Michael Maes is a wildlife filmmaker, specialized in big animals and animal behavior. His portfolio (both underwater and topside) covers the polar regions, temperate waters and the tropics. He has a passionate interest for polar bears and Arctic whales. Though stemming from a past in IT, he passionately diversified to cinematography in 2012. His work has been broadcast on various national television, Nat Geo Wild, Outside Television, CBC and received recognition at numerous international film festivals. Michael recognized the impact of storytelling through pictures and film and uses this platform to create awareness of the remarkable wildlife realm to the broad public. At the heart of his films is showing people the beauty and fragility of this blue planet, from the depths of the warm waters to the white vastness of the polar regions. Michael produces films with integrity, serving to both educate and inform the general public about environmental issues dear to him. Seeking to remain at the forefront of cutting edge technology, he chooses RED cameras and Zeiss cinema lenses to capture the perfection of nature under optimum conditions. Although he advocates it is not "the camera taking the picture” but "the person behind the camera", he also believes technology by itself is an additional tool for filmmakers. In 2015 Michael was inducted as cinematographer in the Ocean Artists Society (www.oceanartistssociety.org), an organization uniting artists worldwide to raise awareness and protect the marine environment through art. Michael is also a founding Navigator of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (www.reefresearch.org), a leading scientific research centre in the Caribbean focusing on coral reef restoration, research on coral resilience, and ocean education.
Following 27 years’ service with the retailer British Home Stores, which included management of the BHS flagship store in Oxford Street London, Ruth packed her suitcase, gathered her SCUBA dive gear and headed for a new challenge in the Maldives, a destination she was no stranger to having visited the archipelago on 30 occasions during the preceding 10 years.