Werner Thiele

Wildlife Photographer


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"The perfection of nature is awe inspiring."


"Especially as an underwater photographer I enjoy the most fascinating and versatile workplace I can imagine."


About the photographer


The variety of bodies of water never ceases to amaze me, be it the majestic floating icebergs in Antarctica, the pristine coral reefs in Melanesia, the crystal clear waters of Lake Baykal, the freshwater wonders of Lake Malawi or the shallow depths of Adams River. Our planet is inadequately referred to as “earth”, when it obviously is a world of water. The oceans are teeming with life in ways perhaps only science fiction authors can imagine.

The diversity, creativity and perfection of nature are simply awe-inspiring. Whenever I submerge, I feel how gravity seems to release its pull on my photo gear and how the camera becomes natural extension of my arm. I merge with my surroundings and my curiosity about what I am about to discover is only matched by the inquisitiveness of submarine life-forms as they marvel at this strange visitor to their habitat. Taking extraordinary pictures necessitates a deep understanding of the animals, their habits and their surroundings. Careful planning, comprehensive knowledge about flora and fauna, and a good understanding of weather conditions, currents, and geographical peculiarities, however, can never hide the fact that sometimes sheer luck is all that you need.

And lucky I was indeed back in Alaska when I did a once-in-a-lifetime shot of a giant moon jelly. All I was actually looking for along the shores of a deep fjord was a grizzly bear hunting for salmon. But no bear was in sight and reluctantly I turned my attention to the sea, look-ing for a humpback whale or orca. I assigned the strange, whitish smudges I saw in the water to pollution and was about to call it a day. Yet, gut instinct made me put on my dry suit, ready my camera gear and dive into the water. In short, I encountered the vastest number of densely packed moon jellies I had ever seen. The picture of one moon jelly singled out against the backdrop of myriads of other moon jellies is still one of my all-time favorite shots.

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