Famous Underwater Digital Photographer, Marine photojournalist and Explorer: Mauricio Handler

Mauricio Handler during a British Virgin Islands workshop. Note the early rig- a Mamiya RZ67 housed in an Aquatica Housing.  Photo Credit: RAUL TOUZON

Mauricio Handler during a British Virgin Islands workshop. Note the early rig- a Mamiya RZ67 housed in an Aquatica Housing. Photo Credit: RAUL TOUZON

 

With an addiction to jet fuel and a passion for adventure, Mauricio Handler created a career for himself in marine photojournalism. His photographs reveal mysteries that exist both above and below sea level, capturing the grace and beauty of marine life. Passionate about documenting life, landscapes, and peoples living close to any and all bodies of water, he set out in 1982 to pursue a career that most can only dream of. In his words, he set out to “invent a career”.

In love with the underwater world

After graduating with a degree in art from the University of Puerto Rico in 1982, Handler decided to travel and he quickly fell in love with the underwater world. He slowly began shooting a few stories through his jobs as a divemaster and a sailing yacht captain, and before long he began getting published enough to make a small living.

“When I started out as a diver with interest in image making, I never thought I would end up making a living and traveling the planet because of my photography.”

Along the way, Handler met incredible people, inspiring and motivating him to continue to pursue a career in photojournalism. His persistence brought him to well-known underwater photographer, David Doubilet, at National Geographic Magazine who served as a mentor and encourage Handler to truly grow as an image maker.

Photo of David Doubilet and Brian Skerry to his right. This was during a National Geographic shoot where I was working with Doubilet. Brian Skerry was yet to be a regular in the magazine - he was there to see how David approached his projects.

Photo of David Doubilet and Brian Skerry to his right. This was during a National Geographic shoot where I was working with Doubilet. Brian Skerry was yet to be a regular in the magazine - he was there to see how David approached his projects.

 

Starting out in the mid 80’s, Mauricio Handler shot only with film and with quite an extensive bit of it. Working with Doubilet, he started by being in charge of all cameras, housings, strobes, and film, shooting up to 15 cameras in the water at one time.

“These were very rewarding days.”

Handler learned mainly on his own, since without any Internet he had no options but to use trial and error and a lot of film processing as practice. He also credits some of his acquired knowledge to magazines and other photographers that provided him with inspiration. He now of course, shoots entirely his own projects and has focused on large and often endangered marine life such as whale sharks, sailfish, and marine mammals and has photographed in a variety of different locations accross the globe.

“Early in my development as a visual artist, I followed closely the work of Ansel Adams, the father of black and white photography and one of the greatest photographers of our time.

Handler’s career took off and since he ended working as Doubilet’s assistant in 2000, he himself has worked very closely with the National Geographic Society as well as campaigns for other companies such as Rolex watches. He leads back to back photography workshops and expeditions throughout the year and has become very involved in sharing his underwater diving and snorkeling photography techniques. A detailed description of his techniques will follow in an upcoming article.

Mauricio Handler seeks neither attention nor praise but only wants to pursue his passion for adventure and enthusiasm for creating images. It is safe to say that this image-making genius is best understood through his own words. “It has been a very rewarding journey that continues to this day and it is this journey and uncertainty in tomorrow that keeps me on my toes and passionate about what I do”. Handler encourages any aspiring photographer to realize that there is no formula or path, only a great reward that is discovered when following one’s own dream. His work can be viewed at www.handlerphoto.com . You can become his fan on his Facebook Fan page at http://www.facebook.com/MauricioHandlerPhotography for updates of his up coming workshops and new projects.

“The only possible risk of failure is that of not trying at all.”

Keep an eye out for future gear, technique, workshops and interview articles about Mauricio Handler.

Also Read:

Speak Your Mind

*

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Website Optimized by AgileGrow, a Montreal SEO Company