Brandon in the company of a
tiger shark. Photo Copyright © Jim Abernethy
Brandon Cole is a wildlife photographer and
writer specializing in the marine environment. His award- winning imagery from around the world
includes one of the top cetacean files with dozens of species of whales and
dolphins represented; extensive coverage of other marine mammals; sharks
large and small, dangerous and harmless;
fishes and invertebrates from tropical coral reefs to cold water kelp
forests; scuba diving; and many other marine subjects.
With a degree in marine biology
from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and experience in
underwater scientific research (having worked with the National Park
Service, the University of California, the Australian Institute of
Marine Science, and independent scientists such as the Bimini Biological
Field Station), he now explores one of the planetís last frontiers, the
world beneath the waves. In recording Oceanís beauty he has traveled
much of the globe, counting among his favorite locales the coral reefs of
Indonesia, the "Enchanted Isles" of the Galapagos, the dizzying
blue of the South Pacific, and the current swept, icy waters of British
Columbia and Alaska.
Cole lives in land-locked
Spokane, WA, USA with his artist wife Melissa.
Brandon Coleís work has appeared
in hundreds of publications in the US and overseas.
Select magazine credits include Audubon, BBC Wildlife, Canadian
Geographic, Das Tier, Discovery, EcoTraveler, GEO, Glamour Germany, Harvard Business
Review, Illustreret Videnskab,
International Wildlife, Kodansha, Men's Journal,
Natural History, The National Geographic Magazine, Newsweek, The New York
Times, Orion, Outside, People, Popular Photography, Ranger
Rick, Science, Scientific American, Sinra, Scuba Diving, Smithsonian, Sport Fishing,
Stern, and Wildlife Conservation. His imagery has been featured
on more than 231 covers. Cole has completed assignment work for
clients as diverse as Alaska Airlines, The BBC, Discovery Channel Books, Stern,
and televisionís "Wild Things". His
photography has been published in hundreds of books (and as sole or
primary photographer in 10 books including his latest, "Reef
Life"), calendars (30+ publishers, including many
exclusives), cards and posters, electronic products, advertising, public
exhibits in museums and aquariums, and other media with clients such as AT&T, The Cousteau
Society, Encyclopedia Britannica, HP, Microsoft, The National Geographic
Society, The National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Life Insurance,
The Sierra Club, and World Wildlife Fund. In 1995 he was presented with
the Eric Hosking Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year
international competition for a portfolio of his marine photography.
a collection of tearsheets and read client testimonials
statement Brandon sums up his
love for marine wildlife with a quote from Aristotle, 4th century B.C.:
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
"I am continuously learning, experiencing new manifestations of the
"marvelous": the contagious thirst for life, the sheer
exuberance shown by a group of frolicking dolphins; the stunning beauty of
the kelp forest wrapped in silence yet noisy with color and motion; the
tenderness so evident between a mother sea otter and her mewling newborn;
the mystery enshrouding the open ocean or a coral reef under the cover of
"All things" for me
includes not only 40 ton breaching whales, schooling sharks, and hang
glider sized manta rays... but the weird little fishes, the camouflaged
beasties hiding in plain sight, and the spineless, slow moving
invertebrates- diminutive shrimps and crabs, sea slugs and jellyfish,
artfully arranged clusters of sea anemones, sponges, and corals, as well
as the patterns and textures that they bear. These creatures and this
unfathomable beauty are often overlooked, but are no less deserving of
appreciation, of photography.
Iím in bliss just watching
the reef and its denizens go about their daily lives. I could spend hours
watching the little things- a two-inch long blenny, for example, an
attitudinal little fish so comical, so frantically active, its bulging
eyes rotating independently, gulping water at a furious pace. Iím sure
my laughter at its antics could clearly be heard, even underwater,
drifting on the current.
