Photography

I find it almost crazy that you can just push a button and stop time. Pausing life for a moment to investigate or replay just a single moment, or even a fraction of a moment. In the past couple years photography has gone from just pushing buttons to a full blown passion for me. I feel that it is such a powerful tool for conservation, especially when combined with today’s media platforms. You can capture jaw dropping encounters and bring the beauty and mystique of our oceans to humans that have never had the chance to even glance across the ocean. To me, that power is almost surreal. Not only can we bring a voice to those who can not speak for themselves, but it means we can inspire even those living the furthest from the ocean to fall in love with it, and all of its beautiful inhabitants too.

Make sure to follow Jay Clue on Instagram for more pics! If you are interested in purchasing a print or licensing a photograph, please contact us for more info.

After a week of strong winds plankton tends to get trapped in certain areas along the coast in the bay of La Paz. This creates a really special encounter as the whale sharks congregate together and instead of swimming steady to feed like normal, they hang at the surface barely swimming and instead just sip the plankton soup by opening their mouths and sucking water in. It’s an incredible encounter to see them so relaxed and watching them feed. We spent over an hour with this juvenile, but there were at least 10 other whale sharks all around us all doing the same thing. They truly live up to the gentle giants nickname. Did you know La Paz has one of the best protected & regulated whale shark ecotourism platforms in the world? ...

Starting off the week with a little salty sea puppy boop!

Just wrapped up a special @diveninjas La Paz expedition for our friends at @insiderdivers Had an awesome weekend playing with sea lion pups, whale sharks, shipwrecks and some awesome humans. Then this morning when I went to drive home my truck battery died… later i found out not only is the battery beyond dead but the engine needs some work too. Woo! Great way to kick off the week! 😣 But looking back at the interactions I had this weekend with this curious pup makes it all worth it. Sometimes life throws a bunch of stuff at us and we just have to take a sec to drive our focus back to the good things that are happening and not succumb to all the noise.
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This is personally my favorite shot of the year. I love the serene feeling it gives me. Seeing a human peacefully connecting with what some might call a massive dangerous predator. The elusive and critically endangered Great Hammerhead shark dwarfs the diver, but there is no fear, no anxiety or stress… just a beautiful connection between human and ocean. A connection more of us humans need to experience to understand why so many of us find peace below the waves, and why so many are fighting so hard to protect this magical yet fragile world. 2021 has been a challenging yet rewarding and humbling year. I hope 2022 brings many more incredible experiences, beautiful new friendships, strides forward for marine conservation, and many more awesome adventures for all of us. So from my ocean family to yours, Happy New Year ninjas! Much love. ...

What’s your Christmas dive wish for next year? Mine is to hopefully encounter sperm whales again. In this shot my buddy John is just above a pod of 3 female sperm whales that we watched fall asleep only moments early. As they started to wake up they were rubbing against each other cuddling as if to give each a nudge it was time to get up and start the day. It was such a beautiful experience.

- Shot taken with special governmental permit in Dominica -
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This week I jumped on a last minute chance to see some of Florida’s unique residents. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be anything spectacular, but wow, I was so completely wrong. I wish I could of extended the trip just to spend more time with them. They’re such incredibly beautiful and gentle, yet silly, creatures. I’ll be posting the full story over the next week, but the trip now ranks in my personal top 5 Wildlife encounters ever and will be one i will never forget. However the trip was quite bittersweet. While there we learned about the massive issues the Florida manatee population is currently facing. This year alone over 1000 endangered manatees have died in Florida - when you consider their estimated population size is only around 6000 in the state, that becomes a massive blow to their existence. I want to explore this issue more in depth but it’s too much for a single post, so over the next weeks I’ll be writing some articles as well as posting more info on our experience with them, the threats they’re facing right now, and how you can get involved and help out these beautiful creatures.

A big thanks to Lauren & Captain Ron from @gcexpeditions for not only taking us out to see the manatees, but teaching us about them and your passion for protecting them and their home. And of course to @itsthuytime for your great energy & being an awesome adventure buddy! Shot on the @sonyalpha A7RIV in a @nauticamhousings
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A whale shark cruises the shallows in the bay of La Paz, Mexico. Whale sharks have recently been added to the IUCN Green List thanks to the hard work of @simonjpierce, @molly_k_grace , and @gonzo_araujo
Most of us are familiar with the IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species. The new Green List looks at the conservation of animals in a different way, classifying them into 9 species recovery categories. Each category indicates the extent of which species populations are depleted or recovered compared to its historical population levels. What makes the list unique is that it is looking more at the potential for the recovery of a species population in the future. Whale Sharks are currently listed as ‘Largely Depleted’ but there is hope. The paper states that within 10 years there is a good chance that the population could stabilize, ‘albeit at a low level’, if the reduction in targeted fishing and bycatch mitigation continues. Hopefully in the next decade we can see the population of this incredible creature, our planet’s largest fish, beginning to recover.

🧜‍♀️: @meganhassa
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The IUCN estimates that Munk’s Devil Rays, known for their gigantic aggregations in Baja and their incredible breaching behavior, have globally undergone a 30-49% population decrease in the past 38 years. While some localized populations have seen decreases up to 78% in the past 20 years. In 2020, three remarkable female scientists joined forces to create @mobulaconservation to better understand and protect mobula rays. Learn more about the incredible work that Marta, Melissa, & Nerea are doing in my recent article in the latest issue of @savingearthmag Available online for free now. ...

How awesome is this!? I rarely ever post pictures of myself, but this shot by @kenzokiren is just too good not to post! Taken just before sunset on our recent trip to Egypt for the @diveninjas Project Shark expedition.
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📷 I get asked quite often what kind of gear I use. This pic has my go to set up: @sonyalpha A7R IV in a @nauticamhousings with @seaandseaimaging D3 Lightning Strobes and a @gopro 9 mounted on top - all from our good friends at @backscattervideophoto
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In the eye of the storm. My brother, @david_valencia_photography doing what he does best flying over a tornado of jacks at Cabo Pulmo National Park. If you haven’t seen Dave’s shots yet go check them out right now. He’s got some legendary skills and personally been a huge inspiration for me. ...

Have you ever seen a whale sleeping? While in Dominica we came across this group of sperm whales as they where swimming. We slipped into the water ahead of them and they began to dive down. I thought to myself, ah man, they’re diving deep… but to our surprise once they got about 5 meters below us they turned vertical and went to sleep almost in perfect sync. After 15-20 mins one began to slowly wake up and roll around, sleepily swimming up to the others and rubbing against them as if to be like “wakey wakey…”, then they slowly all began to wake up and make their way to the surface to breathe before going back down to sleep again. It was incredible to see them actually go from swimming directly to sleep and then get to see them wake each other up. Shooting photos of napping sperm whales still remains as one of my favorite underwater encounters ever. ...