Fred Buyle

Wildlife Photographer


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"I try to sensitize people and help raise awareness about the frailty of this ecosystem."


"Entice the moment, totally pared down, and capture everything there is to see beneath the water’s surface that is what I seek most and for all. The result is a simple formula: short focal length and natural lighting."


About the photographer


The simplicity of this formula also allows me to use compact, straightforward equipment when freediving. I use a Canon in an Aquatica and Hugyfot housing. Freediving allows you to gain an excellent overview of your entire surroundings, to anticipate the movements of the animals, and to enjoy greater mobility, which compensates for the shorter dive times.

Being rational and efficient is crucial in freediving. I often work with the same models, Pierre Frolla and William Winram. Over the years, we have acquired a sense of total complicity. We understand one another without exchanging a single word, no matter the situation. I know their capabilities, how they move in the water, and they in return are familiar with how I work the light and construct the image. Under these circumstances, everything just flows, creating moments of utmost grace in a state of natural rawness.

During our expeditions with sharks, we always work without protective cages, to reduce any impact on the animals and to ensure that their reactions remain as natural as possible. While shooting at Guadalupe Island, Will, Peter and I moved alongside up to four white sharks at the same time. Under these conditions, you must have complete confidence in each other, to be able to dive with total peace of mind, take pictures of the surroundings, and place the tags on the sharks.

But these magnificent animals, mostly portrayed as bloodthirsty killers, are paradoxically rather shy. Also, it is fairly difficult to obtain their trust. I try to show as best as possible the many simple moments that divers like us enjoy on a daily basis, to sensitize people and help raise awareness about the frailty of this ecosystem. The most important thing for me is that these images have a profound effect on a large audience.

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