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Ron Taylor Memorial Thread


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#1 MikeVeitch

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:55 AM

[Edit by moderator: There is a main page on Wetpixel for tributes and memorial thoughts (you can add images there, as well). http://wetpixel.com/i.php/rontaylor]
---
In sad news, the great pioneering underwater film maker Ron Taylor has passed away peacefully at the age of 78, information here:

http://www.brisbanet...0909-25mb8.html


This thread is for folks to post anecdotes of their memories of Ron.

Here is mine:

Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a big fan of watching wildlife television shows, especially anything to do with sharks. Like everyone else at the time, I enjoyed Jacques Cousteau’s episodes but for me the pinnacle was watching Ron and Valerie Taylor’s escapades as they pushed the limits with sharks. I was continually fascinated as a beautiful blonde lady in a bright pink wetsuit would approach the largest of sharks and interact with them without fear. Although he was usually behind the camera, Ron was obviously just as fearless as he captured it all on film. As a young teenager, I felt that the Taylors were the epitome of underwater cool as each new encounter they showed on television featured the most amazing interactions with sharks of all kinds.

Fast forward to 2002 and I finally had the chance to meet them in person during my time working on the Tahiti Aggressor. We spent several trips together interacting with the amazing shark population throughout the Tuamotu Atolls. I still remember coming up from a dive where I noticed Ron filming me with grey reef sharks and gushing to the captain: “I remember watching them on television throughout my childhood and now here they are filming me with sharks!” Having the chance to interact with some of your childhood idols on a personal basis was truly a special experience.

It was a great pleasure to spend time with Ron and Valerie several times over my years in Tahiti and I will always remember the great kindness and patience that Ron displayed when surrounded by folks who held him in great regard. Without a hint of ego or impatience Ron would regale us all with entertaining stories of their adventure over the years and was always willing to answer even the most mundane of questions.

Although I knew he had been sick over the last few years, it was certainly with a great sense of shock that I heard he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am glad to have had the chance to befriend Ron and have the chance to spend time with this great pioneering underwater cinematographer and even greater personality, he will certainly be missed.

Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a big fan of watching wildlife television shows, especially anything to do with sharks. Like everyone else at the time, I enjoyed Jacques Cousteau’s episodes but for me the pinnacle was watching Ron and Valerie Taylor’s escapades as they pushed the limits with sharks. I was continually fascinated as a beautiful blonde lady in a bright pink wetsuit would approach the largest of sharks and interact with them without fear. Although he was usually behind the camera, Ron was obviously just as fearless as he captured it all on film. As a young teenager, I felt that the Taylors were the epitome of underwater cool as each new encounter they showed on television featured the most amazing interactions with sharks of all kinds.

Fast forward to 2002 and I finally had the chance to meet them in person during my time working on the Tahiti Aggressor. We spent several trips together interacting with the amazing shark population throughout the Tuamotu Atolls. I still remember coming up from a dive where I noticed Ron filming me with grey reef sharks and gushing to the captain: “I remember watching them on television throughout my childhood and now here they are filming me with sharks!” Having the chance to interact with some of your childhood idols on a personal basis was truly a special experience.

It was a great pleasure to spend time with Ron and Valerie several times over my years in Tahiti and I will always remember the great kindness and patience that Ron displayed when surrounded by folks who held him in great regard. Without a hint of ego or impatience Ron would regale us all with entertaining stories of their adventure over the years and was always willing to answer even the most mundane of questions.

Although I knew he had been sick over the last few years, it was certainly with a great sense of shock that I heard he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am glad to have had the chance to befriend Ron and have the chance to spend time with this great pioneering underwater cinematographer and even greater personality, he will certainly be missed.

Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a big fan of watching wildlife television shows, especially anything to do with sharks. Like everyone else at the time, I enjoyed Jacques Cousteau’s episodes but for me the pinnacle was watching Ron and Valerie Taylor’s escapades as they pushed the limits with sharks. I was continually fascinated as a beautiful blonde lady in a bright pink wetsuit would approach the largest of sharks and interact with them without fear. Although he was usually behind the camera, Ron was obviously just as fearless as he captured it all on film. As a young teenager, I felt that the Taylors were the epitome of underwater cool as each new encounter they showed on television featured the most amazing interactions with sharks of all kinds.