Also heard, I hope, is my
sincere wish that an appreciation and respect for the wildlife and habitat
be foremost in the minds of all who visit Ocean. For itís all about
enjoying nature, but not at her expense."
file 100,000+ 35mm
transparencies and digital captures, and select high definition video
mammals: whales (beluga, blue,
gray, humpback, orca, right, pilot, melon-headed, minke, sperm, fin,
bryde's, false killer, more),
dolphins (bottlenose, common, dusky, Hector's, risso's, Atlantic and
Pantropical spotted, spinner, white-sided, N. right whale, amazon river dolphins (also called boto or pink river dolphins),
Fraser's, more), manatees,
dugongs, sea otters, seals
(harp, harbor, elephant), sea lions (CA, S., Steller, Galapagos). Fish: Sharks
(great white, silvertip, oceanic white tip, sixgill, sevengill, bull, tiger, great
hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, whale, nurse, epaulette, gray reef,
whitetip reef, blacktip reef, zebra,
wobbegong, gray nurse/sand tiger, lemon, mako, pelagic thresher, silky,
galapagos, more), baitballs, tuna, manta rays, mobulas, stingrays, electric (torpedo) rays, eels,
colorful tropical fish, obscure little fishes, endangered Pacific salmon
(many species), sea horses (many species), sea dragons, pipefish, clownfish, hagfish,
jacks, barracuda, schooling fishes, frogfish, mola molas, blue marlin,
striped marlin, sailfish, sardine baitballs, more. Invertebrates: octopus (many species), abalone, crinoids,
soft & hard corals, giant clams, sea anemones, squid, nudibranchs,
crabs, shrimp, lobsters, starfish, basket stars, nautilus, cuttlefish,
jellyfish, more. Other: Algaes, kelps, eggs, sea turtles, sea
turtle biologists, shark biologists, giant
tortoise, marine iguanas, sea snakes, penguins, anacondas, Komodo dragons,
American Crocodiles, safari wildlife, more. Topics: Camouflage,
Symbiosis, Intertidal zonation, Defense Mechanisms, Mimicry, Eco-tourism,
Endangered species, Dangerous/ Venomous creatures, Scientists at work,
Ecosystems: Artificial reefs (oil rigs, pier pilings, shipwrecks,
BioRock electric reefs),
coral reefs, kelp forests, intertidal and tide pools, mangroves, sand/mud bottom,
open ocean, sanctuaries, cenotes, sea caves, marine lakes, sponge gardens, etc..
Whales- underwater, breaching, bubble net feeding, spy hops, tail flukes, mother and calf,
courtship behavior, sunset lighting, dramatic backgrounds, eye ball shots,
museum and aquarium shots, petroglyphs, totems, art, aerial, whale watching,
people swimming with whales, whales feeding on baitballs, traditional
One of worldís finest files of orca, humpback whale, and dolphin photos.
Images especially suited for advertising, books, calendars, cards. Sharks-
big, dangerous, small, and obscure, dozens of species.
The Great White Shark. Endangered Florida Manatees. Sockeye salmon. Octopus- many species. Pacific Northwest
marine life. Camouflaged sea life. Galapagos Islands marine life. Intimate portraits to
half-in/half-out "over-under" shots. Marlin, sailfish, and bryde's whales feeding on sardine
and mackerel baitballs. Complete photo/ text packages. Abstracts,
patterns, textures of marine life. Backgrounds for advertising.
Endangered species, marine
sanctuaries and underwater parks, oil rig ecosystem, gill nets, shark-finning,
mangrove destruction, coral bleaching, threatened marine habitats, coral
reef restoration, traditional whaling village, fish traps, fishing, marine
pollution, entangled marine life.
People interacting with marine
life- tidepools, aquariums, snorkelers and divers, whale watching,
eco-tourism, marine biologists at work, travel and scenic photos, safari
of people and culture.
geographic areas Australia, Azores, Bahamas, Baja California/Mexico, Belize,
Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles), Brazil, British Columbia Canada, Burma (Myanmar),
Canadian Arctic, Cayman Islands, Christmas Is. (Republic of Kiribati), Costa Rica, Cuba,
Republic (Silver Bank), Egypt (Red Sea), Fiji, French Polynesia, Galapagos, Honduras, Indonesia, Magdalen Is., Mexico (Baja, Cozumel, cenotes of
Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres), New Zealand, Patagonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa,
Sri Lanka, Tasmania, Thailand, Tonga,
Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Micronesia), USA (AK, CA,
FL, HI, MA, MI, NC, OR, WA).
