For many underwater photographers, the love of the ocean is cemented at an early age—often before we might even remember. For Vanessa Mignon, it began early in her childhood, growing up on Brittany’s “wild coast” and hearing the ocean adventures of her two grandfathers, who both served in the French Navy.
Today, Vanessa continues her family’s tradition by bringing home wild ocean tales of her own, as told through her underwater imagery. From the massive humpback whales of Tonga, to diving in with dozens of reef sharks, Vanessa’s images have undoubtedly inspired other young women to go out and explore the blue unknown.
DPG continues our celebration of Women’s History Month with the adventuresome portfolio of Vanessa Mignon.
Humpback calf, Tonga: Humpback calves are very playful, breaching and rolling in the water, often at close range
Australian sea lion, Australia: Sea lions are very playful and cheeky creatures—and fast
Leafy seadragon, South Australia: This species is endemic to Australia. This adult was about 10 inches long. To me, it is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen
Dolphin, Bahamas: Those dolphins were lots of fun, but very hard work. We had to keep them entertained—duck diving, waving seaweed, or making noises—so that they would stick around
Tiger shark, Tiger Beach, Bahamas: My favorite shark, tigers are beautiful and have so much charisma. We nicknamed this one “Smiley.” Sadly, she had been disfigured by a fishing hook
Mako shark, South Africa: South Africa is another great destination for shark diving. This shark was quite shy and very fast—and it didn’t stay with us for long
Blue shark, South Africa: With their thin, streamlined bodies, silvery-blue color and big round eyes, blues are surely the most photogenic of all sharks
Dwarf minke whale, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: These whales gather around the Great Barrier Reef every year for a few weeks between June and July
Coleman shrimp on a fire urchin, Komodo, Indonesia: An example of the variety and color of macro subjects, these shrimp are usually found in pairs, the larger one being female
Clownfish, Komodo, Indonesia: I am in love with clownfish! But they can be difficult to photograph, as they are always moving fast and in all directions
Vanessa “at work” snorkeling with massive humpback whales in Tonga
To view more of Vanessa’s work, visit her official website.
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