From summit to sea, photographer goes to extremes to showcase 'magnificent' marine life

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Andy Mann hopes his pictures and tales may give a voice to the unvoiced.

That’s why the award-winning photographer and marine conservationist spends months every year travelling and talking for sequence like Nationwide Geographic Dwell. He brings his latest program, Andy Mann: From Summit to Sea, through Arts Commons Presents to the Jack Singer Live performance Corridor on Nov. 19 and 20.

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For the previous decade, Mann has been documenting marine life in all seven oceans however it was not the vocation he initially selected for himself. He skilled to be a marine biologist however, at age 23 and barely out of school, he found mountaineering, and made it his profession for nearly a decade.

“I cherished documenting journey and that’s what mountaineering afforded me. It introduced me to the highest of a few of the tallest mountains on the planet. I believed that may be my life, however that modified in 2013 when Nationwide Geographic despatched me to Franz Josef Land in Russia to doc a marine expedition. I wasn’t a licensed diver however I used to be nonetheless capturing within the water, simply staying above the floor,” says Mann.

Andy Mann
Andy Mann’s first open water dive with 50 bull sharks in Fiji. Courtesy, Andy Mann Photograph by Cory Richards /jpg

His work so impressed Nationwide Geographic that they despatched him to Fiji with a shark expedition.

“I needed to get dive-certified for that one in a heated pool in Colorado. The primary day in Fiji once I swam with 50 bull sharks was truly my first open water dive. That day, and that expedition, modified my life. I immediately discovered objective with my digicam. I needed others to see the magnificent, wonderful creatures I had seen. Telling their tales grew to become my habit.”

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Mann has remained fascinated with sharks ever since and has captured some wonderful, award-winning pictures of what he calls nature’s excellent creature.

“Sharks have had 300 million years of evolving perfection. They’re so charismatic. We’ve been advised they’re harmful, however they’re not if you’re as cautious and calculating as they’re when you find yourself of their area. While you dive with them, you’re placing your self within the meals chain, and that’s so humbling. I at all times simply allow them to come to me. I adore it once they rub towards my digicam, which they are going to do as a result of they’re curious.”

Mann says he isn’t nervous he’ll be a shark’s dinner as a result of “we’re not what they normally eat. We don’t appear to be a tuna and we don’t style like a tuna.”

Andy Mann
Andy Mann filming crocodiles in Cuba. Courtesy, Sam Kretchmar jpg

The most important creature Mann has encountered was a blue whale within the waters off Timor-Leste close to Indonesia.

“I noticed the whale approaching from a distance. It was so monumental. I simply waited and it swam proper beneath me. I may really feel the water transfer. I may really feel its power. I felt so tiny and so insignificant. I’m not even certain he was conscious of me. That’s how small I used to be in comparison with him.”

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One of many smallest creatures Mann has captured together with his digicam is the pigmy sea horse.

“They’re a bit extra curious. I’ve discovered that the smaller sea creatures are those that can attempt to chase you. They wish to know what you’re. The larger ones simply don’t care.”

Mann has additionally spent as a lot time as he can documenting polar bears.

“They’re extremely stunning creatures. It pains me an important deal to think about a world with out them. If my pictures could make individuals care about them, I’m doing my job. I need my pictures to create empathy. I need individuals who see them to have an emotional response.”

Mann says his look on the Jack Singer Corridor is not going to be a lecture.

“I contemplate my discuss not a lot about my adventures, however about my misadventures. I need it to be mild and pleasing.”

Mann speaks on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m.

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