Equipment: I shoot Nikon cameras housed in SeaCam underwater housings made in Austria. Currently I shoot the Nikon D3s, D3 and D700 models. Sometimes I use other systems for specific special images. I use a range of Nikon lenses from macro to super wide angle and a custom Storz endoscopic lens. I use Sea and Sea strobes that produce a clean, evenly balanced light. On certain occasions I use 1200 watt HMI movie lights powered by surface supply generators to produce stage like lighting underwater in caves, shipwrecks and other dramatic situations.All of this equipment is professional level equipment that most recreational divers would not carry because it is too big, cumbersome and complicated for new divers to enjoy.
Polar regions: We have spent recent months working in the ice in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Antarctica is a world penguins, leopard seals, sculptural ice bergs and dinosaur-like amphipods that live on the bottom with other strange and wonderful invertebrates. We have just returned from the ice pack in the Gulf of St Lawrence working with mother and pup harp seals. It was the most extraordinary experience I have had in my career as a photographer.
I made my first underwater images when I was 12. I knew from about that age that I wanted to be an underwater photographer. Oddly I never wanted to be any of the usual things kids think of like policeman, doctor, lawyer, fireman. I loved the water and became very comfortable in it and began to make pictures that improved with dive.
My first underwater camera was a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye that I put into an anesthesiologist’s bag equipped with faceplate from a scuba mask that the lens of the camera looked through. The first pictures were awful. You could not tell if they were a fish, a cat or a plant. I kept trying and eventually moved up to work with pre-war Leicas in a real housing. The pictures made a huge leap forward where a fish looked like a fish. I got very excited and spent all of my free time in the water and kept skin diving magazines under my pillow that I would read with a flashlight at night. I could not concentrate on anything but underwater photography.
My father, a surgeon, hoped I would be a doctor but soon realized I was obsessed with taking cameras into the water and he began to support my interest by taking me to Small Hope Bay in Bahamas as a kid. He would fish and I would photograph. Once I started to take recognizable underwater pictures there was no turning back and no other path but to the water to make better and better pictures.
Japan: I have been to Japan about 15 times. I have photographed the blue fin tuna, deep sea sharks, Tsukiji Fish Market, jellyfish, pearl culture and sadly, the dolphin harvest at Futo Harbor. I have most enjoyed working with my friend and colleague Koji Nakamura on many assignments while diving off the East Coast of the Izu Peninsula and in Suruga Bay where everything underwater has the feel of a delicacy and elegance that reflects Japanese design. Most recently I photographed eels in Lake Biwa and I liked the sense of exotic isolation I felt.
Favorite places: I have enjoyed diving from the equator to the poles and the temperate water in between. I am becoming very fond of working in the ice and the challenges and unique beauty associated with it. We have spent years diving throughout the remote regions of the Coral Triangle in Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Indonesia. The waters of Raja Ampat Indonesia have begun to feel like a second home and my partner Jennifer Hayes and I feel motivated to return as often as we can.
To do list: We are most eager to work in Iceland, Greenland and Norway and I want to swim and make pictures in the ultraclear alpine lakes in Scandanavia. We are eager to get underwater with Nile crocodiles in sub-Saharan Africa and to spend time in the untouched freshwaters of South America.
Witness to change: I have stunning environmental change in nearly every region of the underwater world. We no longer see sharks and other large fish on coral reefs throughout the Coral Triangle, nearly all have been lost to the shark fin soup trade. Just weeks ago we had problems locating any solid ice within the Gulf of St Lawrence. Normal conditions produce thick sea ice that covers the entire gulf but global warming has caused dramatic declines in sea ice and huge increases in seal pup drowning.
Remedy: We need to control overfishing on a global basis and set up marine protected areas that are off limits to fishing and can function as a refuge for reproductive adults. Certain long lived species such as toothfish, orange roughy, swordfish, sturgeon, whales and dolphins should not be harvested.
Cameras: My first rule of underwater photography is “Never go in the water without a camera”. It is good to see that Japanese divers also think this way and want to carry a camera. The sea is full of rare moments and amateurs are regularly making world class images. My one suggestion is shoot shoot shoot, take chances, make mistakes and learn from them. Shoot what you love.
1946年アメリカ・ニューヨーク生まれ。８歳からスノーケリングを始め、12歳から水中写真を撮り始める。ボストン大学で映画とジャーナリズムを専攻した後、1971年から現在まで『ナショナル ジオグラフィック』誌上で70に及ぶフォト・ストーリーを発表。世界中の多くの出版物で作品が取り上げられている他、コラムや記事の執筆、ダイビング誌の編集なども手がけている。レナート・ニルソン賞など複数の受賞歴がある。英国王立写真協会、International Scuba Diving Hall of Fameの会員、国際環境保護写真家連盟（ILCP）の創立メンバー。