Judges and Awards Biography 2014



Animal Portraits – the Emory Kristof Award for Outstanding Achievement

Animal Behaviour: the Doug Perrine Award for Outstanding Achievement

Black & White Print - the Ernie Brooks Award for Outstanding Achievement

The Portfolio Award – the David Doubilet Award for Outstanding Achievement

Seascapes – the Carden Wallace Award for Outstanding Achievement

Seascapes with Model – the Kurt Amsler Award for Outstanding Achievement

Small Exotic Animals – the Neville Coleman Award for Outstanding Achievement    (kindly judged by Ken Thongpila)

ONE OCEAN (Video or Slide Show) – the Sylvia Earle Award for Outstanding Achievement

Creative Vision – the Wyland Award for Outstanding Achievement

Vision of the Sea – the Howard Hall Award for Outstanding Achievement

Music – the Eric Bettens Merit of Excellent for Music Adaptation

Young Photographer of the Year -  the Alex Mustard Award for Outstanding Achievement

The Ocean Geographic Merit of Excellence Award for Novice Photographer


Carden Wallace PhD

altWith her appointment in 1987 as Curator in Charge, Carden Wallace became the first woman to head the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. Carden began her lifetime journey into the sciences in 1970, with an honours degree in science at the University of Queensland, and a thesis on earthworms. Carden has been the balancing home commitments with long hours of fieldwork since the birth of her two sons between 1974 and 1978.

In 1979 Carden completed a PhD at the University of Queensland, her research still on invertebrates but now directed to tropical marine ecology with a study of soft corals, Acropora. Throughout the period since 1974, Carden's marine science research has been indicated in an extensive list of papers, reports and contributions to significant publications, including ‘A Coral Reef Handbook’, edited by Patricia Mather and Ian Bennett, and ‘Coral Reefs’, edited by L Hammond.

High points in her career include the POL Prize for Environmental Research, awarded in 1992 to Carden along with four other scientists from James Cook University for their exciting discovery of mass annual spawning on the Great Barrier Reef by over a hundred species of coral. Carden's own research has focused on biogeography and biodiversity, particularly on corals and tropical biota. Her current interests are directed towards other tropical countries, especially Indonesia. She feels strongly that scientists should give back all they possibly can, in communicating and applying the results of their work.


Sylvia Earle PhD

altSylvia Earle was born in Gibbstown, New Jersey. Her parents raised her on a small farm near Camden. From the time she was very small, Sylvia loved exploring the woods near her home. She was fascinated by the creatures and plants that lived in the wild. Neither of her parents had a college education, but they too loved nature, nor they taught young Sylvia to respect wild creatures and not to be afraid of the unknown. Those who have followed her adult career may wonder if she is afraid of anything.

When Sylvia was 13, the family moved to Clearwater, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. Soon, Sylvia was learning all she could about the wildlife of the Gulf and its coast. Her parents could not afford to send her to college themselves, but she was an exceptional student and won scholarships to the Florida State. Throughout her school years, she supported herself by working in college laboratories.

Here, she first learned scuba diving, determined to use this new technology to study marine life at first hand. Fascinated by all aspects of the ocean and marine life, Sylvia decided to specialize in botany. Understanding the vegetation, she believes, is the first step to understanding any ecosystem.

After earning her Master's at Duke University, Sylvia Earle took time off to marry and start a family but remained active in marine exploration. In 1964, when her children were only two and four, she left home for six weeks to join a National Science Foundation expedition in the Indian Ocean. Throughout the mid-1960s, she struggled to balance the demands of her family with scientific expeditions that took her all over the world.

In 1966 Sylvia Earle received her Ph.D. from Duke. Her dissertation "Phaeophyta of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico" created a sensation in the oceanographic community. Never before had a marine scientist made such a long and detailed first-hand study of aquatic plant life. Since then she has made a lifelong project of cataloguing every species of plant that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Earle's burgeoning career took her first to Harvard, as a research fellow, then to the resident directorship of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, in Florida. In 1968, Dr. Earle traveled to a hundred feet below the waters of the Bahamas in the submersible Deep Diver. She was four months pregnant at the time.