USA Southeast Alaska. Marine mammals
(humpback and killer whales, harbor seals- mother and pups on icebergs,
Steller sea lions, Pacific White-Sided dolphins, Dallís porpoise), bald
eagles, salmon, deer, totem poles, glaciers, scenics.
Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Wreck of the S.S. Yongala, Kangaroo Is, Exmouth/Ningaloo
(Western Australia), South Australia, Tasmania. Tropical and temperate
marine life including Minke Whales, Whale Sharks, Fishes (incl.
endemic leafy and
common sea dragons, endemic and critically endangered red handfish, potato
cod, many schooling fishes), invertebrates, coral reefs, aerials, coastal
scenics, shipwrecks, divers, sea
lions, stingrays and sharks, Navy Pier artificial reef habitat (pier pilings),
Bluefin Tuna, Giant Australian cuttlefish mating aggregation, deep sponge
gardens, kelp forests, caves.
(off Portugal) Pico
and Faial Islands. Numerous species of whales and dolphins, above and
below water, including Sperm whales. Topside scenics, fishing boats,
whaling boats, museums, etc.
Banks, Bimini. Wild Atlantic spotted dolphins. Sharks- bull, tiger, Caribbean
reef, nurse, lemon, and great hammerhead. Scuba divers with sharks, and
people snorkeling with dolphins. Mangroves. Shark scientists at work, and
research related photos at the Bimini Biological Field Station.
Baja and the Sea of Cortez,
Mexico Cabo San
Lucas, La Paz, Cabo Pulmo, Loreto, Pacific Coast gray whale lagoons, Socorro Islands/Revillagigedos,
Guadalupe Is. Marine mammals (gray, humpback, bryde's, pilot whales, dolphins, sea
lions), Great White Sharks, cage diving, marlin, baitballs, Pacific giant manta rays, fishes,
tuna, many shark species, invertebrates, coral reefs, topside scenics, petroglyphs, divers, whale watching.
Huge spawning aggregations of jack fishes at Cabo Pulmo National Park.
Schooling mobula rays feeding at night. Sea lions at Los Islotes.
Ambergris Caye, Turneffe Atoll, and
Lighthouse Atoll. Hol Chan Marine Reserve, The Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye,
etc. Nurse sharks, sting rays, fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs, divers,
aerials of the Blue Hole, inland Mayan Ruins.
Bonaire (Netherland Antilles,
(angelfish, schooling fish, etc), invertebrates, coral reefs, topside
scenics, divers & snorkelers.
Brazil Amazon River Basin, Pantanal Wetlands, and Bonito area. Rare coverage of wild Pink River Dolphins (also called boto), caimans, giant anacondas (including underwater photos!), fish, birds, jaguars, giant river otters, scenics, snorkeling in clear rivers, etc.
British Columbia, Canada
Extensive coverage of
Vancouver Island- Barkley Sound, Campbell River/Discovery Passage, Gulf Islands,
Johnstone Strait, Nanaimo, Port Hardy, Stubbs Island, Victoria, Sunshine
Coast, etc. Marine
mammals (killer whales, humpback whales, harbor seals, sea lions,
dolphins- Dallís porpoise, Pacific White sides), endangered Pacific
sockeye salmon, coho, chum, chinook and pink salmon, other fishes, wolf eels,
sixgill shark, invertebrates, giant octopus, kelp forests, shipwrecks,
tidepools, topside scenics, sea birds, divers, snorkeling w/
salmon, sponge gardens.
