Artist Spotlight – Chris Ross
BD introduces professional photographer Christopher Ross, who has been shooting around the globe since 1997 and has garnered many industry awards. His most recent adventure took him to one of the furthest distances from shore known to man in order to study white sharks. He was the principal photographer for National Geographic Channel’s “Expedition Great White/ Shark Men.” He continues to shoot for many marine industry commercial clients including Costa Del Mar sunglasses, O’neill, and numerous national publications including National Geographic Magazine and Sports Illustrated. When not on assignment he enjoys his true passion… fine art printing. His artwork has been commissioned for many large permanent hotel and museum projects. This is the vehicle through which Christopher conveys the true beauty and importance of our marine world. Marine conservation has been a part of his life since the age of 13 when he was one of the youngest members to join the Cousteau Society. Following in the footsteps of his fellow aquanauts, Christopher has been on over 600 dives and looks forward to many more photo shoots that take him into the deep blue.
We sat down with Chris to talk about his art and views on life.
Q:Where do you live?
A:I live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Q:What mediums do you work in and what is your favorite?
A:I’ve always been drawn to photography and underwater has been my main focus.
Q:What are your other hobbies, and are they related to your artwork?
A:I love scuba diving, fishing, camping, hiking and they are all interrelated and help hone my photography skills.
Q:How did you get started and what was the evolution of your style?
A:I went to graduate school at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. This school had a special underwater photography program and this was the beginning of my adventure/underwater photography focus. We were taught to pay attention to light and form to help create dramatic images that began in the darkroom for black and white prints. I guess my style began early on when pre-visualizing a shot and how it would translate in the darkroom.
Q:What goals do you have for your artwork and what might the future hold?
A:I am working with a few stock photo agencies but the fine art agency is where I see my work moving. I still love to capture images for advertisers that have a fine art element that can move people. Down the road I see myself still shooting for corporate clients, but also making art for walls.
Q:Is there a message or theme behind your artwork?
A:Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated with the ocean and its conservation. I was a member of the Cousteau Society at the age of 13. I guess my impetus for photographing marine life and their environment is to show its beauty and delicate nature.
Q:What or who inspires you?
A:The people that inspire me the most are the ones who protect the environment for no financial gain or recognition. Whether it be a fisherman taking a stand against longliners, or an environmental group cleaning up the trash line; they all give me a clear vision of what’s important.
“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.” –Jacques Yves Cousteau
Q:What has been the hardest project, or what is the hardest aspect of you art?
A:I think the hardest project and the most gratifying was working for the National Geographic Channel on a show focusing on white sharks. The work wasn’t hard, but we were in an area that was the second furthest distance from land in the world and we were on location for a month. It was hard to be away from my family with only a satellite phone for emergencies.
Q:What brings you the most satisfaction or sense of accomplishment?
A:I think what I like most is for people that have never fished or been near the water to truly appreciate and enjoy the photography. I can show them something that they have never seen and perhaps open their eyes to a new world that they have never thought about or had the chance to experience.