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EARTH MINUTER: SHARKMAN DAN

Name: Dan Abbott

Profession: Underwater Cinematographer


What environmental subject do you specilaise in?


I’ve always been extremely interested in sharks. In 2014, after I had been accepted for a conservation internship, my love for sharks grew and I decided to act against the issue with numerous campaigns.


But as an environmental subject, I mainly focus on the subject of overfishing in which sharks play a huge part of that issue.


How do you communicate this environmental subject?


It really depends on the project, but underwater images can be very inspiring…by capturing the best image of an animal is an inspiring way to tell its story.

I also find that when you take a photo of wildlife it can be extremely interesting, but when you take a photo of wildlife with human life it can make the photo much, much better. It automatically makes it relatable, and that human element is important because people lead a powerful way of storytelling.


The BBC Blue Planet programmes are so powerful that they don’t necessarily need that human element, but in other work it’s important to consider that human storytelling is compelling. I mean, the Jellyfish photo that I took of Lizzie Daly went viral, I was out on a drive after a whole week of filming and we weren’t expecting to see anything at all, and that’s an example of how that human element can add so much to a photograph.


In summary, why do you find this form of communication the most effective in sharing your environmental message?


It depends on who you are reaching and who your audience is, especially if people are already interested in that subject matter (ie. marine biology students). But I generally find that video is such a useful tool to tell stories.


Although, you can also tell a powerful story with just one photo as it crosses language barriers. As seen through the Jellyfish photo, it can have a crazy reach across the world, which is a proud feeling when the world is talking about our wildlife in our waters.


Please comment if you have any questions for this Earth Minuter subject!

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