Matt "Stryker" Nethaway was already a regular on our trips and quite content with just diving. One day he asked me between dives if he should get into photography which of course I thought was a great idea. He started off on a compact camera and captured some very strong images right there on his first trip. He quickly ascended in the equipment ladder with a Olympus Mirrorless and then the Nikon D850 that he uses today.
Matts has won awards at several Insider Divers workshops and was the overall winner in the 2019 Anilao Photo Workshop with his images of the yellow Goby in a green lit bottle. He is a thoughtful photographer who thinks about his images and presents them in his typical matter-of-fact way. I love his photos and looking forward to the next to come.
Matt is not so confident about his wide-angle photography but I think his photos are already very good and many people would be happy with shots like these.
Mini Dive Bio
Cert: PADI Rescue Diver
# dives: 280
When and where did you learn to scuba dive ?
I first completed 2 discovery dives before finally being convinced to complete my Open Water back in April of 2014. The two discovery dives were completed during short trips to Boracay, Philippines and I finally pulled the trigger on completing my OW and AOW back to back on a longer vacation to Boracay at Calypso Diving.
When did you get your first camera?
The first time I really saw a a complete camera rig was during a Christmas dive trip to Ko Lanta with a friend of mine (Jonesy). He has recently purchased a compact set up with and external strobe and this sparked my curiosity. Previously I had only seen divers using either goPros or smaller compact cameras without strobes, so I had many questions.
I was finally convinced to buy my first camera in late 2016 at ADEX in Hong Kong almost a year after I had seen what cool shots can be taken with a compact camera setup.
What was your first camera?
My First camera was a Canon G7x Mk2, Isotta Housing with a single Inon Z240 strobe. I became very fond of this camera, capturing some of my favourite shots, even to this day. It has all the right manual controls to learn lighting, framing, being ready and patience. Over time I added a wide angle wet lens and diopter to further extend my learning curve.
What camera do you use today?
Today I use a Nikon D850, Isotta Housing and Dual Inon Z240s. After 1 year of using the Canon I decided to move to the Olympus EM-5Mk2 and add a second strobe. The Olympus is an incredibly high performing camera, much more capable than the results that I managed to get from it. It was another learning process for me, different settings, different features, faster than the compact but still left me craving for more - which led me to the Nikon.
What is your favorite camera equipment piece?
Outside of the Nikon system itself and my beloved 105mm Nikon macro lens, I would have to say it would be my Retra LSD Snoot. The snoot is such a useful component of a dive photographers kit bag. It is perfect for picking out subjects, creating artistic scenes, back lighting and highlighting.
What is your favorite dive spot?
This is a hard question to answer. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some of the greatest dive locations in the world. I love chilled out long macro dives in Anilao and Lembeh but nothing beats a good strong current dive watching mantas and sharks flying around. For that reason, I would have to say Palau is my favourite dive location. It has everything; wrecks, caves, spawning red snapper, plenty of sharks and a Jelly fish lake.