In 1969 she applied to participate in the Tektite project. This venture, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Navy, the Department of the Interior and NASA allowed teams of scientist to live for weeks at a time in an enclosed habitat on the ocean floor fifty feet below the surface, off the Virgin Islands. By this time, Sylvia had spent more than a thousand research hours underwater, more than any other scientists who applied to the program, but, as she says, "the people in charge just couldn't cope with the idea of men and women living together underwater."

The result was Tektite II, Mission 6, an all-female research expedition led by Dr. Earle herself. In 1970, Sylvia Earle and four other women dove 50 feet below the surface to the small structure they would call home for the next two weeks.  The publicity surrounding this adventure made Sylvia Earle a recognizable face beyond the scientific community. To their surprise, the scientists found they had become celebrities and were given a ticker-tape parade and a White House reception. After that Sylvia Earle was increasingly in demand as public speaker, and she became an outspoken advocate of undersea research. At the same time, she began to write for National Geographic and to produce books and films. Besides trying to arouse greater public interest in the sea, she hoped to raise public awareness of the damage being done to our aquasphere by pollution and environmental degradation.

In the 1970s, scientific missions took Sylvia Earle to the Galapagos, to the water off Panama, to China and the Bahamas and, again, to the Indian Ocean. During this period she began a productive collaboration with undersea photographer Al Giddings. Together, they investigated the battleship graveyard in the Caroline Islands of the South Pacific.

In 1977 they made their first voyage following the great sperm whales. In a series of expeditions they followed the whales from Hawaii to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Bermuda and Alaska. Their journeys were recorded in the documentary film Gentle Giants of the Pacific (1980).

In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any living human being before or since. In the so-called Jim suit, a pressurized one-atmosphere garment, she was carried by a submersible down to the depth of 1,250 feet below the ocean's surface off of the island of Oahu. At the bottom, she detached from the vessel and explored the depths for two and a half hours with only a communication line connecting her to the submersible, and nothing at all connecting her to the world above. She described this adventure in her 1980 book: Exploring the Deep Frontier.

In the 1980s, along with engineer Graham Hawkes, she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies. These ventures design and build undersea vehicles like Deep Rover and Deep Flight which are making it possible for scientists to maneuver at depths that defied all previously existing technology. In the middle of this life of adventure, Sylvia Earle has been married and raised three children, some of whom have worked side by side with her at Deep Ocean Engineering

In the early 1990s, Dr. Earle took a leave of absence from her companies to serve as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. There, among other duties, Sylvia Earle was responsible for monitoring the health of the nation's waters. In this capacity she also reported on the environmental damage wrought by Iraq's burning of the Kuwaiti oil fields.

Today, Dr. Earle is Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. More recently, she led the Google Ocean Advisory Council, a team of 30 marine scientists providing content and scientific oversight for the "Ocean in Google Earth." To date, she has led over 70 expeditions, logging more than 6500 hours underwater. Among the more than 100 national and international honors she has received is the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal to establish a global network of marine protected areas. She calls these marine preserves "hope spots... to save and restore... the blue heart of the planet."

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Doug Perrine

altDoug Perrine grew up far from the ocean in Dallas, Texas, but felt the sea calling him from an early age. After studying at the University of Hawaii, he worked as a lifeguard, teacher of English as a foreign language, marine biologist, and scuba instructor, living in a number of coastal and island nations. He returned to the USA and earned a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Miami. Only in his 30's did he find his true calling, and take up the profession of nature photography. Perrine is now widely regarded as one the world’s foremost marine wildlife photographers. His photographs have been published in thousands of magazines, books, calendars and other graphic products. He is the author of seven books and numerous magazine articles on marine life. 

His images have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, the British Museum of Natural History, and numerous other prestigious institutions. He founded the stock photo library SeaPics.com, and operated it for 18 years before selling it in 2003 to concentrate on his own writing and photography.  He has served as a consultant for filming projects for the BBC NHU, National Geographic, Discovery, Disney, and other companies. His photographs have won a number of awards, including the grand prize in the prestigious international Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2004. Perrine currently lives on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaii, only a short distance away from the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

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Eric Bettens

Multi- award winner composer, Eric Bettens was born on April 27th 1973, in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. Eric early exposure to his maternal grandfather’s renditions of Polish folk music on his violin gravitated him to the Academy of Music of Courcelles; here he was schooled in music theory, the history of music and the trumpet and percussion as his instruments of choice. They earned him the Great Distinction for. “Médailles du gouvernement” (Medals of Government). Performing with local bands through the years, Eric works to improve his ‘New Orleans’ jazz style, with his trumpet in chamber music, symphony orchestras and solos. .

