Krystle Wright Captures the Magic of the Ocean

Shooting life above, below, and on the ocean

Photo: Krystle Wright

Krystle Wright got the photography bug while growing up in Queensland, on Australia’s northeast coast. At 18, she spent her life savings on underwater housing for her camera, hoping to become a surf photographer. “It was the best thing I ever did,” says the 30-year-old. “I would just go out in any conditions and shoot.” Photographing in heavy surf proved harder than it looked. “The first time I shot with a water houser, I head-butted the sand,” she says. As she grew more comfortable in the water, she turned her focus to other subjects, like paragliding in Pakistan’s Karakoram Range and BASE jumpers in Moab, Utah. Today, Wright—a freediver, skier, and climber—keeps her belongings in a shipping container in Queensland and travels 11 months of the year on commercial expeditions and assignments for magazines like Outside and National Geographic. More than a decade later, though, the ocean is still one of her favorite environments to work in. “Shooting in the water is always different—it’s never the same thing twice,” she says. —Will Ford

Photo: “It’s amazing how the water color changes between the different oceans,” Wright says. She photographed these sperm whales while diving in Portugal’s Azores. “The Atlantic Ocean is so rich and blue.”

Photo: Krystle Wright

“I’ve always been fascinated by the bird’s-eye view,” says Wright, who took this 2011 photo of a kitesurfer off the coast of Australia’s Eagle Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. “On the trip, I’d shot at water level and I’d shot underneath. So I thought, Why not go up the mast and try something different?”

Photo: Krystle Wright

“I feel like any time of day is beautiful to shoot in the water,” says Wright. She captured this surfer on Queens­land’s Gold Coast after sunrise. “Shooting on the east coast of Aus­tralia in the morning, it’s always going to be backlit.”