Jean Tresfon is a marine conservation and wildlife photographer who specialises in underwater and aerial images. He lives in Cape Town and his passion lies in showcasing both his city and his country as a superb photographic destination for capturing alluring and unusual wildlife images.
Jean is also a pilot and has found that flying and diving share a common trait in that they both allow a different and unusual perspective. More recently, he has started building a collection of aerial images to showcase the magnificence of the Western Cape - you will definitely have seen his photographs making the rounds on social media!
Jean’s initial foray into underwater photography was a natural extension of his many years spent diving, and the frustration experienced in trying to explain the wonders of the underwater world to his surface-dwelling acquaintances. He first took a camera underwater in 2001 and has never looked back. His first professional underwater photography rig was bought in 2006.
Jean believes that the lack of official protection for many of our underwater ecosystems stems from their very inaccessibility and an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. He hopes that his images will inspire more people to both visit and conserve these beautiful places and their inhabitants.
Asked why he thinks Cape Town is special in terms of underwater photography, Jean says: “This temperate water zone is incredibly rich in nutrients and animal life with a huge variety of species available to photograph. From the giant mega-fauna such as southern right and humpback whales, to sharks and dolphins of every description, as well as hugely diverse fish species, and of course not forgetting the small stuff for our macro friends!
“Photography has the ability to either shock and galvanise people into action (in the case of showing the horrible side such as mountains of dead abalone), or to amaze and inspire them to protect our coasts by showing them the wonder and beauty of what we still have left that is worthy of protection,” he says.
Be sure to check out Jean's photography, along with the work of eight other photographers when you visit the Aquarium in April and May! If you are interested in purchasing any of the prints, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.