Video witness to the wonders of the sea

Videographer Rick Morris at work underwater.
Image: Gary Cranitch


Wednesday 3 September 2008
WHEN Rick Morris decided he wanted to give something back to the environment, he had a choice.
Give what little money he had, or try to make a difference in other ways.
After a long career as a cameraman in commercial and public television in the United States, he had a significant amount of experience behind the lens.
He was also an accomplished diver with considerable time spent underwater over the past couple of decades.
So when Rick had a life change in 2001 and decided to do something for the environment, the choice was made.
"I didn't have any money to give away, but I had these abilities," he said.
Rick took a class to learn how to combine his experience behind the camera and in the water to become an underwater film maker.
His first expedition was with a neuro-biologist from Los Angeles to Lizard Island in 2001, where he produced a film for PBS and another one for National Geographic.
"I got hooked. I really loved doing it," he said.
Videographer Rick Morris at work underwater.
Over the next few years Rick found more and more work as an underwater cameraman, including a stint in Indonesia he rates as "hands down" the best spot for his sort of work.
"Twenty-five per cent of all known marine species that exist are represented in the coral triangle in Indonesia," he said.
"It's just unbelievable. It leaves me speechless."
Earlier this year Rick did a short film for the Global Census of Marine Life, funded by the Sloan Foundation.
He offered to make a documentary about the rest of the Census, which runs until 2010, and was given a grant to cover the Census' projects and conferences until it finishes.
Now he travels all over the world covering conferences, symposiums, and expeditions like this one on Heron Island.
Rick said Heron Island was a good place for some of the organisms he's interested in – mainly invertebrates.
"I'm looking for critters. Small invertebrates," he said.
When Rick's work is done, he edits the video together and makes it available for scientists to use free-of-charge.
To see more of Rick's work, visit