#### QWhat do you use for a dive housing for your cameras?

I originally bought an Ikelite housing for that first Canon Rebel  I had 11 years ago. So I've been with Ikelite for a long time and they've also become one of my sponsors. I do a lot of really impressive work I think, and people agree with me, using Ikelite and I know a lot of people in the underwater techno-gear community kind of poo-poo Ikelite, but the stuff works and it's great.

And you can't beat the price. I mean, I know people who complain not wanting to buy new cameras or upgrade their cameras because they can't afford to upgrade their $4000 or$5000 housing. For me, it's the turn around now for a new camera being brought to market, like the 5D Mark III, and then being able to have an Ikelite housing for it two months later? That is pretty amazing.

I also started doing some surf photography this last winter and I use an Aquatech surf housing for that. It has a lot of different attachments for it, so I can do some interesting remote work with it or use pole cams. So it's a little more versatile for surface work than the Ikelite housing.

#### QI remember seeing some of your first tests when you were in Hawaii of attempting close-in surf shots and I remember you commenting on the pummeling.

I've boogie boarded and body surfed a little in my lifetime, but I certainly wouldn't call myself a surfer. But, being able to get in the middle of those tubes, you don't need something huge. We're not talking about big wave surfing on the North Shore of Oahu or Jaws or something on Maui.

You just need some kind of shore-break that's got a barrel forming. The waves can be anywhere from, they're probably only three to four feet in diameter, maybe six feet in diameter once the wave kicks over.

You're basically in pretty shallow waters and you're standing, waiting for this wave to come over the top of you. And you've got to be able to dive underneath it while lifting your arm up with the camera into the tube, so you're not looking through the camera as you're taking these pictures.

You've just got your arm up in the tube as you're diving underneath. If you time it wrong, you end up getting picked up and swept over and slammed into the surf or the ground or whatever with the tube. That happened a couple of times to me where I smashed my camera into my shoulder or bent my back in half.

I really got more careful with the timing of how you're supposed to go underneath the wave rather than into it.

#### QSo in that case kite photography probably looks more relaxing?

You should see this kite I got. This thing is like six feet by eight feet, and then on a moderately windy day here in Seattle I have to tie it off to a post or something at the park. I am trying to figure out a system to. I have a climbing harness now and I'm trying to clip it onto my waist, and you've got all this equipment that you're trying to attach to the line as you let it out.

It's pretty involved! And I'm pretty scared because some of these places I'm thinking of taking this, I think what do I do when there aren't trees to anchor it to or what do I do if there is wildlife underneath it that I'm trying to photograph. I don't want the camera to come down on top of the animal or colonies.

It's definitely going to be some very interesting pictures if I can make this all work.

#### QHow much time do you spend each year traveling?

I usually answer that by saying I'm gone half the year. Last year when I looked at it, I was gone over half the year from Seattle but then out of that time it was like 35% of the year I was gone from Seattle and my family shooting and there was like 15% of my time I was doing some trips with my family with me.

#### QYou spend about three weeks in Alaska shooting humpback whales and I'm curious to know, does it take you about a week to get one stellar shot? Or how long does it take on average?

Well, here's a good analogy for you. When I was up in Seward Alaska in May trying to photograph orcas for about two weeks, one of the last days I was on the water, we saw humpback whales occasionally but as I was coming back into Seward on the last day this enormous humpback launched out of the water, did this beautiful full body breach with a twist in it!

It was a couple hundred yards, maybe a quarter mile in front of me as I was going, so I sped up to try to get up there and we saw it breach two, three, four more times.

We got into position. We're just waiting and hoping that it was going to swim by. And then it breached again, but it had gone further out. We didn't get a picture, but I saw that whale breach probably six or seven times, but that first time was a really amazing breach.

So it brought up a conversation with my friends that were with me and they know I have all these breaching pictures. I was like, "Well, if I think of how many breaches I've seen between Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico in my whale photography in the last decade, I've probably seen somewhere between three and five hundred breaches."

Out of that, I've probably only gotten photos of two dozen breaches. So less than one in ten breaches that you're going to see that you might even be able to get a photo of. And realistically it's more like 1 in 100 breaches that you see is really a useful, publishable image. I don't say that to discourage anyone but to be realistic. Certainly I've seen people have amazing breaches who went on the right day and got lucky.

#### QHow can people join you on one of your shoots?

I'm not doing a ton of trips each year, but the trips I am offering are increasingly focused on very interesting, unique experiences with wildlife. And a lot of that being below water.

For example, in 2013 I have a trip scheduled with Jeremy Woodhouse, who's a really well known photographer from Texas by way of South Africa. And Jeremy and I are currently taking six clients to go to Japan next February/March to photograph Japan's winter wildlife, including eagles and cranes as well as the famous snow monkeys.

We have six people signed up for that and we'd like to get two more to take eight people between four guides.

I want to thank Jon for taking the time while he was actually home for a few hours to answer my questions and provide you with some insight into the life of a professional photographer who is always on the move.

If you would like to learn more about Jon's tour offerings, you can find them on his website.