Peter Löseke on his passion for diving and filming.
Peter Löseke is an enthusiastic underwater filmmaker and diver and part of the "Behind The Mask" team. The multi-member family behind the dive blog shares a great passion for the oceans of this planet and the wildlife in them.
You’ve been a diver for almost 30 years and have turned your passion into a profession. Tell us about it: How did you become a globetrotting underwater filmmaker?
Peter Löseke: "I’m basically a career changer. My passion for filming and for the water has always been there. It quickly became clear to me that I’d like to dive one day. Then everything began moving in that direction because I also wanted to record my impressions. First I tried it with photos and ultimately stuck to filming because that appealed to me more. Since I was wowing people with my videos, I started getting small jobs and at one point I decided to quit my job in the trades to fully concentrate on underwater filming."
You initiated the "Behind The Mask" project (www.behind-the-mask.com) with several other divers, cameramen and photographers. What was your intention and what exactly do you do?
Peter Löseke: "It was actually Florian Fischer who initiated Behind The Mask and I joined a bit later. I met Florian on a project in Indonesia and we quickly realised that we’re on the same wavelength so we developed our idea together. But I don't see "Behind The Mask" as a project, but rather as a philosophy. In the meantime we’ve grown together into a family. We all help and support each other on different projects. We all want to bring the ocean and its animals closer to people. Especially at the moment when we’re all being overwhelmed by bad news, I think it’s important to also show people something positive. I believe you can inspire people more with emotions than with facts. Our message behind this is showing what’s worth protecting and preserving."
On your social media channels, you share many of your impressive videos - but some situations look very dangerous. Has there ever been a situation that was very threatening for you and the crew?
Peter Löseke: "Not for me personally, but that's also a matter of feeling. There are always certain rules you have to know and follow – whether it’s about the wildlife or the dive site itself. You should always find out beforehand if there are any currents, how deep the site is and how good the visibility is."
When the sea is choppy, diving is not always easy – sometimes even impossible. What do you do then?
Peter Löseke: "The only thing to do is wait. The biggest problem of a nature or wildlife photographer or filmmaker is that half the time you’re just waiting. On the other hand, you have to be on your toes at the decisive moment – because you often only get one chance. When you think of the Sardine Run, for example, you imagine this natural spectacle and seeing all these dolphins, sharks and birds hunting, but sometimes you get there and nothing’s happening. That's part of the job, too."
Do you always travel to the same spots with "Behind The Mask"?
Peter Löseke: "Of course you travel more often to the really interesting spots, because there are a lot of stories to tell at these places. At the same time, you're always looking for new experiences, challenges and destinations. But it's becoming more difficult since nearly 99.9% of our world has already been discovered. Personally, I like to travel to spots where I've been before, because then I remember how the conditions are and can adjust better to it. You also have a certain story in your head beforehand."
Where will you go next time with "Behind The Mask"?
Peter Löseke: "I've been on the road all year - eight different countries in eight months. I'm taking a short break now until the end of the year, then I'm going to take a vacation in the Maldives, and then after boot 2023 I'm heading to French Polynesia. Sounds good, doesn't it?" ;-)
On your website pestivideo.de you offer people a chance to go on trips with you. What do they experience with you?
Peter Löseke: "It's mainly about getting to know fascinating destinations. Many people who have been travelling with me for years just want to have fun and discover exciting places. Others book trips specifically to learn a few tricks and take part in workshops. I've also done film projects in workshops where everyone can get involved – no matter if you own a GoPro or an expensive Red camera."
You're a big fish fan - which encounter has been your highlight so far? And where did you see it?
Peter Löseke: "I'm very lucky to be on the road quite a lot and there are so many great moments - like the 67 moonfish off the Galapagos Islands or the hundreds of hammerhead sharks. One very special encounter was in French Polynesia in the South Pacific. It was just a normal dive and actually not whale season and all of a sudden a whale swam by while we were diving. Otherwise, there are so many amazing moments and it doesn't do it justice to pick just one highlight. I feel the same way about the diving destinations. There are places in Indonesia where you can observe wonderful small animals that can be just as fascinating as a shark project or diving with manta rays. Of course, you also notice when you’re diving with a group that when a big shark comes swimming by the tiny snail or small fish isn’t quite as interesting for the moment."
At boot Düsseldorf you will show some video excerpts and pictures of your underwater experiences in a presentation. Many people are bound to feel inspired by you. What advice do you give them when they ask you for spots for first-time dives?
Peter Löseke: "The nice thing as a beginner is that you can actually dive anywhere in the world. I highly recommend the Maldives, Indonesia or the Philippines. In principle, of course, it always depends on your budget. One good place to get started, where you can certainly get some experience, is Egypt. It’s important to ask yourself beforehand what it is you want to see. I always think it's a shame when you go to a diving destination and then feel disappointed if there are no sharks or turtles, for example. Especially in the beginning it's relatively easy because it’s all so exciting. It gets harder when you've been diving for a while and you ask yourself: What have I missed, what do I still want to see and experience?"
Will we also see you at the boot in January 2023?
Peter Löseke: "Yes, of course, I'm really looking forward to the show. The diving community is like a big family and it's nice to meet up and exchange ideas. I missed that a lot during the past two years. Many friendships have been made at the boot over the years."
What are you looking forward to most at boot 2023?
Peter Löseke: "The people, seeing this big diving family again. There are also many people who are no longer as active in the industry, but still come by for a visit. That's how you see the great solidarity."