Featured Photographer: Calvin Tang
This is a scheduled post. I am still at Cabo Verde (Africa) as this post is published.
Welcome to the sixth edition of the Featured Photographer monthly post. Please meet Calvin Tang, an American, from Seattle who is currently residing in Bangkok (Thailand).
Featured Photographer post is featuring the profiles of underwater and travel photographers with their inspiring works. Let’s be inspired and support amazing talents!
Calvin Tang is not only a scuba diver but also a traveler. He has traveled to almost 100 countries and has been diving for more than 10 years. His photography is not only impressive but also unique with soft colors and expression of the species. He chooses the name “Curiomo” for his official website and Instagram. Are you curious how he choose this name? Please read my following interview with Calvin Tang 🙂
Calvin Tang as a Scuba Diver and a Traveler
How long have you been diving and how many logged dives?
I have been diving since 2002. I’m not sure exactly how many dives I’ve done, but over a thousand and less than two thousand. Also, on CCR we measure in hours as opposed to by dives, since some of our dives can have quite a long bottom time.
Why do you scuba dive?
Earth’s final frontiers can be found in our planet’s oceans. I feel very fortunate to experience these places firsthand. I never tire of the limitless number of organisms I encounter while diving. I am fascinated by the biology of marine ecosystems, and the animal behaviors I’m able to witness and sometimes document in those habitats.
Where is your most favorite diving place?
I do not have a single favorite place to dive, as oceans are alive, dynamic and unpredictable. That being said, some places I have had some wonderful dives are around Komodo and Raja Ampat in Indonesia, the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, Beagle Channel off of the southern tip of Argentina and the central Philippines.
Where did you dive most?
I actually make a conscious effort not to dive in the same places over and over. This is for two reasons: 1) It forces me to discover new places, and 2) Nearly every time I’ve ever gone back to a place to dive, the reef is not as healthy as the first time I experienced it (there have been a few exceptions, but this is generally the case). This is sad and an indication that reefs across the world are declining in health and diversity. Knowing that I may not have a better chance, it also encourages me to reach places on my bucket list as soon as I can.
Have you been diving in your dream diving destination(s)?
Living in Southeast Asia on and off for 13 years, I have had a great deal of fortune in diving many of my dream destinations and with much less effort than would have been required if I’d began my journeys from North America. I really love Sipadan, but never want to go back there as I don’t think it’d be the same without staying on the island itself (I stayed on the island during the last month of the last year that divers were able to).
For land-based traveling, which country is your favorite?
Argentina, and Patagonia specifically is my favorite land-based place to travel. It’s the cleanest, most beautiful region of the world I can remember visiting (a close second would be the south island of New Zealand). Visit Patagonia sometime, you will not regret it.
Calvin Tang as Photographer
How do you define underwater photography?
To me, underwater photography begins with diving. If one is not a good diver then they will likely not be in a position to capture a really great photo. Having excellent buoyancy skills and a sense of how marine ecosystems work is something that provides the basis for underwater photography. Knowing how the animals behave is just as important as understanding how light moves through water, or what equipment to use in a particular environment. So one thing I assume when I see a really wonderful underwater photo is that the author of that photograph is a very good diver.
What is your underwater camera gear?
I currently shoot a Nikon D800E in an Austrian-made Subal underwater housing. I typically shoot four Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes while shooting wide angle, or two of those when shooting macro. I also use a Light & Motion SOLA Dive light as my focus light and primary dive light (it can toggle between spot and flood beams).
Do you use similar camera for land-based photography?
I shoot a Nikon Df on land.
What is your favorite lens for land-based photography?
I don’t have a single favorite lens for land-based photography. Lately I have been shooting with several fixed-focal length prime lenses. I love the sharpness and the lack of zoom actually forces me to be more thoughtful about framing and composition.
Unique Images Mix Presentation by Calvin Tang
You have photo mixes on your website such as: liquified, micro, creature, terra bites and many more, from these mixes, which one is your favorite?
I just published a new photo mix called “the wild”, and that is probably my current favorite. There are shots from all over the world in that set. I hope you like it too: Wild Photo Mix by Calvin Tang
Do you have a special story when categorizing these mixes?
I don’t start out with a story, but I end up with one. I am continually publishing photos to my Photostream, and every now and again I’ll go back through to select and arrange a number of these into a photo mix. As a kid I used to make mixtapes for my friends and myself to listen to. It’s a lot like that process.
Would you like to leave a special message to readers?
The best advice I can give to your readers is to get out and explore the world. Do it now. Whether it’s in the ocean or on land, just go out and see it. There will never be the perfect plan or the right amount of time and money to do it, you just have to make it happen.
Many years ago I ripped the TV off of my wall and gave it away to a friend. Life is too short to spend so much of it in front of a television. I have been to nearly 100 countries to date and yet I still feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. Curiosity is what drives me. That’s where the name “Curiomo” comes from.
Can’t get enough of Calvin Tang’s Photography?
All images presented here are chosen by Calvin Tang as his favorite images. If you click the image, you will be directed to the large version of the image on his awesome official website.
Calvin Tang has been active in presenting his works through the following media: