Ernie Brooks

Ambassador of the Marine Environment, photographer, adventurer, pilot, diver and educator, Ernie Brooks has devoted his life to marine photography for the past 65 years and remains a tremendous voice for ocean exploration and preservation of the marine environment.

His photographic legacy is the evidence that has illustrated changes in our environment, while he himself remains a tremendous voice in our need to witness the effect of that change.

As the son of Ernest H. Brooks, founder of the internationally-renowned Brooks Institute of Photography, Mr. Brooks was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps for part of his life’s journey before forging his own path.

As a noted professional photographer, educator and ambassador to the industry, Mr. Brooks has won international acclaim for underwater photography and audio/visual presentation. As a working professional, he has contributed to numerous magazines and organizations, is a recipient of numerous honors and awards and his work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium Shark Exhibit, Yugoslavia ‘Man in the Sea,’ Our World Underwater, Smithsonian ‘Planet Earth’ and was also honored by the Smithsonian Institute in January of 1995. He is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and is one of forty photographers in the world admitted to the prestigious Camera Craftsmen of America. 

Mr. Brooks has been a trailblazer in the development of underwater photographic equipment and technique, and has witnessed great industry advances. And though he has harnessed and implemented much of that new technology, at a time when a plethora of color underwater photographs illustrate magazines and glossy brochures, he, perhaps surprisingly, favors black and white. “I don’t think that blue, an inherent color of the ocean, really adds to many photographs, especially of mammals - and I like the quality of black and white. Also, I get the personal satisfaction of working with black and white in being able to control the development and printing.”