Bumblebee shrimp on starfish, Anilao, Philippines
Have you ever seen or heard of “birders,” individuals who run around the world, binoculars in hand, dorky sun cap on, socks reaching for their knees? Perhaps you’ve had the same knee-jerk reaction as I have, which is, “Ha! Birders, who follows birds around?” But in contemplating this response to a very harmless and non-intrusive naturalist hobby, I realized that, as underwater photographers, especially macro photographers, we are just like birders—if not worse! I mean, think about all of the time and money spent running around the world just to spend a few hours with a couple little slugs and shrimps? It’s uncanny! But anyway, there is one photographer who just might spend a bit too much time with the little bugs and beasties of the ocean, and that is Mr. Jerome Kim.
Schooling baby squid, Anilao, Philippines
Maybe it’s because I am biased towards a fellow expatriated Korean, or maybe it’s simply because his work is beautiful both technically and aesthetically, but I’ve been admiring Jerome’s images for some time now. I admit that macro subjects can become monotonous, with people shooting the same goby or clownfish with similar lighting and composition over and over again; however, Jerome seems to find fresh ways to portray his subject matter. His use of color, focus, composition, and lighting coupled with a range of interesting muses make him one of the top macro shooters to watch.
Clownfish eggs, Anilao, Philippines
But let’s not let Jerome off the hook too easily. This naturally visual shooter is an architect by day, and so I gather that some of his creatively infused precision in photography comes from his innate abilities that lead him to designing buildings. And having spent 15 years in the Philippines, his backyard is practically stuffed with beautiful critters to take his mind off of his day job.
So lessons learned: (1) don’t judge a birder without first taking a hard look in the mirror, and (2) some of the underwater birders or perhaps “shrimpers” or “nudiers” like Jerome Kim can make even the nerdiest hobby look hip!
Skeleton shrimp, Anilao, Philippines
Whip coral gobies, Anilao, Philippines
Clownfish in purple anemone, Anilao, Philippines
Juvenile hairy frogfish, Anilao, Philppines
Goby with parasite, Anilao, Philippines
To see more of Jerome's work, visit his website: www.jeromekim.com.
You can also check out his facebook page.
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