Advertisement Skip this ad »
  • Great White Shark

    "We wanted to bring the studio underwater. Or, I wanted to bring the great white into the studio, right? So I started looking to find some good strong lights. And you know, they didn’t exist. And I was like, 'Oh, OK.' So I set out and started meeting people and getting ripped off and having people build stuff that didn’t work and almost gave up. Then I hooked up with these two guys. And they said, 'Here’s a solution.' And now I have 1200-watt waterproof strobe lights."

  • "The actual strobe light is a Profoto light. We just built the housing and the way to make it waterproof. We have a patent pending on that. And so I have an assistant up on the deck of the boat or the side of a pool and he controls all the packs, and I have two to six assistants underwater holding the lights, and I have a communication system so I can talk to my guys underwater and they can hear me and I can direct them."

  • "There are a lot of dynamics going on. Lights, cables, and a bus with teeth swimming around that you have to keep your eye on. It makes for, without a doubt, the most challenging photo shoots I’ve ever done."

  • "I’m definitely going for shots that I haven’t seen before, but they’re animals. I have no control over what they give me and what they do for me, which is great. Whereas, when I shoot people I control the situation for the most part—from telling them where to stand to where to look. For the animals, they’re dictating me. I have to adapt to them."

  • "Most people catch them breaching from the surface when they’re shooting out of the water. I have them breaching from underwater in a 16-time sequence, a shark leaving the water and then reentering the water."

  • "I don’t have a favorite photo. As a photographer I have attachments to each image. Not the one photo, the experience of getting the photos is the challenge or the thing."

  • "The day the lights were delivered was the day before I left for the Galapagos to do an IWC watch campaign in conjunction with the Charles Darwin Foundation and UNESCO. There was a big emphasis on conservation. And when I was down there I just had a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I was like, 'This is what I want to do. This is what I need to do.'"

  • Great White Shark

    "If I can take a photo of a shark or a stingray or a dolphin or a whale and people can look at it, and maybe look at it in a way that they haven’t seen before, and say, 'Wow, this is beautiful. What can I do? How can we save this?' Or, 'How can we change what’s happening?' That’s sort of my mission right now."

  • "My images of sharks are done purely so that people realize that 70 million—not 7 million—70 million sharks are slaughtered every year, for a soup, a delicacy. They are at the top of the ecosystem, and you take them out? It’s a domino effect. The collapse that’s going to happen is going to be felt in the oceans. And I just hope that people see the photos and maybe get educated in a little way about what’s happening."

  • "And that they realize they don’t have to be scared of them. There were two or three fatalities last year in the whole country. I want to say there were five or six worldwide. But I want to say that there were 140 people that died from bees. People don’t need to be scared. I tickle sharks. I do, when they swim by."

  • Start over
    Next Up: Wild British Columbia

    More Galleries

    More at Outside

    Elsewhere on the Web

    Comments