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Last updated: 20 Mayl 2010

photo of Darryl Torckler at work darryl torckler

Darryl Torckler

photo of  Darryl Torckler

About Darryl

I was born in Whangarei, New Zealand in 1956 on a stormy night, in the middle of an infamous Northland flood. My family mum, dad and two brothers moved to Auckland early in my life, eventually settling on Aucklandís North Shore where I attended Rangitoto College.

My first photographs were taken on a Box Brownie camera during Sunday drives with my family. I was always interested in the sea and my childhood bedroom was covered in my own drawings of fish. I started snorkeling in my teenage years and then learned to scuba dive so I could do underwater photography.† I knew by then that I wanted to be a professional photographer, and specifically to take underwater photography. But my sensible parents convinced me that I needed a profession to support myself. I worked many different jobs, but despite their encouragement, I didn't buy a house or save any money. Instead, I used the money I earned to go diving and take more photographs! My last paid job was for a company that moved to Hamilton, and although I was offered a job there, I chose to stay in Auckland and take financial compensation. What did I spend the money on? A house? No. A car? No. I paid for a six-month dive trip to do underwater photography around the Pacific Ocean.

I haven't had a job since that day in 1990.

Instead, I have traveled all around the world, but especially New Zealand, taking photography of fish, sharks, dolphins, whales, beaches and natural subjects. I sell my photographs through two agencies, Getty Images and Photo New Zealand, for use in advertisements, books, fliers, calendars, web use, etc.

Over the years, I have discovered the best ways to approach animals; the best lighting and sea conditions to take photos in; and developed my own range of underwater camera housings; like a split level underwater camera system, a pole cam, an underwater camera remotely controlled which extending the range of my photography.†

Lately, I have been exploring the limits of digital manipulation and montage, as used in The Life-size Guide to New Zealand Fish , Real-size Guide to the Rocky Shore, panorama views produced for Bird's-Eye View and the wide underwater panorama's in the Top Dive sites of New Zealand book.

I always dreamed of writing a book. Teaming up with Gillian, my wife, has allowed me to realise that dream. I still dream of creating a beautiful illustrative book about the Poor Knights Islands, my absolute favourite place to dive and hopefully we will one day do this beautiful book of the Poor Knights islands underwater filled with awesome underwater photography of the caves, caverns, archways and all its inhabitants. In the meantime, I really enjoy sparking childrenís awareness of New Zealand's native animals above the tide line and underwater.

Iíam very lucky that my hobbies photography and diving are my job. But I also like to watch movies (especially science fiction) and make sculptures out of stone, clay and cement.

Photography Awards

Darrylís natural history photographs have received critical acclaim and won over 100 international awards. Click here to see Darryl's list of photography awards

Book Awards

Birdís-Eye Viewó2007 LIANZA Elsie Locke Award, short-listed

Photo by By Joel Simon
Darryl Torckler Photographer Facebook page