Fascinated by synthesizer music, popularized by Jean-Michel Jarre or Vangelis, he started composing with the synthesizer, while mastering keyboard techniques with Annette VAN DE GORNE. Eric’s pursuit for a delicate balance between the acoustic and electronic instruments, often finds his love for Nature weaved into his compositions. Earning him the encouragements and advice in 2001 from the famous Liège composer, Luc BAIWIR, Eric submitted one of his compositions, Nydhis, for the Festival Mondial de l’Image Sous-Marine (World Festival of the Underwater Film) in Antibes (France). It won the First Prize (Prix François de Roubaix).

Making his mark in Antibes, in 2002, he started receiving requests for theater music, short films, and documentary films. This path led to the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award at the Festival of Antibes in November, 2004. In 2005, he collaborated in the adaptation of the musical notation software, in French, for Sibelius. In the same year, he was invited to be on the judging panel of Celebrate the Sea festival in Singapore and used the opportunity to give two concerts there and returned to Celebrate the Sea annually.

‘Discovery,’ Eric’s first CD was released, in 2006, allowing a wider public to be introduced to the multiple facets of his unique musicality. That year, he produced the sound tracks for more than 14 films!  In February 2008, using the audio-visual dimension, Eric gave a spectacular concert at the Cultural center "La Posterie" in Courcelles, Belgium.  With the growing list of accolades, Eric’s passion and finesse will see the creation of “Yvain, le chevalier lion" in 2010. It will be an oratorio for choir, orchestra, using 3 soloists and narrator on Marc Ronvaux's libretto, which is based on the story by Chrétien de Troyes. What began experimentally is now his forte and his audience is growing in postive response to his unique brand of music. Eric was honored with the accolade as Ocean Geographic’s director of music in residence.

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David Doubilet

altDavid Doubilet has a long and intimate vision into the sea. He began snorkeling at age 8 at summer camp in the Adirondack and by age 12 he was making pictures underwater using a Brownie Hawkeye camera stuffed into a rubber anesthesiologist bag. The bag filled with air and it was like trying to submerge the Hindenburg. The pictures were barely recognizable. David has long since mastered the techniques of working with water and light to become one of the world’s most celebrated underwater photographers and a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine where he has published nearly 70 stories since his first assignment in 1971.

David has spent five decades under the surface in the far corners of the world from interior Africa, remote tropical coral reefs, rich temperate seas and recent projects in the ice pack.  His personal challenge is to create a visual voice for the world’s oceans and to connect people to the incredible beauty and silent devastation happening within the invisible world below.

David is a contributing editor for several publications and an author of 12 titles including the award winning Water Light Time. His numerous photographic awards include Picture of the Year, BBC Wildlife, Communication Arts and World Press. David a member of the Academy of Achievement, Royal Photographic Society, International League of Conservation Photographers and International Diving Hall of Fame. David was named a National Geographic Contributing Photographer-in-Residence in 2001. He is honored to be a Rolex Ambassador and recipient of the prestigious Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award and Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography.  David lives with his wife and photographic partner, Jennifer Hayes in Clayton, NY, a small and relaxed river town in the Thousand Island region of the St. Lawrence River.

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Emory Kristof

altA pioneer of innovative, high-tech underwater photography using robot cameras and remotely operated vehicles, Emory Kristof has been a National Geographic photographer since beginning as an intern for the magazine in 1963.

Kristof created the preliminary designs of the electronic camera system for the Argo vehicle, which found the Titanic. He led photographic surveys of the C.S.S. Alabama off the coast of France in 1992 and the 16th-century wreck San Diego in the Philippines in 1993. In 1995, he led an expedition to recover the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald and produced the first deep-water images with high-definition TV.

