Lazio, Italy

DM

A collection of wildlife photographs reveals the mesmerizing, underwater world of fresh water fish.

Franco Banfi, 54, took the pictures in various countries while diving all over the world.

The father of two has captured otherwise hidden environments by resting just beneath the water’s surface in lakes, rivers and springs.

Mr Banfi, who has been diving for 32 years, said: ‘Most of these pictures are taken close to the surface, some a few metres under and some freediving.

‘If you stay calm and don’t move the water surface, the fish will reflect itself and you can see two fish in the photo.

‘Being close to the surface on the main time you can see the outside.

‘My favourite photograph is of sun rays entering the water surface passing through the trees in a nature reserve in Fibreno Lake, Lazio, Italy.

‘I was there for a few days with my partner Sabrina and think it is a mystical image.

‘Another special shot is of a diver swimming below a tree that’s fallen down.

‘I like the atmosphere, the clarity of the water and the fish around me were spectacular too.

‘The colour of the water comes from the tannin of the leaves in the water.

‘To me, each photo has a different atmosphere and each one is different and gives a true picture of the place.’

Mr Banfi began diving in the 1981, in the Lake of Lugano in Switzerland, at first sticking to freshwaters near his home.

He favoured lakes and rivers where the water is clearest as this allowed him to improve his technique.

He has dived in all of the world’s oceans, winning various awards for his photography and is passionate about wildlife and biodiversity preservation

He has written and provided photographs for three books about underwater wildlife with the help of his partner Sabrina, who is a model.