PHLEARN MagazineEquipment Used by British Underwater Photographer of the Year Grant Thomas

Equipment Used by British Underwater Photographer of the Year Grant Thomas

From his original home in Scotland on to Indonesia and the Arctic, Grant Thomas’ travels have produced striking images of a world few get to see. A PADI Dive Instructor as well as photographer, Grant shares these views up close and personal while leading expeditions in search of underwater life. His portfolio boasts dreamlike expanses of blue interspersed with in-your-face encounters with marine life, none more fascinating than his over-under photographs.

In these images Grant shows a fascinating view of the duality of nature above and below water level; two facets of life existing only millimeters away from one other. These shots have earned him an impressive catalogue of awards, most recently that of 2018 British Underwater Photographer of the Year for his over-under portrait “Love Birds”. Grant shares with us his equipment of choice for snapping his stunning, ethereal waterscapes.


Having high quality, reliable equipment is always important in any type of photographic work, none more so than underwater. I choose my range of gear based on quality, reliability, and manufacturer customer service.


Canon 5D Mark III

DSLR camera with 22-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and wide range ISO setting of 100 – 25600

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I use the Canon 5D Mark III. It has fantastic low-light capability and very smooth, realistic tones and colors. It’s also extremely durable and reliable.


Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye

Aperture Range: f/3.5-22, 180° Diagonal Field of View, Water Repellent Coating

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The Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens is essential for underwater wide angles. You can get close which reduces the amount of water between you and your subject, therefore increasing color, contrast, and clarity.


Ikelite DS161 Underwater Substrobe

Built-In, 500-Lumen LED Video Light, Power Rating: 160 Watt-Sec

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Ikelite DS161 strobes. Solid, reliable, and powerful.


The Lowepro 350 video pack is large enough to carry everything I need and gives me practical access to my equipment.

Clearly Grant knows his equipment and has great confidence in Ikelite Underwater Systems, so much so that he is a brand ambassador! See more fascinating work on his website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram to hear and see the latest about his travels.

Maggie King

Maggie King is a freelance writer, photo editor, and mother of three. She specializes in product photography retouching and creates regular content for several blogs and social media presences.

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