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Doug Perrine Wildlife Photographer

Even as a child, growing up in landlocked Dallas, Texas, my favorite place was at the bottom of a swimming pool, where I conducted experiments in underwater photography using an Instamatic camera in a plastic bag. 

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Most people had only seen photographs of grotesquely distorted sharks with their bloody jaws hanging out of their mouths after being killed and brought back to the dock. I wanted the same people to see the beauty of these magnificent predators as they swim in their natural environment.

About the photographer

My real initiation to underwater photography began in 1980 in the Cayman Islands where I was working as an underwater tour guide and dive instructor. From all those trips through the colorful reefs of the islands, I brought back images to people who were not divers, to help them appreciate the fantastic alien life forms that I found in this alternate universe.

Most people had only seen photographs of grotesquely distorted sharks with their bloody jaws hanging out of their mouths after being killed and brought back to the dock. I wanted the same people to see the beauty of these magnificent predators as they swim in their natural environment. I wanted people to see the perfection of a turtle’s shell as it glides through the water, as opposed to being cut into small pieces for jewelry, I wanted them to see the intimate interactions between dolphins and members of their pod, in order to understand that the performance of »Flipper«, as most people know it from TV shows, doesn’t really show the natural life of a dolphin.

Underwater photographs of these animals in their environment are common now, but they were quite rare when I started my career. As the rare now has become commonplace, I seek out new subjects in order to again try to bring the unfamiliar to my viewers’ eyes. Early in my career I concentrated on dolphins, whales, sharks, sea turtles, and manatees – rare pictures at that time. Now that such images are common, I have been working on new topics, like the feeding behavior of billfish.

I seek out places where I can study their natural behavior as hunters in big shoals of sardines. And I found places around Mexico where I took astonishing new pictures of predator behavior. My training is in marine biology – not art, so I tend to approach my subjects with a scientist’s eye and curiosity. However, in order to attract the eye of my viewers it is necessary to depict my subjects in a way that will garner the appreciation of my audience. This is my mission and my journey – one which never concludes.

Discover the Gallery

Golden Hour
Close Call
Curious
Dolphin Reflections
Fat Head
Gladiator
Harmony
Madonna and Child
Mother Love
Sweet Caroline
The Gathering
Too Big
This portfolio is featured in Edition Fifty Fathoms 2009 Book.

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