Visual inspiration: Atmospheric underwater portraits captured by Cape Town-based photographer Gabriela Slegrova Solms.

These beautifully atmospheric underwater portraits were created by Cape Town-based photographer Gabriela Slegrova Solms.

We asked Gabriela to elaborate on the process behind these images: “Ever since I got into a pool with my camera in an waterproof housing, I have fallen in love with shooting underwater. Different laws of physics are able to create images which are fluid, magical and surreal.”

“I shoot in swimming pools as the ocean is just to cold for me and my models. The most important part in shooting underwater is to have super clean and clear water. Most pools look very clean from outside, but you can see if the water is clean or not only once you are in the water. I use black fabric which I hang in the pool as a backdrop, just like in the studio. It gives the pictures more contrast and a uniform background.”

“The second most important thing is to have a beautiful model or a friend who is comfortable underwater. It is quite difficult to be posing and flowing and keeping eyes open underwater, so it is not for everyone.”


Gabriela uses a Canon 6D with a wide-angle lens, housed within an affordable Dicapac waterproof housing. All the photos were taken with natural light.

Here’s a selection of Gabriela’s underwater portraits. For more of her photos, visit her 500px profile or follow her on Facebook.

Gabriela Slegrova Solms 02 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 03 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 04 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 05 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 06 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 07 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 08 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 09 Gabriela Slegrova Solms 10

Photographs shared with permission.