I would say I almost had an obsession with exotic animals from a very young age. Back then I was drawing them, using only photographs or documentaries as reference, but they were created but other people. It was clear later in life that I had to take my own pictures, and somewhat merge art and photography.
I was lucky to be part of amazing expeditions, research and conservation projects all around the globe. Helping endangered animals became the central focus of anything I did. Photographing them was an essential tool to inspire people to love and to care. Now I live in Cairns, Australia, and I am lucky to be one of the directors of a turtle hospital. All i wanted to do was to help the founders Jenny & Paul, especially to get more funds to do a better job. We started building a new Centre and i started to photograph our patients. With these photos we started an online presence and were able to raise funds by selling self-printed T-shirts and through increased media attention.
I do photograph turtles in the wild, too, but the images you can see here are of Eva & Ella; two of our patients. They are almost ready to be released to the wild again. We feed turtles with squid. This helps to speed up the recovery process and gives them the nutrients they need. So my idea was simply to catch this moment when they grab the squid. I never thought the images would be loved as much as they are now. I do have a special editing process, with sharpening, dodging & burning, adding motion blur and coloring. I spend maybe half-an-hour editing one image that for me is the perfect moment. The turtles are used to us as carers, and, in fact, they like to get a touch and interact with us; we are creating a bond. I don't take images of the ones that don't like the camera or the ones that are really sick and need to be left alone. But Eva & Ella want every attention they can get, and we now have between 10-20 sea turtles in care at a time with over 60 volunteers. - Christian Miller
To find out more about information about the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre as well as donate, visit www.SaveOurSeaTurtles.com.au. Follow them on Facebook. See more of Miller's work at his website, www.CuckooCrew.com.au. Follow him on Facebook and 500px.
Equipment and settings: "Fast(sea)food" - Nikon D800, Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX fisheye lens @ 17mm, Aquatica UW Housing, Ikelite DS161 Strobes - 1/250th @ f/11 - ISO 200 - "Squid vs Sea Turtle" - Nikon D800, Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX fisheye lens @ 17mm, Aquatica UW Housing, Ikelite DS161 Strobes - 1/200th @ f/9 - ISO 200