The Journey: David Hall, Zoologist Turned Photographer

Curators’ Corner

The Journey: David Hall, Zoologist Turned Photographer

You never know when you’re going to discover your true passion. You may think you’ve found it and then bam – something else captures your imagination and takes you on a new ride through life.

Take for instance David Hall, author of Beneath Cold Seas. Hall graduated from college with a degree in zoology. He knew he loved animals and had been fascinated by them since he was a child. That base interest led him to take up scuba diving, which put him up-close with the incredible marine life of the Pacific Northwest. He then began photographing the animals, “with rather primitive equipment, mainly just to document what I was seeing,” he tells

Hall said he eventually became inspired by photographers like Eliot Porter and Douglas Faulkner, and thus began to approach his photography (and underwater photography in general) with more of an artistic eye.

Now Hall is an award-winning, widely published underwater photographer with his own book. He has been named the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year twice, and also won an additional first prize in the Sierra competition and third prize in the World Festival of Underwater Pictures. His work has been featured in National Geographic, Smithsonian and Time. He’s even done advertising for the Discovery Channel, Microsoft and Nikon.

It’s safe to say Hall found both his passion and his niche – definitely an inspiring story highlighted by his journey to finding them.

Check out a few of Hall’s aqua-majestic images below; then tell us how you discovered your creative passion.


All images © David Hall