Matteo Underwater

Driven by endless curiosity and genuine ambition, Matteo Mescalchin works on lighting techniques and image innovation, continuously taking his photography to the next level. At Digital Movie, Matteo personally handcrafts every angle of light. Project requirements and the methods to achieve them begin every job. On this project, safety was critical to ensure that there were no accidents during underwater production.

“We worked with underwater specialist Andrea Mescalchin,” Matteo says, “he gave us a list of all the safety issues and of all the equipment we would need to assure a safe shoot.” In the pool, Andrea had a camera on a tripod, quite an excellent choice to ensure the stability of the frame. Additionally, it allowed for later layering and mixing small elements like extra bubbles into the image in post-production.

Matteo continues: “We worked with a great personality, Alessia Bernardi at Hotel Terme Apollo, who is also a model and an experienced scuba diver. My team aimed at a real image to depict the artwork right in camera.” Matteo says, “Alessia was a gladiator who understands the skill of posing underwater and making the photo shoot work for us. To be more elaborate, Matteo says, “With hindsight having Alessia on a set turned out to be our best asset, as it would have been crazy to attempt shooting without her refined underwater skills.”


For lighting, Matteo says: “I embraced the idea of having a single studio strobe fire right from above. While overpowering the sun, I calibrated the lighting ratio between the model and the swimming pool right in camera, fine tweaking it to the desired level.” Having Art director Andrea monitor the photo shoot from the surface; Matteo had quick previews captured right out of the water where he was able to provide live feedback on all the shots.

The Method

“Additionally, for the light fall off and fill we used different Chimera Lighting modifiers including a pancake lantern, a small and a medium sized light bank.” He adds Chimera Lighting modifiers, “…help achieve different image looks to mix in post.” He used a 2x1m reflector panel in the pool. “The silver panel was placed underneath the camera facing up towards the model to adjust the fill light.”

The Result

When asked to describe his style, Matteo said: “One, I find excitement in my job, and Two, I am determined to always do a quality job.”

See more of Matteo’s work at,