uwphotographers: UWP: STEVE HINCZYNSKI (USA)

Monday, June 8, 2015

UWP: STEVE HINCZYNSKI (USA)



















STEVE HINCZYNSKI
Steve was born and raised in New Jersey and is now living in Arizona. He pursued many interests as he grew up, but it wasn’t until 2006 that he got his scuba certification. His childhood fascination with sharks was calling. Seeing them on TV or in aquariums could no longer satisfy his desire to observe sharks in their world -- it was time to meet them in their natural habitat. As the logbook pages began to fill there was a migration from shooting video to shooting still images and the basic open water certification progressed into a Divemaster certification.

Steve noticed something interesting. On many of the normal (non-shark dive) dive trips, most of the divers were happy to not have seen any sharks on the dive. A great number of divers seemed to have succumbed to the media hype that sharks were things to be terrified of. He took this as an opportunity to try to right the misconception. And in every ensuing discussion about sharks and diving with them this question was always asked, “you’re in a cage right?” He happily explained that a cage wasn’t necessary.

Things started to become clear. The only way to undo the damage done by the media was to have proof sharks weren’t mindless killers out to get people. Getting shots of sharks and people together would be a must on every shark dive. Photographs need to portray sharks in a majestic manner, not just gaping jaws. Although admittedly, while Steve really appreciates a dramatic open-mouth, big teeth shot, he knows those won’t help change perceptions about sharks. Along with capturing inspiring and thrilling images, Steve believes in promoting conservation and coexistence with these amazing creatures. Even though Steve isn’t on the “front lines” of the shark and ocean conservation battle, he’s always ready to talk about sharks and set the story straight. His passion has led to several prize-winning photographs and he has been published internationally and domestically (US) in both print and digital media (including 1 cover to date).

In addition to sharks and other marine life photos, there’s a good chance you’ll see his name on the corner of photographs of the big cats (particularly the striped ones