Glow and Tell: Brandi Irwin Underwater Photography

Model-turned-photographer Brandi E. Irwin dives deep.

Surf and Sports // Johnie Gall // 03/05/12
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Underwater photos by Brandi Irwin
Brandi Irwin

Like many models before her, Brandi E. Irwin is better known by her nickname. Except her alias has nothing to do with her body or her face– she’s the Girl with Gills. That’s because Brandi is a pioneer of underwater photography, logging countless dives to the ocean floor to document rare marine life and coral reefs. “I started diving when I was 17,” explains Irwin, who calls New York home when she’s on dry land. “So when I got into modeling I really wanted to try shooting an underwater fashion story. I ended up working with aquariums instead!”

But it was during a night dive in the Dutch Caribbean that Brandi tapped into an essentially unexplored medium: fluorescence. “Certain animals glow in the dark when you shine a UV light on them,” Brandi says, “No one really knows why. I was the first photographer to ever bring photos of these glow-in-the-dark sea creatures to the surface.” Brandi’s pitch-black deep-water dives often yield once-in-a-lifetime photos opportunities, since the animals she shoots are easily scared away. “I can only come out with what the ocean gives me,” she explains, “All I can do is swim down and keep an open mind.”

Check out more of Brandi's work!

Originally published in April/May 2012

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