Mario Cyr: 20,000 views under the sea

The images of Mario Cyr have traveled around the globe. The one we often describe as Steven Spielberg from the depths has been diving for 44 years. The explorer and director of photography has pointed the lens of his camera in all waters of the planet and in all conditions. His impressive underwater shots were seen in some 150 documentaries produced by big players such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic, IMAX, the BBC and Disney.
We will also be able to appreciate some of its catches captured in these very special conditions along the Sherbrooke Photo Course.

“I did my first dive at the age of 16, for the pleasure of the sport. As I was born in the Magdalen Islands, I spent my summers on the beach, I grew up surrounded by water. It’s my world, but I have never planned a career like this. All of this happened over the events that came together, “says the 60-year-old artist.

It was a call from National Geographic in 1991 that propelled him into the profession. “I had done cold water capture until then, but what I was offered here was really something else. ”

Another thing like a big first: it was offered to go filming walrus in the Arctic. The experience was promising. Other expeditions followed. In his viewfinder, he saw spectacular, extraordinary and unprecedented, which he documented in pictures.

“I had the passion and patience to make my way into this universe. You really have to like it to dive into all contexts and you have to be patient because you have to go back to the water countless times before you get to capture the image you are looking for. ”

Underwater technique

Crunching scenes in the big blue brings its share of technical imperatives. All photographers will tell you: the early morning and late afternoon often offer optimal light. Underwater, it is rather at noon that the brightness is the best, when the sun is at the zenith.

“There are things you have to do differently because water acts as a big filter. The equipment is quite heavy. We must have the necessary to dive, but we must also bring additional light, otherwise we are not able to faithfully color. ”

Fascinated by the “big bugs “, the diver intends to devote himself to the photography of killer whales and giant octopus in the coming years. He will also continue to animate conferences and school meetings.

“These meetings have also changed my practice. The children ask very specific questions, very macros. I understood that I had better focus less on the overall image than the detail that hangs. I tightened my frames. ”

Our world…

Talking with someone who has seen so close to the Arctic, Antarctica, the West Indies, Iceland, Alaska, Russia and all the rest of the world is necessarily about the essential question of the environment. . From the time he walks from one pole to another, Mario Cyr has seen first hand – and imagine – the impact of climate change.

“In 1991, the survival of polar bears was not threatened. We have seen things change with increasing heat. I am an eternal optimist, but I look at my granddaughters still young … I wonder how the world will be left to them. I really trust young people. But I find that there is no political leadership for the preservation of the environment. At the global level, ecology should be an umbrella that is above all else, this is the only way to be consistent in the long run. “

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