Photographer Andy Murch: For Shock Or Awareness

August 14, 2014

Andy Murch Photography

Seeing the world through a camera lens can be an adrenaline filled career but it can also be away to bring great awareness to causes that we hold dear. For countries that are devastated, year after year through war and poverty, photographers have the chance to shock the masses with photos of clear abuse, impoverishment and violence. Others use their talent to uncover the travesties that are occurring and bring international attention to the cause.

Photography doesn’t just hold a place on the international political scene. Placing oneself right in the midst of dangerous creatures such as sharks like the underwater photography and expedition leader Andy Murch does, he can portray the long, harboring struggle that these sea animals have long faced.

Murch is able to capture the brilliance of these sea creatures in their natural habitat while seemingly condemning fisheries for their mistreatment of various shark species through shark finning and overfishing. Murch began his wild fascination of underwater life as a youth, traveling abroad to more than 70 countries and discovering the great mysteries of the land and sea life down-under. He currently shares his love of sea life with other explorers, leading them on under water tours catching magnificent views of sharks, dolphins, whales and squids among others.

Opening the public up to his message took some trial and error through his journey of photography. Commencing his journey by distancing himself from these loved and feared creatures, he realized that he would never be able to truly portray his message of the importance of maintaining wildlife habitat and preservation of sea animal life without getting up close and personal. The deep sea adventurer could then snap ferocious shots that were thought provoking and made it apparent to observers “are we ready to say goodbye to this amazing creature, because it is in grave danger of becoming extinct”.

As always, Murch plans and executes his trips with caution and awareness from the amount of food in the water to the gear he wears. Understanding these creatures, is part of the amazing images that he captures because he can be entirely focused on what’s at hand rather than whether he will be the target of one of his muses. For the majority of his photo shoots, there is no need for cages because he understands that sharks know the difference between divers and fish food through their distinct scents and he knows when to call it a day when he can observe the sharks becoming too agitated by the amount of food or their presence.

Capturing wildlife in their natural habitat can create an overwhelming amount of support for a cause like overfishing and sea life extinction. These images promote much more than a ferocious, mouth wide open, teeth blaring shot of a shark coming right at you. Through the eye of the lens, photographers like Murch are not shocking their audience, they are creating an awareness that transcends words and motivates the public to make a change.