09 Jan Ocean Artisans – Blue Wesley
Meet Blue Wesley, a San-Diego-based commercial photographer, traveler, and acai bowl connoisseur. He’s the fourth artist to appear in our oceans artisans series. At the end of the month, we’ll raffle off one of his beautiful pieces to support our ocean initiatives so keep an eye on our social media for more information.
About Blue: His portfolio transcends style and color into vibrant and alluring images based around the ocean, light, and the never-ending quest for outdoor adventure. The effects of wanderlust have never faded, even after visiting 30+ countries to date, and more on the way. Professionally, Blue is the head of Polarized Studios, a content-based consulting and production firm specializing in photo and video content libraries. Clients include large brands and small businesses working in hospitality, recreation and travel.
1. What came first, your love of photography or the ocean?
Ocean for sure, learned how to surf at age of 14 and just had so much fun getting out there with friends. Then it developed into a passion, surfing daily and shaping surfboards in my garage at 16. Not til college at UC Santa Barbara did a friend of mine introduce me to the first waterproof compact camera by Olympus. Purchased one for myself and started swimming in the waves documenting, and printing out ocean images on every inch of my bedroom walls. It was a natural transition that was allowed through technology at the right time for me.
2. When was the first time you really felt one with the ocean?
I remember hunting for cowrie shells or “tiger eye’s” as we called them, as a little kid on a family trip to Hawaii. I became obsessed with finding these treasures and I think these early moments set a foundation for my love of the ocean’s abundance.
3. What is it about the ocean that inspires you?
The immense diversity of creatures we know about it is mind-blowing. It’s incredible to think we know more about Space than the ocean deep. And historically, its super interesting how humans learned to navigate the oceans using stars. I can’t imagine some of the days they attempted to cross treacherous seas in hollowed out canoes. I like that it never stops moving, the continual motion is raw energy. While it can go from dead calm to raging and dangerous, the energy is always there.
On a creative level, it’s the way sunlight hits the ocean at different moments of the day, when you are watching for it you see some amazing colors and types of light interaction with water molecules. This transcends into my photography deeply as I am always watching for special moments in the combination of water and light.
4. Who inspires your work?
Im just gonna throw out a list of epic photographers that just keep pushing the limit:
Paul Nicklen, Nat Geo photographer. I just read that while searching for narwhols from a single engine plane they had to do an emergency landing, and were stuck on an icescape for a month waiting for a part. Then he dislocated his shoulder falling threw some ice, but powered through the pain on the hunt for photographing the elusive animal. What a ledge! Others include Domenic Mosqueira in Tahiti and Rambo Estrada in New Zealand.
5. What is your favorite place to photograph?
NORTH SHORE, OAHU, hands down. Oh wait, Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater in East Africa? Or wait, no, Underwater in Moorea, French Polynesia? Hmm this is a tough one.
6. What do you hope people take away from your photography?
I hope people feel a sense and appreciation for the natural world, create a never-ending pursuit to see amazing places, watch for special lighting moments in those places and cherish them. I’d hope these experiences will turn the tide on society’s prerogative to take care of this special blue gem we call home.