Kristof's "Testing the Waters of Rongelap," published in National Geographic magazine in April 1998, recorded oceanic life in the nuclear weapons-contaminated waters surrounding the Marshall Islands. In August 1998, Kristof's pictures of the Titanic were presented in the National Geographic article "Tragedy in Three Dimensions." The pictures, recorded in 1991 using high-intensity lighting systems, appeared in unprecedented detail because of advances in 3-D computer video-editing.

Born in 1942, Kristof studied journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and received a bachelor's degree in 1964. A National Geographic staff photographer from 1964 to 1994, he has produced over forty articles for the magazine.

Kristof has earned many awards for both writing and photography, including the NOGI Award for Arts from the Underwater Society of America in 1988 and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award for Underwater Exploration in 1986. That same year, Kristof and Robert Ballard received the American Society of Magazine Publishers Innovation in Photography Award for their photographic coverage of the Titanic. In 1998, Kristof was presented with the J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award by the National Press Photographers Association "for being one of our profession's most imaginative innovators." In 2001 Kristof was named a contributing photographer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.

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Ernie Brooks II

altPhotographer, Adventurer, Diver and Educator Ernest H. Brooks II was born to be a photographer. His men-of-the-sea Portuguese ancestry insured the ocean environment would play an important role in his life. As the son of Ernest H. Brooks, founder of the internationally renowned Brooks Institute of Photography, Ernie was destined to follow in his father's footsteps before forging his own path. He graduated from Brooks Institute, served on the school's executive staff and assumed the office of the president, from 1971 until 2000.
As a noted professional photographer, educator and ambassador to the industry at a time when underwater photography was taking on shape and form and seeking direction, Ernie was winning international acclaim for his underwater photography and audio/visual presentation. As a working professional, he contributed to numerous magazines and organizations including: Cousteau Society, California Highways, Ocean Realm, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Nature Conservancy and Natural Wildlife, to name only a few. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including: 1973 'Triton Award' Inner Space Pacifica, Hawaii; 1975 'NOGI' The Underwater Society of America; 1977 'National Award' Professional Photographers of America; 1971 through 1980 Hall of Fame elector Photographic Arts and Science Foundation; 1978 Camera Craftsmen of America; served on the National Advisory Council of the National Society of Arts and Letters; 'Hall of Fame' Underwater Photographic Society; was honoured by the Oceanic Community of SSI and Nikon for 5000 hours beneath the sea 'Platinum Pro Diver Award'; and his most recent honour, 'The 1996 Partner's Award,' was received from the American Oceans Campaign for his lifelong commitment and dedication to our oceans.
A trailblazer in the development of underwater photographic equipment and technique, Ernie has witnessed great industry advances, harnessed, and implemented much of that new technology, even so, at a time when colour underwater photographs dominated magazines and glossy brochures, Ernie turned to black and white. "I don't think that blue, an inherent colour of the ocean, really adds to many photographs, especially of mammals - and I like the quality of black and white. Frankly, I get great personal satisfaction working with black and white, being able to control the development and printing.  Today, the ocean and underwater photography are his main interests. In the pursuit of dramatic marine images, Ernie has descended into the waters beneath the polar icecaps as well as into the depths of almost every ocean on Earth. His photographic legacy often is the evidence that illustrates the changes in our environment, and insists that he become the informed voice of our need to change.
His work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium Shark Exhibit, Yugoslavia 'Man in the Sea,' Our World Underwater, Smithsonian 'Planet Earth' and was also honoured by the Smithsonian Institute in January of 1995. He is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and is one of forty photographers in the world admitted to the prestigious Camera Craftsmen of America. As a leader or principal member, Ernest H. Brooks II has participated in projects of international recognition including: the photographic investigation into the Shroud of Turin (1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project); and photo-documentation of Arctic research station activities (1977 sponsored by the McGinnis Foundation of Toronto, Canada). He was also a project leader and member of the international panel in the 'Focus on New Zealand' event in 1985, and led a photographic research and travel expedition to the Sea of Cortez aboard the Institute's research vessel, 'Just Love,' in 1986.
In 2012, Ernie Brooks stands as Beneath the Sea’s Legend of the Sea celebrated for his art, his character, his devotion to the environment, and his love of the grace and the beauty of man in the water.

