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Photographer of the Week – Joseph Ricketts
By Matthew Sullivan, February 22, 2024 @ 10:00 AM (EST)

A small American alligator cruises through stunning sun beams in a Florida river, Florida, USA
 

While most divers who visit Florida or even those who live in the state, visit for the warm, blue ocean loaded with marine life, our newest Photographer of the Week instead prefers the murky rivers and crystal clear springs. Joseph Rickets grew up canoeing, camping and looking for snakes whenever he could. Somewhere along the way, he picked up a camera and since that fateful day, his love for wildlife photography, combined with an academic background in biology, has grown into a lifelong passion for wildlife science, visual art, and conservation storytelling.

As many of us can relate to, cost is a huge barrier for getting into serious underwater photography, and it was for Joseph as well. However, with some extensive sleuthing on Facebook Marketplace and a bit of luck, he came across a used, 20-year-old housing and modified it with Lego pieces to fit the DSLR he was using at the time.

From that moment on, Joseph knew he had found a home in the world of underwater photography. Joseph’s work is primarily built upon Florida’s diverse aquatic environments and the wildlife that inhabit them, from the cuddly and charismatic manatee to the intimidating and iconic American alligator. Through his imagery, Joseph aims to present familiar habitats and creatures from new perspectives and to use his creative abilities to build bridges between people and wildlife. Currently, Joseph is based out of Gainesville, Florida where he works as a crocodilian research scientist.
 

Lurking in the murk, an American alligator rests on a log, Florida, USA
 

A prehistoric looking alligator snapping turtle showing off its impressive mouth, Florida, USA
 

Mullet congregate at the confluence of two rivers, Florida, USA
 

Two of Florida’s most iconic species, mantees and alligators, sharing space, Florida, USA
 

A manatee hanging at the surface at night. Cute and cuddly during the day, a huge manatee bumping you at night is quite spooky! Florida, USA
 

The third-largest amphibian on Earth, an eastern hellbender, resting on a rock during breeding season, Florida, USA
 

A manatee tries to hog all the attention in the background of this snapping turtle image, Florida, USA
 

An American alligator feeding on a dead fish at night, Florida, USA
 

A Florida cooter gazing skyward at night, Florida, USA
 

A touching moment between two manatees, Florida, USA
 

Florida's freshwater ecosystems produce some incredibly unique imaging opportunities, Florida, USA
 

Joseph in his element in a clear Florida spring
 

To follow along with Joseph’s freshwater adventures, please give him a follow on Instagram and check out his website.

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