USA Monterey/Carmel, Channel Islands,
Oil Rigs, Southern CA. Marine mammals (blue whales, humpbacks, fin whales,
orcas- killer whales- attacking gray whales, sea otters,
dolphins, elephant seals, harbor seals, sea lions), fishes, sharks, invertebrates,
kelp forests, oil rig marine communities, divers, Channel Islands National
Marine Sanctuary, Monterey Bay National
Hudson Bay. Beluga whales
topside and underwater.
Cod, Massachusetts, USA Stellwagen
Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Humpback Whales, whale-watching.
reef marine life (fish including Nassau groupers, corals, invertebrates, sea
turtles), shipwrecks, and scuba
diving photos from Grand and Little Cayman Islands. Invasive lionfish species.
Stingrays at world famous Stingray City. USS Kittiwake sunken
shipwreck. Bloody Bay Marine Park.
Is. (Republic of Kiribati, Line Islands, Micronesia) Marine
mammals (spinner dolphins and melon-headed whales), sailfish, manta rays, fishes,
invertebrates, coral reefs, divers, local Gilbertese people, topside,
nesting sea birds.
Island, Costa Rica Schooling
hammerhead sharks, whitetip reefs sharks hunting at night, yellowfin tuna,
marbled rays, schooling fish.
Cozumel, Isla Mujeres
and Riviera Maya, Mexico Coral
reef marine life (fish, sponge covered reefs, coral formations) and scuba
diving photos from Cozumel. Cavern and cave diving pictures from the
freshwater cenotes of Riviera Maya between Cancun and Tulum, and mangroves. Sailfish feeding on sardine baitballs
and whale sharks feeding from near Isla Mujeres, and people snorkeling to
witness both marine spectacles.
reef marine life (fish, corals, invertebrates, sharks) and scuba
diving photos from Gardens of the Queen National Park. Silky and Caribbean
Reef Sharks. American crocodiles in the mangroves. People, scenic, and
cultural photography in Havana.
Nature Island of the Caribbean". Sperm Whales (including underwater
photos), fishes (including seahorses and
frogfishes), invertebrates, coral reefs, topside scenics (waterfalls,
etc.), scuba divers.
Silver Bank- North Atlantic humpback
Red Sea marine life from coastal reefs and offshore pinnacles, including dugongs,
spinner dolphins, coral reefs, fishes, invertebrates, shipwrecks, oceanic
Waters, Beqa Lagoon, Namena, Vatu-I-Ra, Gau, Lau.
Sharks, fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs, hard and soft corals, red footed
boobies, topside scenics, divers.
Florida, USA Crystal
River area, Florida Keys, West Palm Beach. Endangered Florida manatees. Nesting and
hatchling sea turtles, and scientists at work. Miami Seaquarium- orca, bottlenose dolphin,
birds, DDT turtle. Sea World Orlando- orca whales and dolphins. Scuba
diving in Key Largo area- schooling fish, corals, diver shots, shipwrecks,
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Mangroves.
French Polynesia- Coral
reef marine life and scuba diving
photos from the Tuamotus, including Fakarava and Rangiroa atolls. Images
of schools of gray reef sharks, various tropical fish, schools of snappers
and other species.
Galapagos- "The Enchanted Isles"
Marine life- whale sharks,
scalloped hammerhead sharks, other sharks (galapagos, silky, whitetip
reef, horn) schooling fish, reef fishes, invertebrates,
Sally Light Foot Crabs, marine iguanas (including feeding underwater), sea
lions, sea turtles, rays, penguins (underwater), etc., including endemic species.
Terrestrial animals- giant tortoise, land iguanas, sea birds, etc.
USA Kona Coast of the Big Island,
Maui. Marine mammals (humpback, pilot, false killer whales; spinner and
Pantropical spotted dolphins) above and below water, fishes, blue marlin, manta
rays, sharks, sea turtles, invertebrates, coral reefs, monk seals,
Puíuhonoa (Place of Refuge), Molokini Crater.
Bottlenose Dolphins at the Roatan Institue of Marine Science.
