President of BigAnimals Expeditions, but first and foremost an explorer and a guide. Over the years, he’s had the honor of leading many great expeditions for individual adventurers, and institutions like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Discovery Channel, Armani, Disney, Colombia Pictures, and of course, National Geographic, with whom he was team leader for separate photo expeditions to document the Red Sea, Great White Sharks, and Killer Whales.
A photographer, his photos and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications around the globe, including National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, Terra Sauvage, Airone, Mondo Somerso, Der Spiegel, Unterwasser, and many more. His work has also been included in the books The Living Ocean, The World of Nature, and Oceans. He has been profiled in television appearances on National Geographic Explorer, Today, and Good Morning America, as well as featured in People, Esquire, and Money magazines. Amos’s photography has won Nikon, Communication Arts, and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Above all else, Amos is loves people as much as he does wildlife, and his concern for both inspired him to co-found Israel’s Marine National Park on the Red Sea. His interest in conservation stretches well beyond sharks, and he is always looking to bring attention to the most fragile regions of the underwater realm, with preservation of the environment foremost in his mind. His favorite way to raise awareness and stimulate passion for the ocean is to take guests out to experience it first-hand, but for those not able to join him on his adventures, he uses his camera to bring the oceans to the world. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge of the world with people through public speaking engagements.
Professional Nikon Photographer specializing in underwater imagery. As an avid scuba diver and ocean enthusiast, Amanda’s goal is to help the general public embrace the beauty below the waves, in hopes that with awareness comes concern. The conservation and preservation of this ecosystem is of the highest priority to Amanda. While she enjoys owning and operating a conservation-minded design/media company, A COTTON PHOTO Creative Works LLC, Amanda takes great pride in working with like-minded organizations that genuinely care about the planet and its inhabitants, both above and below the waves.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Photography while attending Brooks Institute of Photography, where she participated in the highly acclaimed Underseas Program established by Ernie Brooks. Amanda currently works as a correspondent and field editor for Ocean Geographic magazine covering environmental and marine conservation issues.
She has received numerous awards for her photography including several from the International Photographers Awards (IPA), Celebrate The Sea, Underwater Photography Annual Awards, and many others. Amanda is honored to be a Member of The Women Divers Hall of Fame; The Explorers Club; a member of OAS (Ocean Artists Society), NPS (Nikon Professional Services) and PPA (Professional Photographers of America).
Amanda’s imagery has been published in major publications and news sources worldwide including National Geographic, Discovery, Smithsonian Magazine, Times Publishing, CNN, Scuba Diving Magazine, Sport Diver Magazine, Natural History Magazine, Earthweek, and Science Daily; as well as many international dive industry advertising campaigns. Working with organizations such as Scholastic Books, The Conservation Fund, Consortium For Ocean Leadership, Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, Marine Life Protection Act, and Rourke Publishing has allowed her imagery to have a positive impact on the oceans through education and outreach programs designed to improve awareness toward the plight the oceans now face. (click here to see her gallery)
OFER “EL OSO” KETTER
As a certified dive master, submersible pilot and professional globetrotter, Ofer has experienced the world from every angle while visiting over 40 countries and all seven continents. His adventures include documentary filmmaking, circumnavigating the globe aboard a super-yacht, and working as a private travel designer. Another highlight: visiting the Geographic South Pole and Vostok Station, the Russian scientific research center in Antarctica. One of Ofer’s wildest exploits involves solo-piloting a submersible into a flooded volcanic crater in the Galapagos Islands. After serving as a First Lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces, Ofer dedicated his entire career to organizing exotic expeditions to some of the earth’s most uncharted reaches. Still on his to do list: learn how to fly a helicopter. While exploring is in his DNA, Ofer finds happiness on Sunday mornings spent at the beach with his family. He’d loved to be remembered as the guy who did everything he was told could not be done and fulfilling his dreams without breaking his principals.
Nick LeBeouf With over a decade of experience leading California & Baja expeditions, Nick LeBeouf specializes in safely getting you close to the world’s biggest animals.
Nick has worked with the BBC, Discovery Channel, Outside Magazine, IMAX, national newspapers, and founded a scuba company in San Diego where he holds 20 specialty diver certifications. Nick works with his partner,Kyle McBurnie (Bio below), and in their own words,
“We pride ourselves in our expeditions. With a thorough understanding of our environment and the animals we work with, we can ensure an elite level of safety – both for our guests as well as the animals. We believe an expedition should be more than simply getting close to an amazing animal.
A great expedition should be an enlightening experience – what begins as a sense of wonder and excitement should evolve into an understanding, a respect, and a compassion for the animal. It is in this transformation that you create for yourself a wholesome experience you won’t be able to forget.”
Ron Watkins is a professional photographer, writer, explorer, trip leader and photography instructor specializing in underwater and topside nature photography. Through his imagery, Ron is committed to raising awareness of the challenges facing our fragile ecosystems and threatened marine life in hopes of promoting conservation.
Ron’s passion and respect for the underwater world was first ignited in his early teens when his father, a US Navy veteran diver, gave him the incredible gift of scuba diving and shared his love of the ocean with him. Although his father is no longer able to dive, Ron’s father continues to experience the wonders of the underwater world through Ron’s photography and stories after each dive adventure.
After earning his Masters Degree in engineering and while pursuing a successful corporate career, Ron has been focused on sharing his passion for nature and photography with others by leading photo workshops around the world.
As a trip leader and photography instructor, with experience in diving in diverse environments around the world, Ron is known as an adventurer who is passionate about sharing his knowledge of photography techniques and helping his clients capture images of unique subjects and behavior. He shares his experience through engaging photography and post processing presentations, 1-on-1 mentoring, in-water instruction and making himself very approachable to everyone no matter their skill level. Whether helping his clients capture a once in a lifetime photo of a transient pod of orcas in the Galapagos, crocodiles in Cuba, giant Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez, or rare salmon sharks in Alaska, Ron always has a focus on safety, organization, education, conservation and adventure. Through thorough research and scouting of the environment, marine life and behavior, Ron is able to ensure the best photography and educational experience possible.
Ron has been an accomplished award-winning photographer for over 15 years and most recently he has been recognized internationally by winning the prestigious Underwater Photographer of the Year, Our World Underwater, World Shootout and Ocean Art photography competitions. His imagery and stories have been featured in print and online publications including Unterwasser, Scuba Diver Ocean Planet, Underwater Photography Guide, Dive Photo Guide, and Scuba magazine in the UK. You may also find his work displayed in commercial advertising, non-profit organizations, national aquariums, science centers, libraries, schools, businesses, as well as private collections.
To learn more about Ron’s work, visit www.scubarews.com