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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Photographer Joshua Cripps Shares His Tips for Capturing the Ocean on Film

Posted On July 26, 2013 by

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. Continue reading »

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Starfish Galaxies: Joshua Cripps Shares the Story Behind His Award-Winning Photo

Posted On July 1, 2013 by

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.

Continue reading »

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5 Questions with Underwater Photographer Feo Pitcairn

Posted On August 25, 2012 by

© Feo Pitcairn

Much has changed since a teenaged Feo Pitcairn took his first wildlife photographs and developed them in his parent’s cellar.

For one thing, he’s no longer using that darkroom; his equipment now includes high-definition digital cameras that produce images with up to 40 million pixels.

His work has been showcased at the Smithsonian, on PBS and in countless books, magazines and calendars. And his film “Ocean Voyagers,” narrated by Meryl Streep, has been converted to 3-D and nominated for an award at the upcoming BLUE Ocean Film Festival.

Most recently, he’s transitioned from natural-history filmmaking back to his first love, still photography, and he’s launching an online gallery to share his work with the world.

A former Ocean Conservancy board member and long-time supporter of the organization, Feo has also witnessed a great deal of change in the health of our ocean during his many years as a photographer. He shares his experiences and insights—as well as a slideshow of beautiful ocean images—after the jump.

Continue reading »

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Tips for Watching Wildlife: Keeping the “Wild” in the Experience

Posted On June 21, 2012 by

Remember, wildlife like this Nazca booby will be watching you, too! Credit: Glory L. Moore

One of my happiest family memories comes from a trip when my son was six years old. We arrived at a popular bay on the big island of Hawaii known for its plentiful green sea turtles. I’ll never forget the look on his small face when he popped up out of the water, pulled his mask off, and said in astonishment, “Mom! A turtle just swam along right next to me!”

Being a conscientious little dude, he got a bit worried, because signs on the beach warned visitors to keep their distance from the sea turtles, listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

We tried our best, but several glided right up to peer at us when we hovered motionless in the water. We’ll always cherish the rare thrill of being so close to wild things in the ocean. But did we do the right thing?

When you’re viewing wildlife – and wildlife is viewing you – following specific guidelines will ensure that you have a terrific experience. Continue reading »