OGX Emerging Pro Wildlife Photographer
- A pair of spotted dolphins darted beneath me while I was snorkelling in the pristine waters of the Bahamas
Wai Hoe started taking interest in wildlife photography in 2011. He has since received the OG Pictures of the Year Photo-Journalist award as well as the Wyland Master of Competition Award. His images and essays have appeared in Ocean Geographic, and he has also been recently inducted to the Ocean Artists Society with peers such as David Doubilet, James Cameron, Ernie Brooks, Stephen Frink and Michael AW.
Besides pursuing his passion in wildlife photography, Mok is also the Executive Director of an industrial electrical engineering company. He has a background in Marketing and Management, with a PhD in Business.
See more of his work at Natures Palette - www.mokwaihoe.com
1. OG: Your pictures are artistically beautiful, what drives your passion?
Getting up close and personal with Mother Nature is a humbling experience. Ever since I started scuba diving, I have been in awe of the underwater world; from witnessing dolphins attacking a sardine baitball to watching an anemone fish tending its eggs, these experiences have delighted and inspired me. I hope to be able capture these precious fleeting moments and do the wonders of the natural world justice.
2. OG: Who / What has been your greatest influence?
In 2011, I signed myself up for the sardine run and I bought myself an entry-level DSLR, which I thought was fitting for the occasion. I really had no clue what I was doing, as I did not have any prior training but was driven, rather foolishly, by sheer enthusiasm. Michael Aw, who was the expedition leader, was very kind to give me instructions. I would say that started my venture into serious photography. Apart from Michael, I had the privilege of diving with several renowned photographers, such as Amanda Cotton, Matthew Meur and Christian Vizl who have, in one way or another, influenced my interpretation of the marine world.
3. OG: Tell us of your perspective of our ocean
The ocean has always been my sanctuary; a place where I find solace and recharge from life’s endeavours. There are serious issues regarding the degradation of the ocean that need a cohesive voice to address them. We are connected to the ocean and the decisions we make today will determine if life as we know it, can continue for future generations.
- Dressed in stripped pyjamas, Convict Tangs is an unfortunate name for the otherwise delightful surgeonfish. Photograph shot in Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico.
Splashes to Flight
- It takes a few stumbles and a few splashes before we find ourselves taking off to soar in the air. A Cape gannet taking off on the surface of Algoa Bay, South Africa.
- When the night falls in the Cocos Island, hundreds of white tip reef sharks come out to hunt. As the sharks scurry beneath us in a feeding frenzy, I was very fortunate to capture two sharks crossing each other under the high speed burst of my camera.
Silkies & Manta
- An oceanic manta ray gracefully glided 10 meters beneath me when I was snorkelling on the surface. Through the crystal clear waters, I found an opportune moment when the manta moved into the frame of three circling silky sharks to capture this image.
Japanese Snow Monkeys
- Mother and child Japanese macaques soaking in the natural hot springs; whereas monkeys have an inherent fear of water, the Japanese macaques of Jigokudani park have learned that soaking themselves in the hot springs is the perfect way to keep themselves warm during winter.