Kia ora! (Hello)
My name is Dan and I am an underwater photographer and proud Mares Ambassador from Auckland, New Zealand. Tucked away down here in the South Pacific, I am lucky enough to have cool, subtropical waters on my doorstep and warm tropical waters just a few hours flight from home.
Through my blog posts I look forward to sharing with you some of my underwater adventures as I explore the islands of the South Pacific and the rugged coastlines of New Zealand. For those that don’t know, New Zealand is made up of two main islands and over 700 smaller islands. It has one of the worlds longest coastlines and, compared with its land mass, has one of the largest marine areas in the world. With varying sea temperatures and powerful ocean currents coming from every direction, New Zealand's underwater flora and fauna is diverse and complex. It is a divers dream destination.
My love for the underwater world started when I was very young. Nurturing my passion and love of the ocean, I would accompany my dad surfing and snorkeling around our local beaches.
Wanting to spend more time in the water, I began free diving and then spearfishing, however, as I saw the state of our oceans rapidly declining, I transitioned into scuba diving and underwater photography. I wanted to document the damage we were doing to our oceans, so swapped my speargun for a camera and have never looked back.
My goal is to provide the online community with images that evoke emotion and capture people's attention. I want people to care about our oceans and the creatures that live in it, from the biggest whales to the scariest sharks, all marine species need protection and we can make a difference.
Keep an eye out on the Mares blog as I hope to regularly post stories of my scuba and free diving experiences around New Zealand. Believe it or not, these little islands have some of the best unknown diving in the world - Did you know that Jacques Cousteau rated one of our island groups as a top 10 dive site in the world?!
I will also share my underwater adventures around the South Pacific with you. If you have never been there, then I hope my stories might entice you!! With a surface area of over 11 million square miles stretching from New Zealand to the islands of Hawaii , the south pacific is known for the best diving on earth. With warm, clear water, whales ,Manta rays, thousands of species of sharks, sea snakes and reef fish, the Pacific Ocean really has it all. In the cool New Zealand winter, I pack my bags and head to the warmer waters of the pacific to swim with the Humpback whales during their annual migration, my favorite time of the year!
On a final note, if there's something you want to see or read about from down this end of the world then comment down below and I'll do my best to cover it! We are lucky to have such diverse and exciting diving down here, I really look forward to sharing the best parts with you and welcoming you to my Big Blue Backyard!!!
Keep up to date with my adventures via my website or follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Dan Shootz Photography.