Chase Great White Sharks with World-Renowned Photographer David Fleetham in Next Know Your Ocean Speaker Series Webinar
KIHEI – For most oceangoers, coming across a great white shark would probably spark fear. But for underwater photographer and former National Geographic assignment photographer David Fleetham, these sharks sparked fascination and sent him on a journey around the world to photograph them and dispel the fear that comes with sharks.
Fleetham shares stories and photographs from his 30-year-long mission to learn more about great white sharks and nail down an iconic image of a misunderstood myth.
“For me, the path to good photos of great white sharks has been one with many twists and turns,” said Fleetham. “In terms of perceptions, cage diving with the sharks has become an industry in many parts of the world and has changed our view of these impressive fish.”
Born in Vancouver, Canada in 1958, Fleetham is one of the most published underwater photographers in the world. He began diving and photographing underwater in 1976 and has called Hawaii home since 1986. For the first ten years he photographed in the cold, rich waters of British Columbia, Canada, and worked as a PADI Instructor and USCG Certified boat captain in various dive businesses in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. From Hawaii, David has been on assignments to Indonesia, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa, the Bahamas, Micronesia, Australia, Sri Lanka, the Sea of Cortez, China, the Red Sea, the Socorro Islands, numerous locations in the South Pacific and Caribbean, and back to the cold waters of British Columbia.
“Sharks are vital for ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs, where they help maintain a sound balance in the food web,” said Meredith Beeson, Project and Research Coordinator at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “Changing public perception and protecting these animals is crucial if we want to continue to enjoy the reefs around Maui Nui, and we’re excited to hear what David has to share from his experience working on this.”
More about David Fleetham’s Work:
Fleetham’s photographs have been published around the globe, with over two hundred magazine covers to date. In 1991 his photograph of a sandbar shark appeared on the cover of LIFE. It is the only underwater image to ever be published on the cover. His award winning work has been published by National Geographic, The Cousteau Society, and every North American diving publication.
In 2010 Fleetham’s image of a manatee was selected from 50,000 entries as the grand prizewinner in the professional division of the National Wildlife Federation’s photography contest. Galleries and agents in over 50 countries reproduce Fleetham’s images thousands of times each year. The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Museum, The North Carolina Museum of Natural History, The London Zoo, Hong Kong Museum, The Maui Ocean Center, The Waikiki, Vancouver, Monterey Bay, New Jersey State, and Ripley’s Aquariums and the Aquarium of the Americas all display his work.
Fleetham is a founding member of The Ocean Artists Society, whose members include James Cameron, Wyland, David Doubilet, and Al Giddings. You can see his work on his website, and he can be found on Instagram @davidfleetham.