Last month the PADI Your Scuba View contest generated thousands of incredible photo entries that reflected divers personal views of their scuba diving adventures. One of the four winners from the contest was Max Franlund from Sweden, who submitted his winning photo (seen below) of him diving a Cenote in Mexico. We caught up with Max in between his travels to hear more about his dive trip that led to the winning photo and to get to know him as a diver a little more. Check out our interview below:
How did you first get interested in scuba diving and where did you start?
At the age of 8 I was in Egypt on vacation with my family. On a snorkeling trip to the Red Sea I discovered this whole new world – and I was hooked. All I could think about was to experience the amazing underwater life again. I got the opportunity a couple of years later when I visited Phuket, Thailand. I took my PADI Open Water Certificate and scuba diving has been my life ever since.
What PADI certifications do you hold and are there any PADI courses you’re interested in taking next?
I hold the PADI Advanced Open Water Certificate. The certificate obligates you to make five adventure dives. I can recommend doing a night dive in the Great Barrier Reef. The ocean is completely dark and you can only see and navigate with the help of your torch. The feeling you get when sharks passes right next to you is indescribable! I am definitely planning to take all the PADI courses. I love underwater photography and I would love to take an underwater photo course as well.
Can you tell us about where you were when you took this winning photo? How was the diving that day?
I was in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico while taking the winning photo. Mexico has a lot of cenotes (sinkholes) that opened in the underground river system, and diving there is with exceptional. This particular cenote is named ”The Pit” and is the currently deepest cenote in the area. I decided to dive with one of the old school dive shops. They’re still passionate about diving and they dive with small groups, so I had the opportunity to dive alone with the cave instructor. There are not a lot fishes or corals when you do this kind of dive. What you’ll experience is the cavern system with stalactites decorating the walls. The most breathtaking moment diving in “The Pit” is when the sun rays penetrates into the depths of the cenote, which I caught in the winning photo.
Where will you be diving next?
There are a lot of places on my list of dive spots that I just have to explore, but my main target for now is diving in the Philippines. They have a lot of wonderful reefs and it’s also one of the few places in the world where you can see whale sharks on a regular basis. I am also planning to do a dive with Bull sharks because I missed the opportunity on my last two dive trips in Mexico and Fiji.
Any tips for other divers on capturing the perfect underwater shot?
My tip is to take as many photos as possible while it’s still important that you have the time to actually enjoy the dive. Hopefully at least one of the photos will turn out great. And if not, then it’s not the whole world, you will always keep the memories of the dive and carry them with you forever.
Stay connected with Max on social media by following him on Instagram:
@PeacefulTravelers on Instagram