/ 2018 / Nature / Underwater
Oooooh... that tickles!
I went to the island of Bushuanga in the Philippines to photograph dugongs in the wild.
In order that the dugongs ability to feed is not adversely affected, diver interaction is
regulated and limited.
I was thrilled to find this one, and to swam with it on 5 consecutive days, some days
getting closer than others.
On almost all occasions the dugong was surrounded by remora suckerfish as it searched
the sand for food. The remoras were presumably being opportunistic, hoping to get scraps
of leftover food to eat.
Periodically the dugong rolled on its back, slithering around as if trying to rid
itself of the suckerfish. So much sand was disturbed that at times I had trouble seeing
the 8-foot long marine mammal.
After nearly 2 decades as a pediatric nurse, Michele entered the field of documentary filmmaking in 1991. While her underwater still photos have been published internationally, the focus of her work has been producing marine wildlife documentary films for television and theatrical release, including the IMAX features Island of the Sharks, Deep Sea 3D and Under the Sea 3D. She was also featured on-camera in the IMAX film Coral Reef Adventure and Shark Mountain (PBS series Nature), and has lent her expertise to several IMAX features including MacGillivray Freeman Films’ Journey to the South Pacific and Humpback Whales, and National Geographic’s Ocean Giants.
Michele strives to make family-friendly films that raise awareness of and increase appreciation for the marine environment. The films she has produced during the past 25 years have been seen by thousands of children and adults. She has received positive feedback from many who have said that her films not only increased their knowledge of the marine environment, but have also been the inspiration to turn their career choices toward marine sciences and / or environmental issues.
Michele is a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Women Divers Hall of Fame, is a recipient of the NOGI, has been inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, and has received the International Wildlife Film Festival’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Marine Conservation & Media. In 2016 she and her husband Howard were named as honorees of the 2016 Hans Hass Award.
Awards Produced numerous award winning marine wildlife documentaries for television and IMAX Theatrical release
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 1992: The Underwater World: Highly Commended
World Shootout Photo contest competition 2016: Wide-Angle: Semi-finalist
Annual World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition 2016: Making a Difference, Humans in Action: 1st Place
Ocean Geographic Photo Competition 2017/2018: Animal Behavior: Finalist (final results TBA)