We are so exciting to have Shane as our lead photography expert on our Simply Cuba Scuba Underwater photography Tour. Shane is filled with love of the ocean and conserving nature, which is aligning with our values of sustainability and nature protection, added bonus is his talent of taking amazing underwater photos to tell the story of the ocean.
Amazingly Shane started his photography career with a disposable point and shoot whilst backpacking around Australia of all places. It’s great for us that an inquisitive lab technician, remember the days when you had to get your photos developed, planted a seat by making a comment on Shane’s composition and lighting… and then the seed grew, when he saw an award winning photograph by Doug Perrine – a photo of sharks feeding on sardines during the sardine run – that ignited the spark and made him take underwater photography seriously.
Three years and a boring desk job later, Shane was ready to take on the world! Got his first serious rig that would give him control over the lighting of the image. And from then, life has not been the same.
These days, Shane carries a Nikon D500, Aquatica Housing, Sea&Sea YS250 Strobes as part of his core kit. His favourite lanses are the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Nikkor 16-35mm, Nikkor 60mm and 105mm macro and that’s just a few things to mention. As you know, once you have the bug, there are many other little accessories and tools you accumulate.
Shane has just re-located to Vancouver Island, but prior to this recent move he spent time in the Bahamas from 2012 till now. He has taken some amazing images there and has helped some local businesses to get their message out about reducing plastic.
He also has a soft spot for the Yucatan area as well. Bull sharks and sailfish in the winter, and whale sharks and manta rays in the summer, and for three of those amazing species, it is arguably the best place in the world to encounter them.
Shane loves a challenge, not necessarily in the technicality of the dive, but capturing amazing images can be challenging at times. Interestingly, it’s not always the small creatures that are hard to capture. Shane said that trying to photograph the blue whales of Sri Lanka was extremely difficult. They may be the biggest animal to ever live, but they are incredibly shy and move very fast. Trying to get close enough to them for a descent photograph is highly challenging.
That doesn’t mean that diving in itself is not a challenge! In fact you have to really be aware of what is going on in the water, and with your buddy too. Shane had a hairy moment when he was diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the water conditions changed halfway through the dive resulting in him and his diving buddy drifting away. Luckily when they reached the surface the rescue boat was there to pick them up. Even today, Shane gives kudos to the topside team for paying attention and rescuing everyone.
Shane has captured some amazing species on camera so far, one of them being the endangered Cuban Crocodile. He also had a most memorable time in the waters of Isla Mujeres where he was shooting the sailfish. They are just such incredible animals, the fastest swimmers in the ocean and have these beautiful sails and change colours. Whilst on the shoot Shane got to marvel on them feeding on a baitball of sardines for over an hour. It was spectacular.
So what else is on his list to take incredible photos of? The list is long, but we got him to name a few! Orca, thresher sharks, mola mola, narwhal, leopard seal, weedy sea dragon, penguins… and he could keep going, there is a lot left to see and explore.
What’s the best advice from Shane to a novice underwater photographer?
Practice – to master your skill will take a lot of time. Whilst shooting amazing creatures in foreign locations is great, it only generally happens a few times a year. So find a spot close to home where you can ensure you keep practicing.
Work on your story telling through your photos – whether it’s a river, a lake or the ocean each location has a story. So many stories to tell, important stories that need to be shared. Capture them and share them.
Shanes history as a diver is one that is deeply rooted in love for the ocean, which is why he’s one of our expert photographer. He has years of experience capturing beautiful marine life and underwater landscapes so if you want help capturing the beauty of Cuban waters from behind the lens, join us on Simply Cuba Scuba Photography Tour – we’ll take care of everything so you can focus on taking photos with Shane’s expert guidance.