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Howard Hall & Michele Hall

altAward-winning natural history filmmakers and photographers Howard and Michele Hall  have produced and directed many television films including a National Geographic Special, three episodes of the PBS series Nature and the five-hour PBS series Secrets of the Ocean Realm. Their television work has resulted in seven Emmy Awards.

But they are perhaps best known for their underwater IMAX films.  As Director and Producer, respectively, their IMAX feature film credits include the IMAX3D feature Into the Deep; Island of the Sharks, Coral Reef Adventure (in which they are also featured on camera), Deep Sea 3D, and most recently the IMAX3D feature Under the Sea3D.  Howard has been the underwater cinematographer and/or Director of Underwater Cinematography on 4 other IMAX features.

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Alex Mustard PhD

altDr Alexander MUSTARD, 37 from the UK, trained and worked as a marine biologist, but since 2004 has worked full time as an underwater photographer and author. His photographs have won many awards including, on multiple occasions, in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and British Wildlife Photography Awards. His last book, Reefs Revealed, won the International Grand Prize for the best book of underwater photographs at the World Festival of Underwater Photography, France. His photographs have been displayed in exhibitions around the world and a particular highlight was personally presenting his work to Queen Elizabeth II.

Alex s a regular contributor to many publications in the marine, wildlife, diving and photographic media, and to date has published more than 400 articles. In addition to various features, he also regularly writes the Be The Champ monthly column for DIVER Magazine (UK), the Nature Notes extended feature for Dive The World Magazine (DK) and the Images Column in Sport Diver (USA).

His images are also regularly featured in other newspapers and magazines around the world. He is one of the photographers working on the 2020VISION conservation photography project in the UK.

One of the most unusual projects Alex has been involved in is Nissan's NV200 concept car built for the Tokyo Motor Show. The car was designed specifically around his needs as an underwater photographer working in the field.  He is the inventor of the Magic Filters, filters designed specifically for available light underwater photography with digital cameras. He also runs highly popular underwater photography workshops at top diving destinations around the world. Alex has always had a passion for helping others improve their underwater photography, especially the next generation of photographers. He took his first underwater photos while still in single figures, was first published in his teens and started the YUP, the Young Underwater Photographers group in his twenties. Before digital cameras were widespread, underwater photography was hard for people to get into and YUP brought together a collection of next generation of underwater photographers to exchange ideas, advice and encouragement. Many members of the group have gone on to great achievements in the underwater imaging world.

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Ron Taylor & Valerie Taylor

Ron began skindiving in 1952 and Valerie was hot on his tail, venturing underwater in 1956. Since this first visit underwater the couple have tirelessly captured the beauty of the underwater on film with their first major underwater film production ‘Shark Hunters’, shot in black and white in 1963. Valerie took up underwater photography in 1969 using underwater housings built by Ron, which were far ahead of their time. The Taylor’s went on to specialize in producing spectacular underwater action on film, their footage used on Jaws, Orca, The Blue Lagoon and the Island of Dr. Moreau.

Diving all over the world, Ron and Valerie have become accustomed to being pioneers, being the first husband and wife team to be awarded a NOGI from the Underwater Society of America, the first divers to use chain mail when interacting with sharks, the first people to discover the now famous Cod Hole on the Barrier Reef and the first divers to film Great White Sharks underwater without a cage by using their electronic shark repelling barrier in South Africa.

But being a pioneer does not come without responsibility, Valerie and Ron taking a leading role in marine conservation. The Taylor’s are responsible for making the taking of fish while on scuba illegal in Australia and both fought the Queensland Government and National Parks to have the rare Potato Cod of Cormorant Bass on the Barrier Reef protected from harvesting.  As a result of their battles both the sea lion and Grey Nurse Shark are protected in NSW and nationally.

Ron and Valerie have won an impressive array of awards for their documentaries, feature films and books. Included in this list is Valerie’s honouree position in the American Women Divers Hall of Fame, Australian Senior Achiever of the Year and Australian Conservationist of the Year. Ron became a Member in the Order of Australia in 2003 and the pair were one of the inaugural enshrines into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame on the Cayman Islands. The Taylor’s latest series of three-one-hour shows ‘In the Shadow of the Shark’ is the story of their incredible diving lives.

