Dr Alexander Mustard MBE, 43, from the UK is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading underwater photographers. He has been taking photographs underwater since he was 9 years old and has worked as a full time underwater photographer since 2004.
His photographs have won many awards including regularly in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year – appearing in 10 different books of winning pictures. He is a four-time category winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards amongst many others. His 2007 book Reefs Revealed, won the International Grand Prize for the best book of underwater photographs, while his 2016 instructional book Underwater Photography Masterclass has rapidly become the most sought after title on the subject and was reprinted just two weeks after its launch.
His photographs have been displayed in exhibitions around the world and a particular highlight was personally presenting his work to Queen Elizabeth II. In 2003 he received the Visions In the Sea Award for Outstanding Contributions to Underwater Photography and recently was given the ADEX 2016 Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Underwater Photography. In 2013, Alex was named GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image Night Moves. It remains the only time an underwater photograph has won this prestigious award. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his achievements as an underwater photographer.
He is a founder of the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition and has acted as a judge for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography, the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the British Wildlife Photography Awards and many other contests. He has been a committee member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers for the last 15 years and is Associate Editor of Wetpixel.com. Alex’s Agent is Nature Picture Library.
Alex is a regular contributor to many publications in the marine, wildlife, diving and photographic media, and to date has published more than 500 articles. In particular, he is a sought after writer on all aspects of underwater photography, especially equipment reviews and technique articles. In addition to various features, he currently writes monthly columns on underwater photography for Scuba Diving Magazine (USA) and DIVER Magazine (UK) and regular contributes to several others Fotografen in Tauchen (DE) and Masterclass in Ocean Geographic (AUS).
His images are regularly featured in other newspapers, magazines and books around the world. He has authored several books including The Art of Diving (2006), Reefs Revealed (2007), Underwater Photography Masterclass (2016), Secrets of the Seas (2016) and SS Thistlegorm (2018).
He was one of the commissioned photographers for the 2020VISION conservation photography project in the UK. Several major diving equipment manufacturers and national tourist boards are among his professional clients. One of the most unusual projects Alex has been involved in is Nissan’s NV200 concept car built for the Tokyo Motor Show. The car was designed specifically around his needs as an underwater photographer working in the field.
Alex currently shoots with a Nikon D5 in a Subal ND5 housing and a Nikon D850 in a Subal ND850 housing. Alex has used Subal housings for more than 15 years, saying “Reviewing housings and teaching workshops means that I continue to try all the major brands extensively in the field. But I choose to use Subal because I know their ergonomics give me the best chance of bringing back the shot and Subal have a build quality I trust when it is my reputation on the line.” He is also very grateful for support from Apeks, Aqualung, Fourth Element, Whites Drysuits, Deepblu, Suunto, Nauticam, Zen, INON, Seacam, Retra, Noodilab, Kraken, RGBlue and Subsee.
He is the inventor of the Magic Filters, filters designed specifically for available light underwater photography with digital cameras. Alex Mustard Underwater Photography Workshops have become a must do in photography circles and he runs them regularly through the year, at top diving destinations around the world.
Alex was educated at Mount House School, Devon, and Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, where he attended as a Roxborough Scholar. As a marine biologist Alex received both is undergraduate degree (BSc Hons) and his PhD from Southampton University (both at the National Oceanography Centre) and was awarded in 2002 the Norman Heaps prize from the Challenger Society for Marine Science as one the UK’s most promising young marine scientists. His most recent peer reviewed publication was in the prestigious journal Nature. Alex lives with his wife Eleonora, daughter Isabella and their dachshund Zena.
MUSTARD, Dr. Alexander, U.K. (1975-). Marine scientist; award winning underwater photographer; inventor of Magic Filter; digital officer for the British Society of Underwater Photographers; associate editor of Wetpixel.com; contributing editor DIVE Magazine; honorary editor Ocean Geographic Magazine; senior contributor Underwater Photography Magazine; amustard.com. Diving Who’s Who. The Diving Almanac And Book Of Records (2009).
Alex has a unique eye. This is dynamic underwater imagery at its best. David Doubilet in The Art Of Diving (2006).
Alex… images are so unique, the power of the composition, you have enveloped the quality of a masterful artist. Ernie Brooks (2013).
Alex, you are a breath of fresh air to all underwater photographers; thank you for sharing your ideas with us. Martin Edge in The Underwater Photographer (2006).
As far as I am concerned, he’s the best underwater photographer currently working in the UK. Just as importantly, he’s a skillful writer who delights in sharing information with fellow enthusiasts. Simon Rogerson in DIVE Magazine (2009). Now editor of SCUBA Magazine.
Alex has provided consistently boundary-pushing articles and images throughout the history of UwP. It has been a pleasure to not only work with him in the magazine but also to go on a few trips together where his knowledge and enthusiasm are inspirational and contagious. His embrace of digital photography underwater has shown us all the way forward and his openness in imparting his knowledge and experience is a credit to his personality. Peter Rowlands in Underwater Photography Magazine (2008).
Alex Mustard is one of the world’s leading underwater photographers; his images celebrate the extraordinary diversity of marine life in the world’s oceans. His wide-ranging portfolio includes everything from startling macro shots of fluorescent coral species to large-scale scenes of barnacle-encrusted shipwrecks resting on the ocean floor. All are captured in eye-popping detail and often in vivid colour. His pictures combine creativity with technical accomplishment and push the boundaries of what can be achieved with a camera beneath the surface of the water. David Clark in Amateur Photographer Magazine (2012).
Alex Mustard has become synonymous with coupling fantastical visions of an image he has imagined with innovative equipment developments to create them. The result has been signature shots that are instantly recognisable as Mustard Masterpieces. Colin Doeg (2007).
[Mustard is] arguably Britain’s most successful underwater photographer… who has won many awards for his thoughtful, original and often spectacular work, and also for his new book. DIVER Magazine (2007).