Marcello Di Francesco

Marcello is a professional and awarded underwater photographer, specializing in naturalistic photography. As a passionate traveller and diver he has logged over 3,000 dives around the world. Today he is a FIPSAS (Federazione Italiana Pesca Subacquea e Attività Subacquee) judge for the national underwater photography championship and has been invited to join international juries in several photography contests.

"I was born and live close to the sea, so the sea has always had a constant presence in my life. I started to explore the underwater world swimming as a child, but it was my first dive in the Maldives that truly introduced me to the beauty of scuba diving. The feeling of beauty and well-being I experienced on that first dive has never left me. "

Most memorable dive experience?

Every dive is a new great challenge and experience, so it’s difficult to choose one as the most memorable… if I stop for a moment and recall my memories, immediately a smile rises on my face and my mind runs fast to those moments...it feels like I can relive them forever. But the dive I’ll never forget is for sure the one with humpbacks in the Indian Ocean. Every year during their migration to tropical waters, some females head to a bay on Réunion Island to give birth to their calves. To interact with them and see their curiosity in seeing a human for the first time is truly unforgettable.

What is your spirit fish (or mammal/reptile) and why?

Everyday life must be faced with courage and in my opinion the clownfish perfectly represents this virtue. I recognize in them a great sense of responsibility and the natural instinct to protect its family at any cost. Only those who have tried to take a picture of a clownfish can really understand how much courage these little creatures have. Not frightened at all by our presence, they don’t hesitate a second to face us (even with bad manners!) to keep us away from their anemone home.

Dream dive: where and with who (alive or not)?

When I was a child my father gave me an encyclopedia dedicated to the oceans with Jacques Cousteau’s stories and images of his legendary Calypso. If I could make a wish, I would like to go back to that time and be part of his crew for an unforgettable expedition. There were many famous spots that at that time were still unexplored...the Red Sea, Sipadan, Wakatobi… I can’t even imagine the emotion to explore them for the first time!

Looking to the future, I would like to be able to share my great passion for diving with my daughter, Greta, who is now only 4 years old. To dive with her will be a dream for sure.

Favorite piece of Aqualung diving equipment?

My favorite piece of Aqualung gear is for sure the new Leg3nd regulator. Reliable, robust and lightweight. I can use it for all my dives, from warm and shallow waters to more technical dives.

How do you approach non-divers to get them excited about learning to dive?

I’m a scuba diving instructor and teaching is one of my biggest passion. It’s mainly thanks to my pictures that I can show the underwater world to those who have never dived before and inspire them to try diving. I feel lucky to be able to visit and discover the Oceans and having this privilege, I feel the responsibility to share what I see and feel during my diving adventures.

Any hidden talents?

I love cooking, it’s something that relaxes me. And as far as they say I’m a pretty good chef!

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