Thomas Brydon is a photographer with an abundance of skills and interests. In addition to being a professional underwater photographer, Thomas captures precious wedding moments, photographs landscapes, and embraces all kinds of photography genres. In this interview we talk about his past, what taking photos of whales feels like, and more. Please enjoy Thomas' inspiring outlook on photography!
Please introduce yourself to our community!
I started doing photography at high school with my father's Olympus OM2, he had used it in the 1970’s backpacking his way around the globe. It is completely manual and you had to learn to see the light instead of snapping away and checking the lcd screen to see the exposure. I gained my professional photography diploma in 2004. Starting out my career I chose to focus on landscape photography and I've since travelled to many countries photographing stunning landscapes. I now love to incorporate the landscape of the client's venue into my portraiture. I feel privileged to be asked to photograph a couple's wedding, capturing intimate moments of their special day which they will cherish for years to come. I work closely with each couple specialising a package to suit individual needs.
What goes through your mind when you take photos of exotic creatures like whales?
I am filled with excitement every time I get in the water. Floating in the deep blue ocean is very calming. I was lucky enough to share a close encounter with a humpback whale calf when I traveled to Tonga. It accepted me in its space, even coming and tapping me on the shoulder with its dorcil fin, which was a very moving experience interacting with a large mammal, as they move so gracefully and with a flick of their tail they are gone but they choose to swim in our company
What's the best photo-taking equipment to use underwater?
With photography these days its the camera you have in your hand, with the technology from the iPhones and Gopro cameras you can easily buy a housing for your mobile without the big investment the DSLR options require. I chose to go with Ikelite product which is a middle road housing for a dslr camera starting from $3,000NZ, you can quite easily spend $10,000 on a top end setup. You can buy a similar housing for your iPhone for $350NZ which is a new addition to the underwater market and is a lot more portable for traveling.
In addition to taking great photos of wildlife, you photograph weddings, landscapes, and portraits. What drew you to all of these photography genres?
I am drawn to these genres to be able to tell their story, to bring the breath taking landscapes into our living room in awe of the magnificent world we get the pleasure of wandering in.
What advice would you give to budding photographers?
I think all I can offer is to encourage to get out there and practice, and if you fail, try again until you get the desired result. You don’t need the best and most expensive gear, just the will and desire to succeed.