I’m here with Shane Gross, scuba diver and photographer. Hi Shane, tell us something about you…
I am most at home underwater. There is always a chance to see something new and exciting when scuba diving or snorkeling. My favourite photographic subjects are the oceans biggest animals like sharks and whales.
How and when your passion for the sea has started? Have you some particular memory ’bout it?
I had a childhood obsession with sharks. Every item of clothing I owned when I was 8 years old had sharks on it. I would get shark biology text books for Christmas I haven’t grown out of it, ahahahah!
Ahaha, it’s cool your “shark obsession”! Well, when have you shooted your first one? How and where the “magical” moment happened?
I was 15 years old in Exuma, Bahamas and I had been certified as a scuba diver the day before. I was diving with my sister on a reef when a small (4 feet) nurse shark swam by. I was so excited I began to chase after it with my tiny, disposable, camera. I guess I swam too aggressively because when I caught up to her she turned and looked at me as if to say “that’s close enough!”. I stopped in my tracks and she bolted away. I realized that although they are not man-eaters they still need to be respected.
Wow, what a stunning memory… You come from Canada, you travelled Australia and now you are in Bahamas. Due to your passions how many places have you visited? There’s a “fav one” or a “worst one”?
I have been lucky to travel to some beautiful places. Each holds a special place in my heart. If I had to pick a favourite it would be Coral Bay, Western Australia. You could walk into the water from a beautiful, calm beach and be diving in one of the most pristine coral reefs on Earth. A short boat ride beyond the reef and you have one of the best places in the world to see whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales.
By listening your tales I deduce that diving and photography represent an essential part of your life. What do you suggest to those who want to approach these two worlds?
Begin with them separately. Learn to be a good scuba diver before you bring a camera underwater. It is shockingly easy to become so enveloped in your camera that you forget you are in a foreign environment.If your dive skills are not sharp you will end on a reef or rocks possibly hurting the environment or yourself or both.
It’a a good advice, no bout ’bout it. And now the closing question. It’s a lil’ silly, maybe. Meanwhile you are in the deepest sea… what do you think bout? What’s the greatest sensation you feel?
Many thoughts go through my mind, but they are usually of two themes. 1) Safety – making sure I check my gauges and my back and planning how to get through the dive without dying. 2) Getting the shot. I am constantly hunting for a good photo subject and when I find one, how to capture it in a unique, compelling way. The greatest sensation is when I feel like I nailed a shot, it is difficult to do and is so exciting!
I send you a big “grazie” for this nice talk, from me and all the 4storm’s staff. Dajeforte and stay action!
Thanks so much! I look forward to seeing the camera.
Interview by A. Loddo
Look at Shane’s portfolio on facebook.