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Stan Waterman

altStan Waterman has received numerous honors and awards for his work in television and in behalf of the sea including five Emmys, two Gold Medals from the U.K. Underwater Film Festival, four Golden Eagles, a lifetime Achievement Award from the Miami Expo and from Boston Sea Rovers, the Cousteau Diver of the Year Award, the Richard Hopper Day Memorial Medal from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, the Reaching Out Award from the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, and most recently has been named to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame . The Discovery Channel produced and broadcast a two-hour biographical special about Mr. Waterman, The Man Who Loves Sharks.

Stan Waterman has been at the forefront of scuba diving since its inception as a recreational sport both in this country and throughout the world. His attraction to the underwater world began as a schoolboy in 1936 when he first dived with a Japanese Ama diver's mask in Florida. In the 1950's, inspired by Jacques Cousteau's revolutionary invention of the Aqua Lung, Mr. Waterman acquired the first one in Maine and went on to pioneer scuba diving in that state.

Between 1954 and 1958 he operated a dive business in the Bahamas with a boat he had built specially for diving. His first 16mm film on diving was produced during those years. For the next fifteen years, Mr. Waterman continued to record his worldwide journeys and exploits on film; most were ultimately purchased as television documentaries. In 1965 he took his entire family - wife and three children - to Tahiti. Their careers as television stars were launched when National Geographic purchased the rights to air his film of that year-long experience.

In 1968 he collaborated with Peter Gimbel on the classic shark film, Blue Water, White Death. He was associate producer and underwater cameraman during the seven-month long production. However, he may be best know for his work in commercial film. He was co-director of underwater photography and second unit in the production of The Deep, based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel. In other collaborations with his close friend and neighbor, Mr. Benchley, he was responsible for ten years' worth of productions for ABC's "American Sportsman Show". More recent productions include documentaries for ABC's "Spirit of Adventure" series and the "Expedition Earth" series on ESPN.

Mr. Waterman graduated from Dartmouth in 1946, where he studied with Robert Frost and earned a B.A. in English. He has maintained an appreciation of language and literature throughout his life. He is married and is the father of two sons and a daughter, each of whom has acquired a special love of the sea from him. He and his oldest son, Gordy, a successful cameraman in his own right, won the first father and son Emmy for their work together in the "National Geographic Explorer" production, Dancing With Stingrays. Mr. Waterman maintains residences in New Jersey and Maine. Mr. Waterman's first book, Sea Salt, was published in 2005 and is in its second printing. Mr. Waterman continues to dive, film, lecture, and hosts dive tours

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altRenowned marine life artist Wyland changed the way people think about our environment when he started painting life-size whales on the sides of buildings in the 1980s. Wyland always thought big. And he never stopped. Today, the Wyland name has become synonymous with the new generation of awareness about environmental conservation. Through his unique marine life paintings, sculptures, and photography, Wyland has inspired a generation about the importance of marine life conservation. His life – like his art – can find him anywhere around the world, at any time, from the Antarctic ice shelf on a photo expedition to document climate change to a grassroots journey down the Mississippi River on a mission of conservation.

The multi-faceted artist, SCUBA diver, educator, and explorer has hosted several television programs, including, “Wyland’s Ocean World” series on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet Network, “Wyland: A Brush With Giants” and “Wyland’s Art Studio,” a series for national public television. His mission of engaging people through nature-themed art and a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has led to strategic alliances with such notable organizations as the United States Olympic Team, United Nation Environment Programme, and Walt Disney Studios, to name a few.

Wyland’s 100th and final monumental marine life mural, Hands Across the Oceans, a 24,000-square-foot, half-mile-long series of canvas murals with student artists from 110 countries, was displayed in October 2008 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and honored by the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. In May 2010, the United Nations released six Wyland images for an international stamp issue celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Since 1993, the non-profit Wyland Foundation has set the standard for environmental outreach.

