Being there – and getting to know the locals
Documenting coral reefs becomes a process of documenting marine animals as well. Not only can one not avoid including animals in almost every photograph, but I gain a strong sense of the community of animals that make up the reef, much like we have our communities of people on land that define a small town. If I dive a site fifty or a hundred times, some surprising discoveries happen. First, after a few dives to a new place I become familiar with where fish and animals are normally found on the reef. After a many dives, I start to notice that the local residents aren’t running away from me – in fact, some of them want to hang out! ...Read More
Approaching animals is a lot like dealing with people. It’s important to let them be themselves. One of the things I’ve learned is too stop chasing things and let the animals come to you. Just being there invites a lot of curiosity, not being dangerous is better. Outside of that, there are quite a few tricks for approaching animals underwater, but one of the main things I focus on is to stop and LOOK. When you are just an observer on the reef you blend in – eventually. The magic moments of capturing an animal doing something really interesting comes from spending a lot of time just watching – and being ready to capture the action when it does happen.