We talk with Shane about his inspirations, projects and experiences underwater.
A school of 14 eagle rays, each 6-8 feet in diameter glide in the clear water’s of The Bahamas (Shane Gross)
I was always interested in photography, but got serious about it at the rather late age of 24. I was doing a lot of scuba diving as I backpacked across Australia and I loved bringing along disposable film cameras (all I could afford as a backpacker) when one day I was flipping through a magazine and came across Doug Perrine’s amazing Wildlife Photographer of the Year image from the sardine run. In that moment I decided I would do whatever it takes to be able to make an image like that someday. So, I went back home to Canada, got a “real” job behind a desk and took out a car loan to buy my first underwater camera setup where I had some sort of control over the image. I worked hard to pay off the loan and then I had to save to go on trips to be able to use it. I could see that this was too slow, I couldn’t practice enough. So, I became a dive instructor and got a job in The Bahamas. That allowed me to practice almost constantly and hone both my diving and underwater photography skills.
In Your Face - 2nd place, 'Underwater' National Geographic Nature Photographer Of The Year, 2017,
Typically a shy species, a Caribbean reef shark investigates a remote-triggered camera in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen marine protected area. Predators, like these Caribbean reef sharks, are abundant—a sign of a healthy ecosystem. (Shane Gross)