In partnership with the United States Forest Service and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Wyland is actively engaged in teaching millions of students around the world to become caring, informed stewards of our ocean, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands. The enormous extent of Wyland public artworks (it is estimated that his murals are viewed by more than a billion people every year), his award-winning art galleries, and community service projects have made him one of the most recognized and beloved artists in the nation. He is considered one of the most influential artists of the 21st Century, with artwork in museums, corporate collections, and private homes in more than one hundred countries.

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Kurt Amsler


Enthusiasm for all things aquatic, has defined the life the native Swiss from Waedenswil on Lake of Zurich. . At  the tender age of nine, he was captured by the idea of breathing underwater after reading  a book by diving pioneer and marine researcher Hans Hass.

To date, Kurt marvels at how he managed to survive this dives, with self made equipment.

Emulating his father, he trained at the school of art in Zurich, to become a photographer, after graduating from school. Naturally with the idea of combining his profession with his diving.  Kurt was one of Europe’s  first professional underwater photographer. He received over 100 awards during international photo contests and the Worldchampion Title of the CMAS:  His countless reportages for renowned magazines and newspapers worldwide, helped to bring the marine world closer to readers.

As early as 1980,  his close-ups of big sharks in open water made  great stir in internatioinal medias.  Similarly,   his first documentation of deep World War ll Wreck with its specially developed shootingteniques. Amsler considers on highlight of his live to have taken place in 1985, when as a cameraman he produced jointly with Hans Hass the documentary “The Maldives – Paradise Transformed”.  First time in the German speaking world, two action packed TV broadcasts were shown. One in 1986, which featured the Wreck of the “JURA” in Lake Constance, the other in 1989, about exploring the deep caves of the source “Orb” of the Vaud, Jura Switzerland.Other TV production followed notably “Verzasca” in 1991 and “Oceanoplis” in 1994.

His twelve books covering the subaquatic realms, the illustrated book titled “ Maldives” and “Caribbean” received one the highest international honors with the “Prix Mondial  du Livre d’ Image Sous Marine”

Advertising photography and mastering his “Underwaterphoto-School”  at the French Riviera, round of the work of this multitalented photographer.

During all this activities, Amsler is always sure to keep an eye on the environment. His organization “SOS-Seaturtles” has been fighting for over two decades to preserve these endangered reptiles. His pictures and films contribute towards the public. Specific campaigns on site, have helped to prevent thousands animals from being slaughtered. For his environmental activities he was awarded two times by the PADI” Project Aware Foundation”  and he is Honorable Member  of “Shark Project”  Germany.

www.photosub.com   www.sos-seaturtles.ch

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Ken Thongpila


Ken Thongpila is an Australian-Thai, living and working in Sydney. He is an award-winning photographer featured in diving magazines and websites. Ken has been scuba diving and taking photographs underwater as his hobby since 2003. His passion is macro photography and his favourite critter is the nudibranch. In October 2011 he created the Underwater Macro Photographers

(UWMP) Facebook Group which quickly became popular with the underwater photography community and has more than 13,000 members from all over the world. The aim of the group is "sharing, learning and inspiring each other".

Along with managing the Facebook group, Ken also produces and edits the UWMP eNews, a regular online magazine which provides members with tips and techniques for capturing stunning photos of small exotic marine life. From more than 500 photo entries each month, a top 10 is selected for DSLR and compact camera categories and showcased in the magazine. Ken has been diving in Australia, Norfolk Island, Fiji, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vanuatu. His favourite destination for macro photography is Anilao, Philippines.

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Neville Coleman ( 1938-2012)


Neville Coleman was an Australian naturalist, underwater nature photographer, writer, publisher and educator

He started scuba diving in 1963 exploring Sydney Harbour. Later he joined a scientific study group and in 1969 commenced a project aiming to document the entire marine life of Australia using underwater photography.

His first book, Australian marine fishes in colour, was published in 1974 and he subsequently authored more than 50 books.

 Coleman discovered many marine creatures new to science. Several species of fish, nudibranchs and other invertebrates have been named after him including mantis shrimp Lysiosquilla colemani, the nudibranch Chromodoris colemani, and the pygmy seahorse Hippocampus colemani.

In 2007 Coleman was inducted to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and, in 2011, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for "service to conservation and the environment through the photographic documentation of Australian marine species".

Neville Coleman sadly passed away in May 2012 and is very much missed by the underwater community.

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