Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meet Garri Tadlip, the Youngest UW Macro Photographer in the Philippines

12-year old Garri Tadlip competes with much older counterparts at international underwater photography competitions.

A child prodigy in underwater macro photography, Garri Immanuel Tadlip is not your ordinary boy wonder. He became a certified open water diver at the age of ten.  He procured his first compact camera at eleven, joined an underwater photography contest, won, and never looked back.

At Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort's state-of-the-art camera room. Garri uses a Canon EOS 60D, a Nauticam housing, Ikelite strobes, and Aquako lens.

I met 12-year old Garri, who hails from Cebu, during the recently held 2nd Anilao Underwater Photography Competition Festival at the Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, which was organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism's Dive Market Group and the Underwater Macro Photographers Group (UWMP). He was the youngest participant out of 106 contenders from the Philippines and 16 other countries. He signed up for the Open Class category. That in itself was impressive. Looking at his photos, I would never imagine that this boy took these amazing macro shots, giving much older and experienced UW photographers to step up, as Garri has a talented eye to reckon with.

Diving with Garri was one of the highlights of my adventure in Anilao.

I had the privilege to dive out with him as he and his supportive father, Oleg Tadlip set out to shoot underwater. Accompanied by Dive Masters Neil Andoque and Marco Santos of Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, where we were also billeted, the adventure with this boy wonder was one dive trip I will never forget. Garri's favorite subjects are frogfishes, nudibranches and shrimps.

Mantis Shrimp. 

Porcelain Crab.

Mandarin Fish Couple.

Garri won his first important award at the 2013 Splash NUDI Underwater Shoot Out (SNUPS) in Anilao. He won First-Overall in the Wide Angle Portfolio. Then in May this year, he finished 2nd at the Panglao International Dive Fiesta. A great achievement for a young diver his age, Garri was more motivated when his prizes were underwater photography equipment.  He now has a solid camera, housing, strobes, and other accessories amounting to Php 400k.  Garri was also recently featured in the prestigious Asian National Geographic Junior Magazine.

Surrounded by legends in UW photography. (l-r) Mimmo Roscino, Garri, Mike Bartick, Yorko Summer, Ken Thongpila, and Jerome Kim during the 2nd Anilao Underwater Photography Competition.

Even with all these achievements, I was floored when I learned that he still manages to be an honor student at the Holy Rosary School of Pardo in Cebu City. "I want to be a surgeon doctor when I grow up," Garri confides.  "I also like to thank my school for being supportive of my sport.  Likewise, my UW photography mentors, Bo Mancao, Tim Ho, Andre Snoopy Montenegro, Irwin Ang, and Adrien Uichico," he continued.

Garri with his supportive parents, Malotte and Oleg Tadlip at Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, Anilao.

Being exposed to top caliber international UW photographers, enjoying the marine life, traveling, and having supportive parents, Garri has it made. He has a bright future in whichever profession he chooses to have, and he is just at the beginning of the adventure.  

View Garri Immanuel Tadlip's underwater portfolio, here.

Visit Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort,