Underwater cinematographer Ralph B. White, who documented the expedition that found the Wreck of the RMS Titanic, passed away on February 4, 2008 in Glendale, CA. Ralph is survived by a daughter Krista, son Randy, and by fiancé Rosaly Lopes.
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Sections excerpted from DEMA.com:
Ralph B. White enjoyed a very distinguished professional career as an award-winning cinematographer, video cameraman and editor, with over 30 years of production experience and hundreds of motion picture and television credits to his name.
Ralph is one of the few people experienced in the methodology and technology required to safely reach the deep ocean depths in order to acquire images. In 1985, he documented the expedition that found the Wreck of the RMS Titanic, and in 1987 and 2000, he co-directed the salvage operation and photography during the recovery of over 5,000 artifacts from Titanic’s debris field. He was the submersible cameraman for the 1991 IMAX feature film Titanica, and in 1995-96, he was the expedition leader and second unit cameraman for James Cameron’s Academy Award winning feature film Titanic. White has made 35 dives to the 12,000 foot deep wreck of the Titanic, and has qualified as a copilot on the French Nautile and Russian Mir submersibles. He was operations supervisor of the Medusa ROV for James Cameron’s 3D IMAX film Ghosts Of The Abyss and technologies coordinator for James Cameron’s live broadcast from the deck of the ship for the Discovery Channel’s Last Mysteries of Titanic. Ralph was also the deep sea imaging and guest wreck expert for the History Channel’s Titanic’s Last Moments, which just aired last month.
For more than 25 years, Ralph has served as a contract cameraman for the National Geographic Society, where he and staff photographer Emory Kristof pioneered the development of advanced remote cameras, 3D Video, HDTV, and deep ocean imaging and lighting systems. Those assignments included the Discovery of Active Volcanic Vents along with their unique biological colonies in the deep waters of the east Pacific rise and Mid-Atlantic ridges; and the first multinational Exploration of Lake Baykal, in remote Siberia. He has filmed the world’s whales and sharks, including the largest ever seen flesh eating shark, a 30’ Somniosus Pacificus. He has been to both poles, and filmed the 153-year-old wreck of the HMS Breadalbane under the Arctic ice cap. Other NGS credits include Loch Ness, Suruga Bay, Wild Horses, Reptiles, Sharks, The Beebe Project, and The Great Whales, which won the coveted Emmy for Best Documentary. His cinematography has won the Grenoble Film Festival Gold Medal, Golden Eagle, Cindy, and Golden Halo awards.
Ralph White is a Knight, Order of Saint Lazarus and Knight, Order of Constantine for his filming and conservation accomplishments. His extensive field experience has been rewarded by his peers as: Fellow, The Royal Geographical Society; Fellow and recipient, the Lowell Thomas Award for life achievements from The Explorers Club; Fellow and current Chairman of the Board, The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, and is a Past President of the Adventurers Club. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Force Reconnaissance Team Leader, and is a highly decorated Reserve Forces Captain, who commanded the elite and award-winning Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Photographic Unit.