Tuesday, December 31, 2013


digital pictures made by profession underwater photographer, including photos of killer whales breaching, endangered manatee stock photographs, dramatic shots of schools of silky sharks, shoals of fish from the Galapagos Islands, and more marine life photos and video clips
professional stock pictures of orca whales, schooling silky sharks, mola molas, schools of fish, Florida manatees, whale sharks and dolphins

Happy New Year! 2014 is here. A time to look forward, and think back. As we enter our third decade of exploration beneath the waves in order to bring you the finest in marine photography, we'd like to thank you for your past business... and give you an update as to what we've doing lately, and where we're headed next. 

After early trips in 2013 for sailfish in Mexico, coral reefs in Palau, and shipwrecks in Truk Lagoon, I revisited some of my old haunts to make pictures of marine megafauna.

In the Galapagos Islands I lucked out with the largest bony fish in the sea, the weird Mola Mola, or Ocean Sunfish. Of course my lens was also pointed at sea turtles, rivers of fish streaming past me, and schools of hammerhead sharks. Many trips over many years have helped us build what is certainly one of the world's strongest single photographer portfolios of marine images from this famous archipelago. To see a gallery with some of our new Galapagos pictures, please click here. To browse hundreds more from past expeditions, please click here.

Everybody needs a favorite animal (or two). Mine would have to be the killer whale ( and octopus). I have spent so many weeks with killer whales over the last 25 years that I believe I've developed the special skills (and patience) to create dramatic photography which jumps out from the crowd. On my most recent orca expedition I was rewarded with some amazing action, and subtle beauty, in the wee hours at dawn and dusk. Follow this link to click through new selects. And this link to explore the full library.

Another subject for which we're known as experts in the underwater field is Mexico. Even after more than 50 expeditions, it remains a very productive (and fun) place to encounter Senor Bigs. In June I spent two weeks 250 miles offshore Baja in the Socorro Islands. Sharks, tuna, and mantas were on the shot list, and I scored with all three. Especially noteworthy are pictures of dolphins interacting with a whale shark, huge yellowfin tuna rocketing through the current, and a pack of silky sharks annihilating a baitball. Being in the middle of some 150 to 200 excited sharks made for a very interesting few minutes before a little voice in my head told me to get out of the water. We've created a gallery showcasing new images here. And we're sure you'll like to see more Mexico images here, including sailfish, sea lions, and great white sharks.

We're now shooting (and licensing!) underwater HD video clips. To view a few from Socorro, left click the following:  video clip 1  video clip 2  video clip 3

I closed out the year with a short trip to Florida to photograph manatees. These "smiling potatoes with flippers" are super gentle and sometimes quite curious, even friendly, making for a brilliant, easy snorkeling encounter with megafauna. We've added the new pictures to our stock collection and invite you to take a look on our web site.

What does the new year holds for us? How about great hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas. More manatees in Florida. Tiger and lemon sharks. Spotted Dolphins. Unique southern hemisphere temperate species in the kelp forests and sponge gardens of Tasmania. Minke whales in Australia. Whale sharks in Mexico. Giant Bluefin Tuna. And no doubt additional adventures yet to bubble up to the surface.

2014 is going to be a great year. Please join us on our journey into Ocean, and in our commitment to protect the marine habitat. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Florida Manatee underwater photograph available for licensing
RQ0672-D. underwater photo of friendly Florida Manatee in Crystal River, Florida

The seas are filled with wonderful creatures. So are the world's freshwater systems. Few animals move back and forth between salty and sweet. Manatees, of the Sirenian tribe, do so with grace and style. I've made many photo trips to west central Florida's Crystal River area to photograph our country's only sirenian, Trichechus manatus latirostris, the endearing, and endangered, manatee. Technically these individuals are a subspecies of the West Indian manatee. They are gray, fat, and just about the coolest marine mammal the non-hardcore diver or snorkeler is likely to meet up-close and personal. In winter months, hundreds of these gentle creatures move from the coastal seagrass beds in the Gulf of Mexico, into Crystal River and its tributaries to rest and feed in the warmer springfed freshwater. On a cold morning, it's not uncommon to find ten or twenty huddled together in the shallow water, sleeping and socializing, staying warm and occasionally swimming right up to you to say hello.

Our manatee photos have been published all over the world, illustrating magazine articles, appearing in advertisements, gracing billboards and book covers, calendars and cards. To see more underwater pictures of Florida Manatees, please visit our web site. We will be happy to help with licensing requests. Select prints are also available for purchase.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Coho and Chinook Salmon jumping out of river to clear small waterfall, on way upriver to spawn, Washington, USA from Brandon Cole MARINE PHOTOGRAPHY on Vimeo.

A little while back Melissa and I spent a couple days watching coho and chinook salmon fighting their way upriver, on their mission to spawn (and die). The determination of these fish to surmount any obstacle, their dedication and persistence to see their life's journey to the bitter end against all the odds, is one of nature's most inspirational stories. Unfortunately the water clarity was very poor due to heavy rains, so this shoot only yielded topside pictures and video (see clip above). No underwater pictures this time.

We have, of course, photographed this icon of the Pacific Northwest many times over the years, and have been fortunate enough to create many underwater salmon photos, some of which you can see on our web site using the following link: