Hi, I’m André Johnson. Born in Boulder, Colorado I spent my early years landlocked, basically as far away from the ocean as possible. When I was six, I moved with my parents down to Florida to fulfill their life dream of living on the water. I instantly became attached to the ocean and anything that had to do with the ocean. I started diving at age nine and got my junior certification at age ten. I learned how to dive from Fred and Melinda Riger, owners of Grand Bahama Scuba who are lifelong friends and run an excellent dive operation, and without whom none of this would have been possible.
After a few years of diving and getting comfortable underwater, I started to get somewhat bored with my young minded short attention span, usually seeing the same thing when I went diving and only diving in the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. So, at age 14 I became interested in underwater photography to keep me interested and engaged while diving. I started out with a small point and shoot Canon g-16 with an underwater housing but no strobes, I only used ambient light when shooting. I was moderately interested in it until I won a photo contest which was brought to my attention by my amazing art teacher Mrs. Markley who has been a big influence and mentor in developing my familiarity with software and my camera and its settings.
During the following years from when I got my first underwater photography setup, I continued to take photos whenever I went diving. I gradually got more familiar with my camera and its settings and continued to experiment and take better and better photos. At age 16 during my junior year of high school, I got into the prestigious top 25 at the Evening of Excellence art competition and ended up getting the Omar Cooper award which gave me a 1-year paid internship from an artist (Chris Guglielmo) of my choosing and $2000. I used that money to upgrade camera setup from one of my mentors from the South Florida Underwater Photography Society which I chose to carry out my internship with.
I am an SDI & SSI open water scuba instructor and dive guide.
I love the ocean and am interested in Marine Biology and Oceanography. I like to use underwater photography and photography to spread awareness about the beauty of the world above and below the surface, although I do like to shoot below the surface a bit more.
My current setup consists of a Nikon D850 inside a Nauticam housing with dual Ikelite DS-161 strobes. For Macro I like to use my 60mm lens and for wide-angle I like to use my Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens.