As a photographer and cameraman I particularly enjoy the artistic realization of my own ideas, whenever I do not have any documental duties during a dive. I deem the creation of outstanding pictures constricted surroundings the greatest challenge in underwater photography.
About the photographer
Expeditions are my job as a marine biologist and a scientific diver. I dive on behalf of universities and institutes together with my colleagues from Submaris, a Kiel-based scientific diving company. I also assist TV stations in underwater filming. Due to the nature of my work I cannot decide about the whereabouts of my diving. Working conditions like water temperatures, visibility or seasons of the year are not mine to choose. The project and the data to be collected take precedence over any private comfort. This may seem rather unpleasant, yet it is exactly these conditions that allow me to dive in unique and almost inaccessible locations and to enjoy the cooperation with the crews and operators of scientific vessels. I have always been riveted by adventurous locations: I have dived with 150 kilograms of gear in French caves, I literally delved into the mysterious Cenotes in the Mexican jungle to take pictures of archeological treasures dating back to the early Maya times, I abseiled into a well shaft of fifty meters of depth, I collided with a whale shark, I was circled by blue sharks, I filmed a submersible in a gigantic hydroelectric power plant, and I was almost swallowed by a humpback whale in the Arctic. As a photographer and cameraman I particularly enjoy the artistic realization of my own ideas, whenever I do not have any documental duties during a dive. I deem the creation of outstanding pictures in constricted surroundings the greatest challenge in underwater photography. During one of my dives in the Red Sea I had been trying to shoot a barracuda portrait for a long time unsuccessfully. The fish showed little interest in posing for me and showed me its scaly back. The more desperate I became, the more convinced I was of the picture I had in mind: a majestic predacious fish, swimming leisurely in the vast ocean, not giving a damn about the clumsy diver in its wake. I also remembered the warning of many a renowned underwater photographer never to take a picture from the rear. I nevertheless released the shutter. The resulting picture still is one of my very best.