Fast forward to 2002 and I finally had the chance to meet them in person during my time working on the Tahiti Aggressor. We spent several trips together interacting with the amazing shark population throughout the Tuamotu Atolls. I still remember coming up from a dive where I noticed Ron filming me with grey reef sharks and gushing to the captain: “I remember watching them on television throughout my childhood and now here they are filming me with sharks!” Having the chance to interact with some of your childhood idols on a personal basis was truly a special experience.

It was a great pleasure to spend time with Ron and Valerie several times over my years in Tahiti and I will always remember the great kindness and patience that Ron displayed when surrounded by folks who held him in great regard. Without a hint of ego or impatience Ron would regale us all with entertaining stories of their adventure over the years and was always willing to answer even the most mundane of questions.

Although I knew he had been sick over the last few years, it was certainly with a great sense of shock that I heard he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am glad to have had the chance to befriend Ron and have the chance to spend time with this great pioneering underwater cinematographer and even greater personality, he will certainly be missed.

Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a big fan of watching wildlife television shows, especially anything to do with sharks. Like everyone else at the time, I enjoyed Jacques Cousteau’s episodes but for me the pinnacle was watching Ron and Valerie Taylor’s escapades as they pushed the limits with sharks. I was continually fascinated as a beautiful blonde lady in a bright pink wetsuit would approach the largest of sharks and interact with them without fear. Although he was usually behind the camera, Ron was obviously just as fearless as he captured it all on film. As a young teenager, I felt that the Taylors were the epitome of underwater cool as each new encounter they showed on television featured the most amazing interactions with sharks of all kinds.

Fast forward to 2002 and I finally had the chance to meet them in person during my time working on the Tahiti Aggressor. We spent several trips together interacting with the amazing shark population throughout the Tuamotu Atolls. I still remember coming up from a dive where I noticed Ron filming me with grey reef sharks and gushing to the captain: “I remember watching them on television throughout my childhood and now here they are filming me with sharks!” Having the chance to interact with some of your childhood idols on a personal basis was truly a special experience.

It was a great pleasure to spend time with Ron and Valerie several times over my years in Tahiti and I will always remember the great kindness and patience that Ron displayed when surrounded by folks who held him in great regard. Without a hint of ego or impatience Ron would regale us all with entertaining stories of their adventure over the years and was always willing to answer even the most mundane of questions.

Although I knew he had been sick over the last few years, it was certainly with a great sense of shock that I heard he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am glad to have had the chance to befriend Ron and have the chance to spend time with this great pioneering underwater cinematographer and even greater personality, he will certainly be missed.

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#2 dhaas

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:50 AM

As Mike detailed.........

I'll add although not getting to dive with the Taylors I met them many times at dive shows. Always gracious and certainly one of THE pioneers of solving UW photography problems is how I remember Ron. Many times on limited budgets they got the shots and their success was well earned.

Educating the public on sharks and the marine environment cannot be measured in their dedication over the years.

The book "Diving Pioneers and Innovators" edited by Brett Gilliam has lots of great details on this adventurer's life.......

RIP Ron.........

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#3 gina

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:21 AM

I was saddened to hear the news this morning. I had the privilege of meeting and diving with Ron and Valerie at Tiger Beach back in January 2010. As an ocean lover and a shark person it seems like I've always known who Ron and Valerie were, so getting to spend a week with them was just wonderful. Ron was a soft-spoken but strong and interesting man who, even in his mid-70s, was happy underwater with a camera in his hands. Rest in peace my good man.

Here's a photo of Ron and Valerie with Emma at Tiger Beach:

Posted Image
in awe of emma by g-na, on Flickr

-Gina

#4 echeng

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:14 AM

Hello, everyone. There is a main page on Wetpixel for tributes and memorial thoughts (you can paste image links in there, as well). http://wetpixel.com/i.php/rontaylor
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#5 petern

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:51 PM

This is a great tribute to one of Austalia's true treasures. RIP Ron


#6 Steve Douglas

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:39 AM

I had no idea until I stumbled on this thread. Guess I have been out of touch lately. Both Ron and Valerie were and are unchallenged pioneers. RIP
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