Marck Botha

Marck Botha

Marck Botha

How old are you?  34

We aware that you also bodyboard and are a phenomenal water polo player with all of this happening, when and how did you get into water photography? 

Haha, thanks for the compliments. I think my boogie and waterpolo background gave me the perfect tools to get into water photography. Ocean knowledge from bodyboarding, and developing my swimming strength and stamina in polo. 

Where you self taught (did it come naturally), or did you do some kind of fitness and photographic course?

I'm self taught, pretty sporty background with polo and some other stuff. From the photographic side, I started with GoPro that is pure point and shot, so no photo skills really required. I learned more about photography setting, researching online as I got new equipment. 

What about the ocean and photography drives you to push the limits as you do to get the incredible images you do?

It is more about being out there and the experience than the images. I enjoy being part of the energy of that is unfolding out there. There are certain days that I could definitely get better pictures shooting from the beach... But that's not nearly as fun for me!

We aware that you constantly are pushing the boundaries in terms of health and fitness, and we aware that you do this not only for you own well being but because you push for overall fitness conditioning for performance in extreme conditions. Where would you say has been the heaviest situation you have found yourself shooting in?

I would definitely have to say shooting up the west coast with Andre. At a spot that is a good hour to the closest people or cell phone reception, was just myself, Andre and a friend Greg. The beach break was maxing with sweeping currents, like I have never seen. There is also thick foam that accumulates in these rip sections, sometimes the foam will gather so high it's almost impossible to see where u going or even breathe in it. There was once I thought I was getting sucked out to sea... Luckily Andre (with the extra height of the board) managed to paddle over and chill with me in the foamy rip and help me get out of it!

Where was your longest session shooting in the water? Donkey Bay in Namibia for sure had a few all day sessions!

How many cameras have you destroyed battling the elements? I try really look after my stuff nicely. But unfortunately I have fried 2 cameras so far to date.

What are your favourite things to shoot empty waves or high performance action water shots? It depends, if it's small I prefer a nice sunrise with empties.... But if it's super big, I would like a subject for sure. 

You have been known to always be in the right spot what would you credit this precision to? I'm not sure! Maybe the waterpolo background and ocean knowledge. 

What is the most memorable and beautiful place you have travelled to in order  to capture the ocean in all her glory? It's such a cliche...Hawaii was incredible... 

What is your bucket list of dream destinations, places or people to shoot? I have always had an idea or dream to swim Nazare or one of those big wave spots on a beastly day. 

Do you still get a buzz shooting young groms that will go all out or do you only get a kick out of the mature level headed experienced watermen who know how to link up with you?  The stoke and energy shooting groms is always so good. 

On your left there is an athlete about to get the barrel of his life... on your right a mad backwash is about to collide with the incoming pulse....it could be magical or just  routine...which direction do you point the camera? I've gone both and depends on what is happening, which side the energy is at and drawing me.

You now married and have a beautiful daughter...some would say you are a "super hero dad" does this impact your train of thought in extreme high voltage scenarios?, does the risk of injury make you more cautious now or is your level of training and fitness keep you focused and calm?

"Super hero dad" that's very sweet hahaha! With the exception of one or two times that escalated or that I misjudged, I never feel like I have been putting myself at risk. I think it's good to come close to your limits, push and move them, as ability increases, without putting you life in danger. I hope I will keep doing that well into my old age, especially being a dad, it's so important to show our children the importance of being physically active in nature pushing your limits. 

You have been known to swim out with a pair of fins and camera in some serious surf, when most would turn away, you quietly get in there go about your business do you think this is because you aware of your fitness level or did activities you do growing up shape you to be so water savvy?

I think my ocean knowledge and swimming/fitness ability definitely makes me feel more comfortable and confident in the water. Having a strong mentaI practice and attitude, along with being in control of your breathing is probably more important, that comes with experience but can definitely train that too.  

Any words of advice for up and coming water men /  water women And water  photographers?

Anyone looking for more confidence in rough water, is to learn to control your breathing. If you can comfortably hold your breathe for a 5 wave hold down during elevated heart rate, what is there to worry about. Also once you start focusing on breath the rest will fall into place...