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Marcelo Johan Ogata
Award Winning Underwater Filmmaker

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My passion for photographing small critters dates back years before my diving career. I initially started shooting macro photography as a hobby on land. Building homemade flashes out of foil and cardboard boxes, combining cheap plastic extension tubes with  old kit lenses,  I was finally  able to magnify my very first 1.1 subjects.

I spent a few years living near a vineyard in New Zealand, the perfect place to capture portraits of dragon-flies, spiders and other small crawlers. That kind of nature inspired me and this hobby became such an obsession; to a point where I was “bug dreaming”. 


Underwater photography started when I discovered the underwater world of Borneo. I was based in a peculiar location, known as Mabul Island: a diving destination haven for underwater macro creatures. Mabul was a humble home for me, and the commencement for my first Dive Master job. I spent a while living simply on chicken and rice while practicing underwater photography and later on different skills like videography. 

Using similar methods to the days I snapped bugs in the vineyard; operating a camera housing while diving quickly became second nature to me.

Ten years later, the travel BUG brought me to more than 40 different countries and I was fortunate to log nearly 4,000 dives with my camera. Today, thanks to advanced technology of cameras, lenses and drones I have become a self-taught underwater photographer & filmmaker with the privilege to work with incredible operations and brands while exploring the most biodiverse destinations on Planet Earth.


My ultimate goal is to spread awareness by sharing my underwater images around the world. We live in a time where parts of the coral reefs and oceans are vanishing at a disastrous rate, as the fragile underwater ecosystem is suffering at the hands of human activities. Yet, not enough is being done to acknowledge the severity of this and the consequences of our ignorance.


The future of our seas, and the next generation are relying on us to push for conservation. I hope my work will contribute towards awareness, so that we can work together to look after our underwater world for the foreseeable future.