Noted underwater photographer Nick Caloyianis talked about, “Close Encounters with the Supersharks: Great Whites, Basking Sharks and the Greenland Shark” at the Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 ECWG dinner at the Cosmos Club.
Over a span of 30 years, Caloyianis’ artistry has been honored with numerous awards, including an Oscar, Primetime Emmys and a NOGI in the Arts.
He has directed and produced films for National Geographic and Discovery Channels and has filmed for IMAX and Hollywood screens. He continues to collaborate with marine scientists, not only to record their work, but to help them make their groundbreaking discoveries.
He was the first to film the bizarre Greenland shark in Arctic waters. At the time (1995), not much was known about this polar creature.
Caloyianis is also an accomplished underwater photographer with his still pictures appearing in hundreds of national and international publications. He is photographer for the highly popular summer read, “The Shark Handbook”, by Greg Skomal.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland in 1973, and thereafter began his Post-graduate work with Eugenie Clark, the legendry ichthyologist who was a pioneer in scuba diving for research. She is often referred to as “The Shark Lady.”
In 1974 Caloyianis was awarded his first grant to study and film “sleeping” shark behavior with Clark off Isla Mujeres, Mexico. During his research there, he befriended a renowned filmmaker, Ramon Bravo, who taught him the finer aspects of filming marine life and wild pelagic sharks for documentaries and Hollywood.
These initial experiences would later inspire Caloyianis in his career as an extraordinary underwater filmmaker.
An avid conservationist, Caloyianis has used his visuals to help in lobbying for the protection of sharks, the creation of undersea parks (e.g. Ras Mohammed Park in the Red Sea), as well as sanctuaries (for nurse shark mating areas in the Dry Tortugas).
Additionally, his company has been instrumental in raising awareness and much needed funding for the highly successful Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative to help restore marine habitats in denuded areas through placement of low-lying cleaned structures in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean waters.
More recently, his visuals have helped raise awareness for much needed Federal protection of vital natural reefs, located in our mid-Atlantic waters offshore.