Are you ready to go on an deep sea diving adventure with octopi, giant manta rays, and sharks? No…? That’s ok we’re not quite ready either! Fortunately enough, we were able to spend some time talking to a GreenBox artist who makes these kinds of trips his job and his hobby – Christopher Ross. We definitely had an exciting chat and here’s what he had to say:
GreenBox: Do you make a distinction between being an artist and being a photographer?
Christopher Ross: I don’t make that distinction. I grew up always being involved in art, either drawing or painting and then moved on to photography so I consider it a form of art.
GB: What aspect of nature is most inspiring to you?
CR: Definitely being underwater. When I was little my mom was a swim instructor and had me in the water at 6 weeks old. So since I was a kid I’ve had a love affair with water.
GB: I’m sure you’ve gotten this question before, but did swimming with Hammerhead sharks scare you at all?
CR: Not at all! Hammerheads may look daunting but they actually have small mouths. I was 80-100 feet down and using a military rebreather that muted the oxygen bubbles so as not to disturb them. I was actually at peace for this shot.
GB: How would you describe your style?
CR: My style is editorial looking. I do use real situations but I make note of the shape and the light. It’s photo journalism in an artistic way.
GB: What is your favorite piece of equipment?
CR: Canon 5D with an underwater housing.
GB: Do you always know when a photo is going to be a “work of art” or do you shoot lots of pictures and then scan through them looking for that “gem”?
CR: It’s a little bit of both but you know when things come together sometimes, the scene is great, and you take multiple shots to get the best one.
GB: The colors that you captured in your “Brittle Star” piece are amazing! Are the colors more/less/or the same overall level of vividness under water?
CR: No, you actually lose color as you go underwater – everything becomes blues and greens. In order to get the color to stand out you have to use a Macro setting with a strobe flash.
GB: How close were you to that octopus in your “Octopus Eye” piece?
CR: I was about 3-4 inches away. He was a juvenile octopus that was hiding in the coral.
GB: What is your favorite or most memorable photography experience?
CR: I was diving off the coast of San Benedicto Island, basically in the middle of nowhere, for a week. For nearly the entire time I wasn’t really getting much in the way of good shots. On the last day a group of giant manta rays appeared and were swimming and playing in the water with all of us! One ended up taking me for a long ride and then dropped me back off at the boat!
GB: Lastly, are you afraid of anything? Lions, tigers, bears, skydiving, closet monsters?
CR: (After laughing for a few moments) – Spiders! I know it sounds funny but I had a bad experience with a black widow as a kid. I didn’t get bit but it really scared me.