By Kirsten Allen
When people consider places to shoot photography, they rarely think to stick their cameras in streams and rivers right in their backyard. For David Herasimtschuk, the instinct to submerge his gear was immediate; he’s preternaturally drawn to underwater life. His art tells the stories of the many species thriving in the aquatic environment.
Although Herasimtschuk has had an interest in photography for quite a while, he began to put his hobby to work while working towards a Wildlife Fishery Biology degree at Colorado State University. He saw a need for quality photographs of amphibians and fish in their natural habitat for research purposes, and his peers quickly recognized the helpfulness of his photos as well.
For the past five years, Herasimtschuk has been working closely with Jeremy Monroe to share stories of the many ways people are connected with rivers and aquatic life from around the world. The two form the Freshwaters Illustrated team, and they do a significant amount of work in the Willamette Valley and surrounding areas.
Although underwater wildlife photography poses challenges such as capturing the perfect shot, as well as the timing and planning involved with being able to portray certain actions or aspects of wildlife, Herasimtschuk enjoys getting in the water. Whether it is rivers, lakes, or streams, with just a mask and snorkel, he wants to show a side of aquatic habitats that many are oblivious to by capturing images that enable people to see what the ecosystems have to offer.
When Herasimtchuck began his photography, he used a basic Canon Point and Shoot, but his cameras have evolved to support his work over the years. He has stuck with Canon, specifically the Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 5D Mark II. “For the underwater work, I use an underwater camera housing made by Aquatica that is designed to hold the Canon 5D Mark III,” he says.
Herasimtschuk aspires to bring awareness to the beauty and diversity associated with aquatic wildlife through his photography, in the hopes that it will inspire people to be more conservative when it comes to rivers and the biology associated with them.
Herasimtschuk’s work is typically featured in Wildlife Conservation Magazines, but can also be viewed by visiting his website, www.davidherasimtschuk.com, and by featured films soon to be shown throughout the valley.