Aerial photo of juvenile great white shark
in the surf zone at Bennett's Beach
near Port Stephens, NSW. 2014
LR: What a peaceful view of this beautiful creature.
Surely this is the iconic image we want embedded in peoples' minds.
WG: Yes, I totally agree, that is one of the main reasons I love this view of the shark.
MARINE LIFE (various), 2014
Digitally printed photographs, 400x500mm each.
Locations: Great Barrier Reef, Port Hacking, Port Stephens, Red Sea.
The beauty of marine life is fractal-like. There is wonder and complexity in a few millimetres of the mantle of a giant clam, the mouth of a sea anemone, and the face of a hawkfish. It is wonderful still when viewed from the air through the lens of the ocean's surface, as a juvenile great white shark and dolphins among the waves. An egret hunts for food at the interface of ocean and air, seagrass meadows at low tide.
I research the biology of marine organisms that is necessary for their conservation. I also photograph the animals I study to express my wonder at their beauty and their relationship to the environment. Recording these photographically so that the images both depict the animal and express my feelings, and touch viewers in the same way, is as inspiring and creative as the process of scientific discovery. I began diving when I was 13 and started underwater photography not long afterwards. I still recall the instant when I looked through the camera's viewfinder to compose each of these images.
Professor William Gladstone
Head of School, School of the Environment, Faculty of Science
University of Technology Sydney
William Gladstone arranging photographs for exhibition
William Gladstone photographs
presented in the Living Data Ultimo Science Festival program