Ever since the year 2010, I have been calling the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia my home. I live every diver’s dream: I spend my days amidst the vastness of the Pacific Ocean on a small island.
About the photographer
The lagoon is at a stone’s throw. Thus I enjoy the privilege of finding the animals I want to take pictures of right on my doorstep. The presence of certain species depends on their life cycles and behavioral patterns. As a photographer it is essential to know about their migration patterns and reproduction specifics to be at the right place at the right moment. The months between August and November are the time of humpback whale migration. This is the perfect time to not only meet these giants of the sea but also to observe how they mate and calve. Great hammerhead, sphyrna mokarran, season is from December to March. During the European winter months their number spikes in Polynesian waters. Any encounter with these 6-meter sharks inspires with awe and makes a lasting impression on everyone.
From May onwards you can discover marbled groupers that gather by the thousands. Their number peaks in early July when the waters are teaming with groupers ready to spawn. During this event in 2014, I had the chance to meet Laurent Ballesta and his team, who had come to study the reproduction behavior of these fish and presented their findings in the documentary “The Grouper Mystery”. Marc Hayek, CEO of Blancpain and a passionate diver himself, was there as well. We spent great days sharing our fervor for marine creatures, diving and underwater photography. I enjoyed the presence of others dedicated to the protection of the oceans and who shared my passion for the underwater world. As a photographer I primarily focus on the here and now to capture great moments and document marine life. I also try to understand how ecosystems work and never cease to marvel at the wonders of nature. Still, I feel I need to do more than that. I also try to bear long-term developments in mind and worry deeply about the future of the oceans – not only for the sake of animals but also for the sake of humans.