The Blog Aquatic » Lauren Malkani News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:44:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Only Two Days Left to Vote for Your Favorite Photo Sat, 01 Mar 2014 12:00:43 +0000 Lauren Malkani

]]> 0
It’s time to vote for your favorite photos Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:16:25 +0000 Lauren Malkani

We’ve received some truly amazing photos from this year’s photo contest! Thank you to everyone who participated!

The photo submission period is officially over and now the fun begins. It’s time to vote for your favorites! It’s easy to do. Just go to our site, take a minute to check out all our entries and then cast your vote.

How does the voting work? Each vote is $1. So for every $1 donation you make, you’re helping to protect the fish, wildlife and ocean ecosystems you love!

All your votes help to crown the 2014 People’s Choice photo contest winner. From seals to seascapes to surfers, we’ve got something for everyone—but which will reign supreme?

Some of my favorite entries cozy up to manatees or get up close with sharks and tell the stories that connect each of us to our ocean. Which one speaks to you? Vote today for the image that captures your heart.

If you entered a photo yourself, don’t forget to ask your friends and family to vote for your work by March 2. Their support gives you the opportunity to win great prizes and a place in our annual calendar, so act now!

Voting ends Sunday, March 2. Time is ticking—vote today! 

While you’re busy voting for the People’s Choice Award, our professional photographers will be choosing their favorites to crown the Grand Prize winner. We’ll announce all winners the second week of March, so stay tuned to all our channels—email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


]]> 0
Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:15:29 +0000 Lauren Malkani

Our 2014 Marine Wildlife and Seascape Photo Contest is here! Along with selecting 5 finalists and a grand prize winner, we are selecting a “staff favorite” to post to our Instagram feed each day. Send us your favorite ocean photos and follow our Instragram @oceanconservancy to see our favorites!

]]> 1
Photographer Joshua Cripps Shares His Tips for Capturing the Ocean on Film Fri, 26 Jul 2013 23:15:59 +0000 Lauren Malkani photographer capturing the ocean

Credit: Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa via Flickr

Photographer Joshua Cripps, winner of Ocean Conservancy’s 2012 Marine Life and Seascape Photo Contest, explains why the ocean makes for dynamic images, how to take better photos and why photography can help save the planet:

What attracted you to photography?

After college, I did a lot of traveling, and my experiences as I journeyed from country to country opened up my eyes to the incredible beauty and magic in the world. But my ability to convey my sense of awe and wonder to my friends and family back home was sadly lacking, and I began to yearn for a better way to share the world as I saw it.

Thus the seed of photography was planted. But it wasn’t until a year or so later, when I got my first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, that the seed began to sprout. After that, all hope was lost: like a rampant vine, my love of photography grew and grew until it pretty much took over my life.

What do you value most in a photo?

What I value most in a photo is a good story, especially a story of a place I haven’t seen or heard of before. When I see a photo, I want to feel compelled to find out more about what’s happening in the image, where it was taken, how it came to be and what it makes me think about. A good photo should provoke something in the viewer.

What tips do you have for budding photographers?

  • Take a lot of photos. Shoot until you can’t shoot anymore, and then shoot more. Shoot anything and everything that catches your fancy, but always ask yourself why you are taking that photo.
  • Find photos you love. Then figure out why you love them. What are the technical, compositional and processing techniques the photographer used to get you to feel the way you do? Break them down piece-by-piece and figure out why they work.
  • Find photos you don’t like. Then figure out why. Where is the photographer failing? Why don’t these photos work? Join critique groups and ask other photographers to offer you suggestions.
  • Take as many workshops as you can afford. There is no single better or faster way to become a better photographer than by learning from photographers who are more experienced and can help steer you in the right direction for your art.

What attracts you to the ocean as a photographic subject?

Simply put, the ocean is the most dynamic landscape I can think of. It changes from month to month, day to day and even second to second. I’ve been to beaches where within a single 24-hour period, hundreds of tons of sand have been scooped from one end of the beach and deposited on the other, exposing certain rocks and burying others.

When shooting waves, a mere half-second pause between photos can create images of startling difference. The ocean is a place where all aspects of photography come together to create some of the most fun and dynamic image-making I’ve experienced.

Do you think photography can help raise awareness about ocean issues?

Absolutely. There’s no other form of media that has the instantaneous impact of a photo. A photo can be taken in at a glance but can tell a story with a richness and eloquence that words can’t match. Photos help people understand our planet and our ocean and the state they’re in.

]]> 8
Starfish Galaxies: Joshua Cripps Shares the Story Behind His Award-Winning Photo Mon, 01 Jul 2013 18:00:02 +0000 Lauren Malkani Motukiekie Galaxies

Credit: Joshua Cripps

During Ocean Conservancy’s 2012 Marine Life and Seascape Photo Contest, we received over 600 entries, showcasing everything from sea turtles to sharks to seashells. Though there were plenty of amazing photographs, only one could be our grand-prize winner.

Photographer Joshua Cripps shares with us the story behind his award-winning photo, “Motukiekie Galaxies”:

What’s the story behind this photo?

I took this photo at Motukiekie Beach on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand during a month-long photography expedition. It’s a remarkable beach full of tide pools, mirror-like sand, massive tidal swings and intriguing sea stacks and caves.

What made you take the photo?

I have a sometimes-dangerous habit of being too curious: “Hmm, what’s just over that cliff?” “Can I jump down into this canyon?” In this case I saw some tide pools right at the water’s edge and wanted to go investigate them, despite the fact that the water was rising quickly and I knew I’d probably get soaked by going out there.

But once I rock-hopped out to the tidal pools, I found hundreds of these 12-legged sea stars clinging to the rocks. That amazing sight, along with the beautiful sea stacks farther out to sea and the moody conditions at the time, left me with no question that I was going to take a photo.

Was it difficult to shoot?

Yes and no. Shooting in the tidal zone is always challenging. You run the risk of being splashed by waves (which isn’t particularly good for your equipment), slipping on wet rocks or having a sneaky wave take you out completely. And yes, all three have happened to me numerous times.

But those experiences have made me more careful and confident in my abilities while shooting the ocean. And thankfully, in this spot the waves were fairly small, especially after being broken up coming through the rocks. So in this case the only real difficulty in getting the shot was dealing with wet feet as the tide rose.

How did you feel being there and taking the photo?

Like I’d found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. From my prior scouting, I knew how much potential this beach had for good photography, but I didn’t know exactly what I’d find when I hopped out toward these particular rocks.

When I saw the hundreds of starfish clinging to the rocks, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Those sea stars—which, being from California, I found incredibly exotic—along with the stormy conditions of the day made me want to create as surreal and alien a photo as I could, so I used some long exposures to render the incoming waves as mist. And when the images on the back of my camera started to match my vision of the scene, it was an incredibly validating and rewarding feeling.

]]> 17