David Fleetham is one of the most published underwater photographers in the world. He began diving and photographing underwater in 1976 and has been in Hawaii since 1986 where he lives with his wife Denise, son Sean and daughter Kiara. David’s photographs have been published around the globe, with over two hundred magazine covers to date. In 1991 his photograph of a sandbar shark appeared on the cover of LIFE. It is the only underwater image to ever be published on the cover. His award-winning work has been published by National Geographic (he has done several assignments for The NGS), The BBC, The World Wildlife Fund, The Cousteau Society.
David has been on assignments to Indonesia, The Galapagos Islands, South Africa, The Bahamas, The Philippines, Micronesia, Australia, Sri Lanka, the Sea of Cortez, France, Spain, Portugal, England, China, the Red Sea, the Socorro Islands, numerous locations in the South Pacific and Caribbean, and back to the cold waters of British Columbia. The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Museum, The North Carolina Museum of Natural History, The London Zoo, Hong Kong Museum, The Maui Ocean Center, The Waikiki, Vancouver, Monterey Bay, New Jersey State, Ripley’s and the Aquarium of the Americas all display his work.
The story behind Bill Acker and David Fleetham meeting and becoming good friends is a story that has been building since 1991 when David first came to Yap as part of an island-hopping adventure for Continental Airlines’ in-flight magazine. As a few of Bill’s most memorable and long-lasting friendships also began, David’s scheduled time in Yap coincided with abysmal weather, but luckily David and he had shared their love of the oceans on the few dives they were able to do. This led David to ask Continental Airlines to give him more days in Yap which resulted in images leading to a major story in Pacifica Magazine.
David has been diving the oceans of Yap for years and has been a presenter for our annual MantaFest Photography School & Contest (www.mantafest.com ) numerous times. Some of David’s images from Yap may be seen below and for more information on him and his work, please visit www.davdfleetham.com