Photographer Puts His Beautiful Underwater Photography to Use Saving the Oceans


The oceans are in trouble, and while marine biologists and conservationists and (God help us) politicians are the main advocates for the health of our planet, photographers can also play a role.

One photographer doing his part to help ensure future generations enjoy pristine oceans is Richard Salas, a talented underwater photographer with a decade of underwater photo experience who is currently crowdfunding the last of a trilogy of underwater photobooks that are helping both fund and inspire change.

Luminous Sea is the name of this final book in the Sea of Light trilogy, the photos in which span from the Equator all the way to Alaska.


But this book, and the trilogy as a whole, isn’t just about putting the eye-catching textures and animals of the mysterious deep in front of your eyes.

The images are shot with the intent of forging a connection between reader and subject; a connection that is fortified by the fact that 50% of the money they spent to get the book went to the The Ocean Foundation to help “support, strengthen and promote organizations that are dedicated to conserving ocean environments around the world.”

Here is a selection of photographs from the three books, including a few exclusive images Salas was kind enough to share with PetaPixel alone:




Candy Cane Shrimp

Decorated Warbonnet 2

Giant Pacific Octopus

Orange Peel Nudi







When we caught up with Salas about his images and book, we asked him to tell us a little bit about some of the photographs. Our favorite story had to do with the Sea Lion you see him photographing below. It turns out capturing images of Steller Sea Lions is both fun and a bit dangerous… in a playful sort of way:

Photographing Steller Sea Lions is like playing rugby underwater with 500 pound goliaths. Just when you think you have the shot, you’re hip checked from behind! All the while they are tugging at your fins, moving your strobes and sizing up your head with their mouth. Quite exciting!


Salas jokingly describes himself as a ‘paparazzi blowing bubbles,’ at least that’s the way he imagines some of these creatures see him, but his work goes beyond just ‘shooting pretty pictures’ and for that you have to commend him. The fact that he has a blast taking the pictures is just a bonus.

To get yourself a copy of Luminous Sea and help support The Ocean Foundation at the same time, head over to Salas’ Indiegogo campaign by clicking here. And if you’d like to see even more of Salas’ work, you can do so over on his website or Facebook page.

Image credits: Photographs by Richard Salas and used with permission