Underwater cinematographer John Roney is at home in the water. So it should come as no surprise that while spending much of the pandemic close to home on Canada's Vancouver Island, he found himself exploring local marine life. Roney, who also works as a video editor for SeaLegacy, recently published a stunning video of what he found—and the results are incredible.
Roney's work shows how the waters of the Pacific Northwest are teeming with life. From octopi to jellyfish, each animal is captured in rich detail. By setting his work to dramatic music, Roney takes us on a cinematic journey underwater and proves that there's so much to see beneath the surface.
“What surprised me most when I first began diving was the sheer amount of color in our waters—entire walls of purples, yellows, and pinks,” Roney tells My Modern Met. “I think this is something most people still don’t realize, and it’s one of my favorite things to share.”
The inspiration for this project came from the questions Roney would receive from onlookers while he was diving. When he would surface, they would ask if he saw anything interesting. So rather than let them take his word for it, he decided to use his skills and show them.
Roney also hopes that his video will raise awareness about western Canada's marine ecosystem. As he's passionate about ocean conservation, it's important to him that more people understand what life lives below the surface of these waters.
“I want locals from Vancouver Island to feel the same pride for marine life in these waters that they do for our forests and mountains,” he shares. “And I’m not just talking about the famous orcas and salmon, but all of the incredible species that call these waters home; giant plumose anemones, Puget Sound king crabs, wolf eels, and everything in between. We have this incredibly diverse ecosystem right in our own backyard that needs protecting and yet because of the many challenges of cold-water diving, few people have had the opportunity to see what lies beneath.
“If people are going to fight to protect this ecosystem, they have to know what they stand to lose. My goal is to help people to fall in love with the animals they never even knew existed.”
Underwater cinematographer John Roney spent the pandemic exploring the waters off Vancouver Island.
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by John Roney.