Imagine swimming in the warm waters of Hawaii. You take a deep inhale and dive down. You swim down like a dolphin. You pass 30 feet, then 60 feet, then 90 feet and then slowly flatten out like a skydiver as you approach the bottom of the ocean. You gently turn and stand up on the bottom of the sea, at 120ft. You look up and see the sun as a tiny bright dot against the surface of the ocean. Looking at your dive watch, you know this breath will give you another 2 minutes before you must return to the surface because you have a 6 minute static breath-hold. You are holding your breath, one breath. You lift your camera…For six years freediving teacher Ted Roe has been conducting a photographic study documenting nature and the underwater world on the Big Island, Hawaii. Roe has documented images of wild dolphins’ resting behaviors, hunting behaviors, play behaviors and many engaging interspecies communications. The striking images in Roe’s portfolio go further to document eye-to-eye contact, invitations and other interactions with wild dolphins.
Roe decided to self-publish a book including stories of these encounters to accompany these breathtaking photographs. He chose Kickstarter.com to host his crowdfunding campaign, The Leaf Game.
Roe’s collection also includes beautiful photographs of turtles, fish, geckos, other wildlife, landscapes, flowers, sunsets, and some images of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Freediving photography is complex. The ocean is constantly moving and changing. There is no way to plan or stage images that involve wild, fast-moving creatures. Roe consciously monitors remaining breath, dive duration, pressure equalization, the camera, sea conditions, all aspects of personal safety, and the shot itself.
Roe works with wildlife in a unique and respectful way. All underwater images are taken freediving with one breath. He does not pursue, disturb, confuse or upset wildlife. He does not use large cameras, flash, or underwater strobe lights. He does not use SCUBA equipment.
As the controversy mounts over corporations profiting from captive dolphins and whales as exposed by movies like “The Cove” (Taiji, Japan) and “Blackfish” (SeaWorld); Roe’s images show us that dolphins in the wild are the only show to see. He reminds us that dolphins are real beings that are open, welcoming, and sentient yet they are living challenging and difficult lives. He gives us a window into who they really are; their community, their true natures, their scars, and their natural beauty.
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SOURCE Ted Roe