Interview with Alain Pardon

Date of birth: 29th of January 1962

How did you become passionate about nature photography?

I’m an underwater and aerial photographer. As a child, I admired the movies made by Jacques Cousteau. It was always my dream to see this in real life. I have to admit in reality the underwater world is much more beautiful and more intriguing than ever thought of as a child. Later I often flew with my father in law who was a pilot and saw another world from the sky. I also wanted to do this.

What do you take with you on a photo shoot?

Olympus MFT camera, underwater housing with either a wide angle lens or a macro lens, (all pro lenses), 2 underwater flashes. Above water MFT camera (Oly OMD EM1) and Panasonic Leica Pro lens 35 – 110

What subject do you prefer to photograph and why?

Fish portraits because off the interaction. Making good fish portraits requires you to approach them from a very short distance. This can for sure be done. You always get rewarded with a close interaction.

What is your favorite nature preserve?

The sea around the island of Corsica and the Banda Sea (Moluccas, Indonesia). For aerial photography, the land of Merode and the Dale Valley where I live.

What is your favorite shooting position?

Underneath the subject – in underwater photography that is something that is possible, with blue water in the background, the sun must shine through the blue water.

Which nature photographer do you admire?

Frans Lanting for his work and humility as well as Yann Arthus Bertrand and Francis Cormon (I’m also aerial photographer and pilot).

What quality must a nature photographer absolutely have?

A lot of patience combined with perseverance, be able to get up early and go to sleep late.

Which light situation do you prefer?

Fierce sunlight around noon: the rules are different under water. For aerial photography; the early morning so the light is still warm and there are long shadows at the same time.

Which setting do you prefer: Manual-Aperture Priority-Shutter Priority?

Under water I always use manual mode, for aerial photography I always use aperture priority.

In percentage terms how much time do you take to create an image and to process the image?

I don’t know actually. The fact is that I’m spending too much time behind a PC. I’m not working on my images that much, but it’s archiving, taking back-ups, updates, …

Which processing program do you use?

Lightroom 6

Do you have any advice for future nature photographers?

Find a niche, something that others don’t do and develop your own style. Don’t do this because others think it’s a nice style but because you feel good about it. Try to capture something that makes you feel, rather than register something.


You can find out more about Alain Pardon on his website: