This feature in Impact is focused on highlighting the "hidden talents" among UTMB's employees. If you have a hidden talent—or know someone who does—please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Name: Dr. Christopher McQuitty
UTMB Talent: Professor of Anesthesiology, medical director of the Jennie Sealy Operating Rooms and director of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology
Hidden Talent: A photographer who specializes in capturing the beauty that exists beneath the water’s surface
A little more than a decade ago, Dr. Christopher McQuitty was given a complimentary underwater camera system while attending a scuba camp with his family. What started as a fun trip with loved ones, turned into a new passion for McQuitty, who has not stopped taking underwater photos since that first experience.
Fast forward to today and the primarily self-taught photographer now has his own underwater camera system, complete with specialized lights.
“The lighting is probably more important than the camera for underwater subjects,” says McQuitty, who has been a member of the UTMB faculty since 1994. “You have to get very close because of the light degradation down there.”
According to McQuitty, patience is also key for capturing the perfect shot.
“For me, underwater photography is very opportunistic,” says McQuitty. “If you focus too much on trying to find something specific during a dive, you’ll miss a lot of awesome subjects.”
While the majority of the images McQuitty captures are underwater, he does occasionally try to capture some of the wildlife found at the water’s surface. For these above-water shots, he uses a completely different camera.
Some of McQuitty’s photographs adorn the walls of UTMB’s Anesthesiology Department, but for the most part he posts his work to social media. While he normally shoots whatever presents itself while he’s underwater, scenes from reefs are a favorite subject.
“So many people never have the opportunity to see the really fantastic things that live down there,” says McQuitty. “It’s too cool not to share.”