Nirupam Nigam is a zealous underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. At 22, he became the Editor-in-Chief of www.uwphotographyguide.com – the website that first introduced him to underwater photography at the age of 15. It is also the world's most popular online resource for underwater photographers, with a mission to disseminate practical knowledge regarding underwater photography. Nirupam is a North Pacific and West Coast Fisheries Observer, spending multiple months in a year living on fishing boats in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and North Pacific, collecting fisheries data for the US government. He is native to the West Coast of the United States, calling Southern California and Western Washington home.
When he isn’t working, Nirupam spends his time visiting friends and traveling with his wife to destinations following a path of least resistance. In the last seven years, he has traveled to 25 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. Highlights of his adventures include having his nose broken by a careless whale, getting charged by a Canadian grizzly, trekking through the Himalayas (dive gear uselessly in tow), playing music on a mountaintop in the Norwegian Arctic (to impress his now-wife), and photographing millions of mating squid in his Californian backyard.
Photography Awards and Contributions
Nirupam holds photography awards in the Ocean Art Photo Competition (2014), the SoCal Underwater Photo Shootout (2012, 2013, 2014), Salish Sea In Focus Photography Competition (2018), and the North Pacific Research Board Photo Contest (2015). His photos have been featured by the Seattle Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, California Diver, REEF, Seadoc Society, Bluewater Photo, Underwater Photography Guide, Channel Islands Scuba Dive Shop, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and Biological Sciences Review.
Although Nirupam has experience shooting a variety of cameras due to his position at the Underwater Photography Guide, his primary camera for underwater photos is the Olympus E-PM1 - a small, discontinued first generation mirrorless camera. Nirupam pairs the E-PM1 with an Olympus underwater housing, dual Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes, a Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens, an Olympus 60mm macro lens, a +7 diopter, and his favorite piece of equipment - a ReefNet fiber optic snoot. For some topside photographs he shoots with a Nikon D7000 and plans one day to build up an underwater system for that camera as well.