[Photo Feature] 9 Water Photographers You Should Know

Landon McNamara at Teahupo'o, May 2013. Photo: Ben Thouard ©

The School of Continued Oceanic Education is in full recruitment mode. The school’s board of directors recently issued a series of emails that outlined their plans for growth that largely stated the importance of identifying new potential applicants. They politely asked for any recipients of the emails to consider potential ways they could contribute to the plan.

Due to Whalebone’s ongoing relationship with a few leading students in the program’s photography department, and the need to recruit in creative ways, we have put together the following campaign to support The School of Continued Oceanic Education’s goals of recruiting new talent, who might be previously unaware of the school’s mission, into their waters.

Each leading student in the photography department was asked the following question: “If you had to explain the ocean to a person who has never experienced it, how would you do it?” They were then asked to provide a short answer along with an example of their work to back up their statement. The following is a preview of a mini recruitment campaign developed by the photography department. Please consider showing this feature to anyone who may be interested in applying.

1. Ben Thouard

“For me, the ocean is a place where your body feels no pain either physically or mentally.
It’s a liquid element that never ceases to move around you, and which can be shaped by energy to offer unique forms.”

2. Sarah Lee

Photo: Sarah Lee

“The ocean is a vast liquid atmosphere in a constant state of flux. Once you’re completely immersed in it, it is closer to what I imagine the sensation of floating in space is, versus your own two feet on land.”

3. Christian Vizl

Bahamas, Bimini. A group of nurse sharks swimming among a school of fish near a sandy bottom. Photo: Christian Vizl

“A beautiful blue world, inhabited by millions of different life forms perfectly adapted to a life in the water where they interact among themselves, some for pleasure, some for survival, and others out of pure curiosity.  Everything is perfect under the surface and it takes just a moment underwater to realize the greatness of this ecosystem with a balance that took nature eons to achieve.”

4. Morgan Maassen

Photo: Morgan Maassen

“The ocean is a textural wonderland, a color odyssey of violent blues and deep blacks. The wind whips the surface creating violence, against breathless moments where the sea blends into the sky. Movement is everywhere, power is everything.”

5. James Katsipis

Photo: James Katsipis

“To explain the ocean is like an astronaut explaining what zero gravity feels like. It’s the most freeing place on earth. The ocean is the only place on earth where I can truly breathe correctly. It takes away all my stress and anxiety in the world and shuts off that second voice in your head that says “you can’t”. It’s one of the only places that let you be right there in the moment and that’s all you have time to think about. It could heal you or take you in an instant. You must have the utmost respect for her. She can reward you greatly if you do.”

6. Anuar Patjane

Photo: Anuar Patjane

“The ocean is a place where a timeline can cease to exist—what matters there will be the camaraderie on the boat, the gifts of spectacular life that the ocean gives you above and below water, and the best nights of sleep and surreal dreams that you will ever have.”

7. Todd Glaser

Photo: Todd Glaser

“The human body is made up of roughly 60% of water and the world’s oceans cover around 70% of the entire earth.  It’s in our blood, it’s in our soul, the ocean is the greatest teacher and keeps us humble.”

8. Matt Draper

Photo: Matt Draper

“The very unknown that can create so much fear and anxiety is the exact unknown that will heal like no other. For the ocean is a life source, where life first began and still contributes to every single breath you inhale. Once she has cast her spell, you will forever be enchanted by her presence by being encouraged to simply be present. The fool is not lost at sea, the fool is to never have sea.”

9. Ray Collins

Photo: Ray Collins

“The ocean is life. It is me, it is you, it is us. When we float in it, we are healed, we are relaxed, we are home.”