Melanie & David Benz
Adventurer and couple. Addicted to diving and traveling the two of them are cruising the blue planet. Whether behind or in front of the camera, their element is water. „Remote countries and the depths of the oceans - it is the fascination of the unknown which captivates and boosts us.“
As photographers and editors they got to know most of the seven seas and felt into love with them. From Papua New Guinea to Raja Ampat, from Indonesia through the Philippines to the sunny Caribbean the couple is visiting the most beautiful dive sites on our blue planet. Thereby they photographed whale-sharks in the Atlantic and the North Pacific, dived with sharks and dolphins at the wrecks of the South Pacific and portrayed manta rays in the colorful coral gardens of Indonesia. Finally they found enchanting mermaids and sirens in the mystical underwater worlds of the Mexican Cenotes.
I started in 1996 with sports photography (football, tennis, ice hockey, Formula 1 ...) and then I concentrated more and more on the concert and people photography until I arrived at the advertising and reportage photography, which is now in photography my main focus is.
In 2004 I started to work as a cameraman and production assistant in the production of a documentary film, which then premiered at the 2005 Berlinale.
As a result, I worked as a producer at a major film production company for 3.5 years, producing larger commercial film productions until I started my own small film production.
Since 2018 I am now also Olympus Visionary, because the cameras have convinced me the most for my way of film and photo production.
Tropical Japan - Okinawa and the western Islands
Turtle paradise - those who love turtles are definitely at the right place here. Up to 20 animals are enjoying their spa treatment at the cleaning stations and are not letting theirselves get worked up from curious divers.
Japan is a hotspot for big fish. Being in the right spot at the right time you will find yourself in the middle of a group of manta rays, diving with hammerhead sharks and sailfish or snorkeling with humpback whales in the crystal clear waters of the Western Islands.
Yonaguni Island - rough rocky coast, head-high waves. A place where you should respect the ocean. Definitely particular kind of a diving adventure. Beside exorbitant schools of hammerhead sharks, sailfish and (with a bit of luck even whale sharks) you are diving beside the underwater monument on Yonaguni Island - a legendary, mysterious rock formation. The Japanese Atlantis or just a freak of nature?
Rugged rock formation, tunnels and stunning overhanging rocks are displaying the dive sites around Yonaguni as a real underwater adventure. Crystal clear water, colorful hard and soft corals as well as security of big fish - diving at its best!
Nemo - tiny sweetheart of every diver. In the diving territories around Okinawa and the Western Islands a bigger part of this anemone fishes are situated. With some luck more than 6 different species can be found during a single dive.
Also macro photographers are getting their money´s worth. Nudibranches, blennies, gobies, crabs and shrimps - all kinds of quirky and peculiar microorganisms are home to the reefs and sandy sea bottoms around Okinawa.
Tropical Japan - the underwater world around the Kerama Islands are not in no way inferior to other worldwide famous diving areas. Colorful hard and soft corals as well as visibilities of more than 30 meters are no rareness.
Hey dude, what´what’s up? You never know who you will meet during a dive in the crystal clear waters around the Kerama Islands.
The Ryūkyū dance, a centuries-old tradition on the archipelago in the south of Japan. Brought to the islands by the Chinese in the 14th century the origin of these dances lies in the time of the kingdom Ryūkyū and still carries the culture and the tradition of this regency further.
In common with nature. While kayaking through the thick mangroves you can enjoy the silence and stillness of the surrounding with all senses.
Many stories, speculations and myths are growing around the karate of Okinawa. This special martial art arises from the Chinese Kung-Fu and had its place of birth on the southerly located Ryūkyū islands of Japan. So today Okinawa is still the so-called birthplace of karate.
Colorful, more colorful, Shisa figure park. Everything is multicolored here. These fantasy figures, partially as high as houses, are shining in all kind of imaginable colors of a rainbow.