I’ve been pondering ways to expand the topics and interests covered on Ocean Wild Things and one of the best ways to do so is bring other people’s ideas and expertise into the mix. Wildlife photographer Michael Daniel Ho has agreed to be one of those people!
I met Michael through our common interest: whale watching. On the same whale watching trip, he will walk away with amazing photos and I’m lucky to walk away with a whale in the frame.
He also is very generous with his photos and donates many to the American Cetacean Society, the oldest whale conservation organization in the world and host of the whale watching trips where I first experienced camera envy, followed by photo envy. Michael and I have decided to collaborate and combine our separate skills, photography and writing.
Michael and his wife Valaree do a lot of traveling. During their upcoming trips, they will be our “on the ground” reporters, relaying conditions on the flora and fauna endemic to the places they visit. Their impressive travel schedule includes trips to Alaska, England and Wales, the Caribbean, and Hawaii in less than a year. And of course Michael will be sharing amazing photos taken along the way.
Carolyn: How did you become interested in wildlife photography?
Michael: I have been interested in animals and wildlife from a young age. On one of my early birthdays, my parents gave me a stuffed Koala Bear and that was the beginning of my life long love affair with the Animal Kingdom. From puppies to bunnies, tigers to bears, eagles to whales, I love them all. In school, I got involved in the Photography Club and was introduced to the amazing world of picture taking. I have been taking photos on and off for many years, and on one of my foreign travel trips, I visited the world’s first drive through Safari Park in Longleat, England. There, I had an epiphany. Combining travel and wildlife photography would be something I really want to do as a life long pursuit. I have not looked back since.
Carolyn: What is you favorite animal to photograph?
Michael: That is a tough question to answer. I love to photograph all kinds of wildlife. Perhaps, a better way to answer this is, some wildlife are much more challenging to get stunning photographs of, and therefore gives me a greater satisfaction and challenge. Any bird in flight, a breaching cetacean, and documenting any animal in a natural, behavioral state are difficult shots to master.
Carolyn: What do you hope to accomplish by sharing your photos online and with organizations like the American Cetacean Society?
Michael: Wildlife photography is an unique art because the camera captures and freezes the split-second moment of an animal, that will not be repeated again in exactly the same way. When another photo is taken of the same subject, it will be different because of the movement and lighting condition. A good photo conveys emotions and can galvanize public support for a cause. By taking stunning photos of majestic wildlife and cetaceans, I want to show the public how fortunate we are to have these creatures share our planet and enrich our lives with their exciting displays of natural behavior. Therefore, it is vital for us to protect what we love and keep our environment healthy and viable for the flora and fauna to flourish for all generations to come.