Shipwrecks, marine life, treasure—if the salt life in imagery speaks to you, SALT Gallery welcomes you to a special preview of images presented by National Geographic Photographer and local legend Don Kincaid from 6pm-8pm on Tuesday, June 6 at 830 Fleming Street.
A filmmaker and photographer for more than 40 years, Kincaid’s images document the marine habitat of the Florida Keys and they heyday of treasure-hunting, crossing “photojournalism with graphic design elements,” he says. His images offer historic moments and colorful observations of marine life that draw the viewer into the world he himself is drawn to.
“Truth is I just shoot for myself and hope that others enjoy what I see,” says Kincaid. “I am not looking for the deeper meaning of it all.”
Kincaid grew up in the military and later served in it himself, living in diverse places such as California, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York city, Germany and the Philippine islands. Of all the places he lived, Key West called to him most.
“Key West always felt like home,” he says. “I went to school here for a few years and stayed with my grandparents on my mother’s side as often as I could—mostly summer vacations which I spent underwater.”
Though mesmerized by the ocean life and shipwrecks found in the Key West waters he grew up fishing and snorkeling in, Kincaid began his official career photographing fashion products and Formula One race cars in New York. He eventually tired of the city and returned to the island, where he met the famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher and began documenting the treasure hunting operations for him.
“As luck would have it, I was tasked with shooting underwater images of an anchor and found an 8 and ½ foot gold chain instead, the first treasure from Atocha,” says Kincaid.
His work with National Geographic began in 1972 while shooting nearly every summer on the treasure boats for the following 14 years, resulting in several articles and films. In addition to these accolades, he has worked on over a dozen feature films and books, about 25 documentaries, and just completed a children’s book on treasure, due out soon. He has also been a civil servant to the ocean he photographs, serving on the board of directors for the Mel Fisher Museum and the advisory council for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
“Don Kincaid’s remarkable photos of the treasures of the Florida Keys exemplify the local artisan focus of SALT Gallery,” says Maria Sharpe, the gallery and artisan shop’s new owner. “We are thrilled to provide Don and other area artist with a forum to share their work.”