Marcello Di Francesco
Marcello is a professional and awarded underwater photographer, specializing in naturalistic photography. As a passionate traveller and diver he has logged over 3,000 dives around the world. Today he is a FIPSAS (Federazione Italiana Pesca Subacquea e Attività Subacquee) judge for the national underwater photography championship and has been invited to join international juries in several photography contests.
"I was born and live close to the sea, so the sea has always had a constant presence in my life. I started to explore the underwater world swimming as a child, but it was my first dive in the Maldives that truly introduced me to the beauty of scuba diving. The feeling of beauty and well-being I experienced on that first dive has never left me. "
When and why did you start diving?
I live, and was born, in a seaside town, and the sea has always been a constant presence in most of my activities. I started as a child, with mask and fins, to explore the sea bed at home, but it is only thanks to a trip to the Maldives that I really discovered the world of diving: the beauty of the sea bed and the feeling of wonder and well-being that I experienced during my first dive have never left me since.
What is your favorite fish (or mammal/reptile) and why?
Everyday life must be faced with courage and, in my opinion, the underwater fish that best represents this virtue is the clown fish.
I recognize in it a great sense of responsibility and an innate instinct to protect its family, which it is ready to defend even at the cost of its own life. Only those who have tried to photograph them can understand the courage of these little creatures, not at all intimidated by our presence, and who do not hesitate for a second to confront us (even with bad manners) to try to keep us away from their anemone.
What do you like most about diving?
The sense of exploration... the fact that something new can happen on every dive, the feeling of being able to see places and witness events that are inaccessible to most. But, for my job as a nature photographer, the most extraordinary thing is being able to capture the inhabitants of this non-superficial world by being directly immersed in it.
Most memorable diving experience?
One of the most precious memories is certainly the one related to the experience with humpback whales in the Indian Ocean: every year, during their migration to tropical waters, some females head to a bay of Reunion Island to give birth to their offspring. Interacting with these cubs, only a few days old, and seeing their curiosity in discovering a human for the first time, I think it was really something unforgettable.
Dream diving: where and with whom (living or not)?
For the future, I would rather be able to pass on this great passion to my daughter Greta (who is only 7 years old at the moment): diving with her will certainly be a dream that I will cherish for years.
Favorite piece of Aqua Lung equipment?
My favorite piece of AquaLung equipment is without a doubt the LEG3ND regulator: reliable, robust and light, I can use it for shallow dives in warm tropical waters as well as for more technical dives
What diving skills are you looking to improve? Diving skills you are looking to improve?
This is something I've been putting off for a while, but I'd really like to start diving with rebreathers: more time on the bottom and no bubbles, it would be a great advantage for my underwater photography business.
What steps are you taking to improve the health of our oceans? Any tips for those who want to help?
We can all lend a hand to save our oceans. In my small way, I have made it my goal to share as much as possible of what I explore, see and photograph at the bottom of the sea in order to bring people closer to this environment that is perhaps still too little known.
The goal is to conserve and protect the ecosystem and biodiversity, documenting and acting when we can, and when we must, to prevent activities that could damage our sea.