediately fell in love with it. Fast forward 8 years, she has been featured in diving magazines and websites and have won multiple awards for her work. Whether she is swimming with sharks in the Bahamas or fighting against the strong currents in Indonesia, it is always with a camera in one hand and her eyes wide open – “ I try my utmost to document and create stories through my photography”.

www.nurulyazid.com

STACY CHEE

Stacy has been diving for 15 years. Her passion for marine life and diving led her to develop a love for underwater photography, which in turn led her to her partnership with Sony Malaysia as an opinion leader in the area. Her photography skills coupled with her deep technical diving abilities allow her to share with family, friends and the world the mysterious underwater creatures that lie beneath.

Stacy is also the founder and co-owner of Moby Tek Dive Center on Tioman Island, where she teaches reactional and technical dive courses.

Sofi Aida Sugiharto

A mother of three, Sofi has been an avid diver since 2004, thanks to her husband. In 2006, she picked up underwater photography and since then, her photos have been widely published with one even making the cover of a Russian underwater magazine.

Recently in 2017, she become one of the 21 female photographers chosen by Canon Indonesia, to represent them and called “Srikandi anon”. Last year, she won the Adam Malik memorial award at the ‘Salon Foto Indonesia 40’. This year, she achieved QPSA distinction from the Photographic Society of America.

SUZAN MELDONIAN

Owner of DiscoverTheOceans.com, Suzan shoots marine aliens for a living. Her recent adventure was black water diving, where she photographed planktonic aliens from the deep that rise to the surface each night in what is called the vertical migration. It is the largest migration on Earth and it occurs every night all over the world. While not new to science, it is ground-breaking territory for underwater photographers. The creatures are spectacular and the possibilities are endless to document new species and behaviour in-situ.

NORHAYATI AHMAD

With a PhD in Zoology and specialising in herpetology, Norhayati is a professor in Biological Sciences and Biotechnology at UKM. Awarded four times for quality of service, winning six national book awards and bagging the title of Best of Show Category in photography during MIDE 2018, Norhayati has also published more than 94 journals, 12 books, 24 technical reports and made countless contributions to many other literary and editorial publications. As an Advanced NAUI SCUBA and a certified Reef Check Reef Check Eco diver of the Organisation since 2010, she has also established an international outreach as a collaborator, recipient of scholarships to the UK, Japan and Australia.

Tracey Jennings

Photographer

With 20 years of diving experience and now a master diver, Tracey only started underwater photography five years ago. She currently uses a Nikon D850 with a Seacam underwater housing. She hopes her photographs can inspire others to protect the wonder of the underwater world.

With the underwater world as her place of calm and silence in this hectic world, Tracey named the Solomon Islands, Cocos Islands, Philippines, Indonesia (Raja Ampat), South Africa and the Azores as her favourite places to dive so far. Having just moved to Malaysia after living in Singapore for 10 years she’s looking forward to exploring the waters of Malaysia.

In 2018, Tracey was the first female winner of Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Widely published in the likes of NatGeo online, Ocean Geographic, BBC, and several scuba diving magazines, she’s also taken home many awards – winner of Natures Best Africa Oceans,
finalist of Ocean Geographic, category winner & runner up for Australian Geographic, 2nd and 3rd place Asia Pacific Challenge, awarded at Oztek, and 2nd place Australia Nikon portfolio.

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