Bunaken Marine Park, Komodo National
Park, Flores east to Alor, Lembeh
Strait, Lesser Sunda Islands, North Sulawesi, Raja Ampat (West Papua). Fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs, shipwrecks, topside
scenics, people, art, culture, divers, Komodo dragons, muck diving, mangroves, Biorock
electric reefs, spectral
tarsier primate, volcanoes, Lamalera whaling village, Aboi hill tribe
Magdalen Islands Gulf
of St. Lawrence (Quebec, Canada). Harp seals, "seal watching"
Fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs,
divers, whale sharks, manta rays from this Indian Ocean tropical coral reef
See Baja, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres,
Riviera Maya, Sea of Cortez and other regional entries above for more details.
(Great Lakes), USA Upper Peninsula.
Shipwrecks in the underwater preserves of the UP.
New Zealand North
and South Islands. Sperm Whales, Dusky Dolphins, and endangered Hector's
Dolphins. Scuba diving in the Poor Knights Islands, with coverage of
fishes, invertebrates, colorful reefs, archways and caves, scuba divers.
Topside scenic and adventure coverage including kayaking in Milford Sound,
hiking volcanic Tongariro Alpine crossing, Maori wood carvings, mountain
scenics, caves in Waitomo, rainforest, etc.
Carolina, USA Morehead City- sand tiger
sharks on the offshore shipwrecks.
Oregon, USA Tidepools
of the Pacific Coast. Intertidal marine life and people exploring
tidepools; scuba diving also.
Fishes, invertebrates, sharks, sea
turtles, coral reefs, snorkelers and divers, World War II shipwrecks and
planes, Jellyfish Lake, Chandelier Cave, aerials of the Rock Islands and
more from this popular Pacific Ocean tropical coral reef
Patagonia, Argentina Peninsula
Valdez. Southern Right whales above and below water, S. elephant seals, S.
sea lions, dusky dolphins, etc.
Papua New Guinea
Fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs. Strange and exotic "muck
diving" species, including the mimic octopus and Rhinopias.
Malapascua Island. Pelagic thresher
sharks, fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs.
Sea, Similan Islands, Burma Banks. Fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs,
divers. Sharks, beach scenics, shark-finning. General topside coverage-
people, temples, etc. Diving in Burma (Myanmar).
Tonga, Kingdom of Northern
island cluster of Vavaíu, and Ha'apai. Humpback Whales, fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs, caves,
topside scenics, divers.
Lagoon (Chuuk, Micronesia) Japanese
shipwrecks and planes sunken in World War II. Artifacts, weaponry,
machinery, vehicles, and human remains in the wrecks, divers exploring the
wrecks, and colorful fish and invertebrate marine life now associated with
these superb artificial reefs.
La Digue, Curieuse, Cousin Islands. Fishes, invertebrates, coral reefs.
scenics, giant tortoises, birds, lizards and geckoes, Coco-de-Mer palm
tree, Vallee de Mai World Heritage Site.
South Africa Dyer
Island and False Bay. Great White Sharks. Sevengill Sharks. Jackass (South
Sri Lanka Shipwrecks
off Colombo, scuba divers, fish and other marine life. Topside
scenics, people, art, culture, temples. Safari wildlife, including
leopards, birds, elephants, and more. Negombo Fish Market. Stilt
Washington, USA Columbia
River and Snake River systems, Puget Sound, The Salish Sea, Olympic
Peninsula, Strait of Juan de Fuca, San
Juan Islands, Outer Coast. Marine mammals (killer whales, harbor seals,
sea lions, dolphins and porpoises), fishes, invertebrates, giant octopus,
kelp forests, shipwrecks, tidepools, endangered salmon (many species),
topside scenics, divers, Ozette Indian petroglyphs, Olympic Coast National
Marine Sanctuary, Deception Pass State Park.
upcoming shoots include the kelp forest kingdom in California; drifting
along lush and colorful coral reefs in the Fiji Islands; sailfish feeding
on sardines in Mexico; Cozumel, and back to French Polynesia. Additional projects yet to be
determined. Please let us know if you have a "piggy-backable"
assignment you'd like us to complete.