Light stacking, The Grotto, Saipan, Northern Marianas
The notion of celebrity is kind of comical when you’re talking about scuba diving. I mean, imagine being announced at a Hollywood award show: “Presenting so-and-so: charmer of sea slugs, sorcerer of manta whispering, and above all, master of mask spitting.” But alas, if you can be famous for having 19 children, then there’s nothing that isn’t on the table. So how do you know that you’ve “made it,” in our underwater community? Well, having your signature on your camera housing is a start. Oh yes, there is such a person whose elegant John Hancock is neatly displayed on his prodigiously slick housing, and that photographer is Mr. Aaron Wong.
Diver with xenon crab, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Making strobes and lenses look hip, Aaron is a superior shooter, influencer of imagery, and crafter of coolness, bringing class to an ostensibly nerdy underwater photographer stereotype. And as a fellow underwater photographer, I am torn as to whether it’s kosher to feel cooler by association, and secretly wonder if I can get away with writing my own name on my housing with a Sharpie.
But joking aside, Aaron’s images really have been raising the bar of both macro and wide-angle photography over the past few years. He brings a commercial shooting sensibility to a fine art approach, and treats his compositions as if he were lighting up a still life, setting a mood in a room, or evoking particular emotions from a model.
Cenote, Cancún, Mexico
Highly accomplished and multifaceted in accolades, Aaron does his due diligence for conservation as the ambassador of Shark Savers. He also helped spearhead the “FINished with Fins” campaign in 2012, which aims to educate the mainstream media on the reality of shark finning.
So I guess if we’re going to have representatives of our beloved pastime, we can’t do much better than Aaron. Not just a super nice human being, but a lover of food, a bit of a dancer, and a passionate advocate for our waters.
Shiretoko, Hokkaido, Japan
Juvenile turtle, Wakatobi, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Pygmy seahorse, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
Juvenile coral grouper, Tioman, Malaysia
Flabellina on tunicate, Anilao, Batangas, Philippines
Mayan skull, Cancún, Mexico
Diver with anemonefish, Visayas, Philippines
Aaron and his signature gear
To see more of Aaron’s work, check out www.aaronsphotocraft.com.