Alex Dawson is a professional photographer from Stockholm, Sweden. When Alex took his first breaths underwater at the age of 19, little did he know that diving would come to shape a major part of his life. In 1993, he became a certified scuba diver and later served as a military diver in the Swedish marines. In the years which followed, he worked with diving in Egypt, the Canary Islands, and Sweden. For over half of his life, Alex has been a full-time photographer specializing in wide underwater shots. He is always seeking to capture an “I wish I was there” feeling. Over the past 22 years, his work has been used in numerous commercials and he’s won multiple international awards and contests.
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
I don’t think it was anything or anyone in particular that persuaded me but rather just being in the right place at the right time. When I tried scuba diving for the first time, I was hooked on the first breath.
Describe your biggest challenge when diving.
My biggest challenge is actually the photography which I realized the few times I dived without my camera. Diving without all the gear is much easier! But since 99.9% of my dives are with a camera, every dive is a challenge in some way.
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
The biggest achievement I’ve had as a diver is photographing and being part of salvaging the world’s oldest champagne from a Russian Tsar at 50m in the Baltic Sea.
What was your first diving experience like?
I started diving in Sweden where it’s not always perfect visibility and very cold waters which made my first 100 dives mentally challenging in those ways, but I slowly got used to the conditions.
Why do you prefer rebreather?
The absolute biggest advantage is the silence. I never realized that bubbles disturbed my concentration when taking images until I started with rebreathers. The second advantage is gas management and logistics - it’s so much easier. Third is the cost of gas. Out of my 300-400h on a rebreather, more than 90% were dives deeper than 40m and on trimix which would have been very costly diving on an open circuit. Finally, it’s much nicer breathing warm humid gas than cold dry gas when diving in cold waters.
What's your favorite diving gear?
My favorite diving gear is most likely my Weezle undergarment. If I don’t feel like diving because I’m cold, the one thing that always changes my mind is getting into my crazy warm undergarment.
What's your favorite diving spot?
Currently, I would say the Tuna Hästberg mine in Sweden, but my favorite diving spot always changes over time. But it’s definitely worth a visit!