The magic of photography was evident to me at a very young age. I was six or seven years old as I watched my father teach my older brother the steps of black-and-white print development. I remember seeing the images in trays of funny-smelling liquid tilted from side to side. I never got to “play,” but what I saw stayed with me.
It wasn’t until I lived in my own home with my wife and had given up raising cichlids that I created my own darkroom out of a third of my basement. I lived down there four to five hours a day, four or five days a week. I enjoyed every minute in that darkroom for about twenty years.
Move forward a dozen years when I was introduced to SCUBA. Until then, a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus had only been an oddity seen on a TV series. I was truly awed when I found myself sitting on the floor of a twelve-foot deep swimming pool, breathing normally. However, it took another ten years before I found the time to devote to really learning SCUBA. Now I have discovered it is a lifelong learning process.
But as in many things in life, timing is everything. On my first real diving vacation, I was introduced to a digital SLR with an underwater housing and strobes. The marriage between photography and diving began.
From that time until now, I’ve tried to use my skills as a photographer to reveal ocean life to the public. I want people to see what may be lost through our negligence, lack of understanding, and refusal to believe facts. Coastal oil drilling, general pollution, and global warming all kill phytoplankton, the sea creatures that are the smallest forms of life. These in turn feed larger life forms. In short, human life depends on the health of the oceans through the foods we eat and even the air we breathe. Over seventy percent of earth’s oxygen is produced by the oceans. Also, two thirds of the world population lives within forty miles of an ocean. And the oceans produce food for one sixth of the world population. Yet, we continue offshore drilling and discharge waste from coastal communities.
Please view and enjoy my images. If I have moved and educated any viewer to take action, I will consider myself a successful photographer.