Kona, HI

  I've been in Kona for the last week and I have 2 more weeks before I return to NC. I lived here for almost 2 years in the late 90's after college- surfing and teaching scuba... it really was the good life but after a while the distance from my family became too much so Eastbound I returned. 6 months ago my Dad moved out here for good and I'm loving my reunion with the reefs that used to be my backyard.

  It's not just the ocean that holds the appeal here, it's the flora and faces and even the scent of the air that creates a full sensory experience when on the Big Island. I find it challenging to capture it's essence in digital media format because a camera can't smell or feel... but I try nonetheless!




New episode of IN-SEAtv coming out this week!!!


Howler Brothers Apparel

A new coastal clothing line is sweeping the market and they picked me to help represent the brand in the underwater world! The gear is stylish, durable and breathable with some of the most unique artwork you'll ever see. The guys behind the brand live the lifestyle that the brand represents, and you won't be finding Howler Bro's gear in PacSun so check out the website and gear up!!!

Fish Shaka

Horseshoe Crab


IN-SEA Images web-Store is Live!

My Mom has been begging me to make some of my photography available for purchase... and I've learned throughout my life to listen to my mother! I now present the official IN-SEA Images website, hosted by Printroom. Enjoy them for that is what they are for!

If you do decide to make a purchase, please contact me first- I will send you a discount code for reading my Blue Frontiers Blog as a thank you!!

IN-SEA Images


Appalachian Shred Session

All water is FUN... even if it's frozen!! Snowboarding used be as important to me as diving, but after a few helicopter rides off the mountain, I don't ride with the zest that I used to... fortunately the vertebrae, spleen, liver, ribs, and pride survived the lessons learned :)

22 Jan 2011: 30+ is the new 20, Alex Llinas and I at the App Terrain Park. Filmed entirely on a GoPro Hero at 720p/60fps.

Music by The Sainte Catharines.



Nat-Geo Education Profile

My high school friend did an pretty cool interview with me for a new National Geographic website. Click the post title see the profile...

By Stuart Thornton

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ryan is currently working for the National Geographic Channel, freediving to take video footage of great white sharks off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.


At 11 years old, Ryan became certified as a scuba diver while growing up in Richmond, Virginia. “My dad got into diving,” he says. “As soon as I was old enough, I got dive lessons, and he and I traveled all over, scuba diving. By the time I was 15, I had hundreds of scuba dives, and I was already infatuated with sharks.”

“I think one of the first real shark experiences I remember was when I was 14,” he says. “My dad and I were in the Sea of Cortez [Mexico] in the middle of nowhere. We dropped down to this deep seamount, and the current was ripping. We grabbed on to the seamount, and this big shoal of hammerheads came by. There were more than you could count.”

At 18, Ryan took a job as a scuba instructor. Three years later, he graduated from University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a bachelor of science degree in marine biology. “Pretty much everything I did from a young age was geared towards trying to make a living while being in the water,” he says.


“When the equipment is working right. And the conditions are right. And the fish are there. Everything comes together.”


“I would say that the equipment is the biggest challenge. The way I started was getting easy-to-use equipment and just happening to frame it right. People started wanting more, so I had to get more technical. It’s not about ‘I can hold my breath for a long time.’ It’s about being able to use a camera.”


“Being an underwater guy, when I think of a place, I think of what fish are there, what the reef structure looks like. Fiji is known for its soft corals. It’s gorgeous there. Whereas Yap Island in Micronesia is all hard corals and cuttlefish and unique species. Totally different geography.”


Even members of the same species, like great white sharks, can behave differently depending on their geographic location.

Ryan says that the behavior of the great white sharks in the eastern Pacific, where he is currently diving, might differ from other populations.

“White sharks are worldwide in temperate waters,” he says. “The work that I’ve done with them is unique to its location. I’ve worked with guys who have done most of their work in South Africa, and they tell me sharks are completely different there. I’m sure they look exactly the same, but they act differently. They eat different things.”


“The best advice I can give is take every opportunity that you can if there is education involved, even if it’s not specific to what you want to do, so that you develop a broad skill set that will make you the full package,” he says.


To investigate the underwater world, Ryan suggests exploring the nearby coastline with your family or taking a dive class.


The Craft

A Craft is an artform with function. Regardless of it's application, whether it's woodworking, surfboard shaping, visual media or just the way you live your life... if it's unique, rewarding and worthy; it's a craft!

My buddy Allen crafts surfboards that reflect his attitude on life: a helix of retro and rowdiness with a dash of earth-tones. I craft photographs- an attempt to combine the other four senses into one visual experience that, if performed well- might create an emotion.



Sometimes the right direction in life isn't obvious... but take your time, and in general go with either your gut or your heart. Even if things don't pan out, you won't have any regrets. And like my Grandmother says, "Shoot for the Moon, because even if you miss it, you'll land amongst the Stars"...


IN-SEA Images: Always right?

It seems that much of the animal life I shoot tends to swim to the right, my right that is... or perhaps I am often more interested in the right sides of their bodies as they swim by, as if I actually had a choice in the matter... I'm strangely reminded of the film Zoolander.

Anyway, these images are for sale on large format canvas gallery frames. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed asking the subjects to "Say... SUSHI!" Please e-mail me for prices and sizes... plenty more to come so stay tuned :)