There are a lot of things to take note of in Deron Verbeck’s images: rare pelagic species, intimate encounters with marine life, and even the occasional grabby octopus. What you won’t see: bubbles.
You see, Deron has a unique background. Prior to becoming a top-notch underwater photographer, he picking up awards as a freediver, including several national and continental records. He has freedived to 275 feet and completed an eight-plus minute breathhold.
It is this oneness with water—and perhaps the inspiration for his website, www.iamaquatic.com—that allows Deron to mix and mingle with the marine wildlife off of Hawaii’s Big Island. In the water nearly every day, Deron never knows exactly what he may come across off the coast of the world’s most remote island. On any given day it could be a whale shark, manta ray, oceanic whitetip, tiger shark, dolphin, pilot whale, or some combination of these.
If you need anymore inspiration to start learning to freedive and pack your bags for Hawaii, then we highly recommend taking a look at Deron’s fantastic images below!
A mahi mahi swims freely near the surface
An oceanic whitetip shark investigates an object floating at the surface
Freediver Mark Tilly watches an eagle ray cruise by
An octopus attaches itself to Deron’s dome near Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii
A resident pod of short finned pilot whales swims off the Kona coast
A school of fish envelops freediver Kaitlin DeBrabandere
Mahi mahi seek shelter around the photographer
A resident manta of New Keauhou Bay swims along the top of the reef
A lone manta glides over an empty patch of sand
Never turn your back on an oceanic whitetip—unless its for a selfie!
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