Wednesday, February 20, 2008

5 Questions with Ethan Gordon

We tracked down famed underwater shooter and Editor at Large Ethan Gordon (hat tip image) to get his take on underwater photography and the future of his industry:

1. UW photography has changed from film to digital and with it an entire industry, your take?

Digital photography has definitely "upped" the game. Now amateurs can accomplish what only the pros could do before. However, this also works to the advantage of the pros - we can now do things we never thought possible before. I think it has also been great for diving in general - there are now lots of divers who are enthralled by their point and shoot digital camera results - this keeps them diving. Remember the days when people used to travel with a bag full of film, only to return home to find out they had their camera set wrong all week?

2. As harder dive sites and rarer animals are recorded at a seemingly record pace, are we running out of new things to shoot?

It's getting harder to find new things to shoot, but we'll probably never run out of those. On the other hand, this might be a good time to take a new look at sites and creatures we've taken for granted.

3. Innovation vs status quo, what's your take on the new generation of UW shooters?

I think there is a new, very talented generation of UW shooters out there. They're tech savvy, creative and hungry to shoot.

4. Latest promising tech for shooters, do you have a favorite?

The new generation of digital TTL systems will revolutionize UW photography once again. Gone will be the days of having to think about your aperture and distance to subject. The electronics are almost there... maybe they've already arrived.

5.Crystal ball time-what's the future of UW photography and magazines that serve these images?

A sad reality hit me recently when I was presenting a slide show to a local Audubon chapter. I was showing slides of sharks and talking about the woes of shark finning. I was shocked when I realized that almost no one in the room had ever heard of this atrocity. The group was largely made up of non-divers, but I falsely assumed that this was a known problem.

The underwater photography out there in magazines today is the best ever. But, if we want to see it continue... the underwater environment continue to be spectacular, then everyone that subscribes to a dive magazine has to convince their friends (non-divers) to start to take an interest too - before it's too late. And, every diver that doesn't support the mission of these magazines by subscribing, well, shame on them.

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