Ken Pagliaro is a professional underwater photographer who gets some of his best shots in the most extreme conditions.
Not only is he battling regular technical issues most photographers deal with — such as lighting and capturing moving subjects — but he's fighting currents and the occasional shark too.
"I hope to get that A++ image," Pagliaro told In The Know. "The one that just tells the whole story."
Pagliaro's career is a great balance between his love of creativity and his adventurous nature. He's photographed ice caves and glaciers in Alaska, encountered grizzly bears in southern California, climbed Mount Rainer and joined the Coast Guard during training missions.
As an experienced surfer, Pagliaro loves water photography the most. But shooting in the ocean comes with a number of issues Pagliaro has to stay on top of.
"You always want to be with someone. You know, it's always great to have a partner — I've been in situations where I've felt confident so I've gone alone and I've gotten into trouble," Pagliaro said. "It's really about getting my breath, filling up my chest with air and diving down and having enough time to compose."
In order to get that coveted "A++ image," Pagliaro needs to anticipate movements and lighting before they happen.
"It's really, really difficult to nail that perfect shot."
Being patient and successfully capturing the picture makes the wait and dealing with technical and physical issues all worthwhile. On of Pagliaro's favorite photos was one he took after he waited and watched waves crashing along a pier.
Finally, he found the scene he wanted: A well-timed moment where a surfer was waiting to jump into the ocean as an enormous wave smashed into the pier.
"One thing that the ocean teaches me all the time is to be present," Pagliaro said. "I feel very grateful and fortunate to be able to do what I do."
Watch the full In The Know: Extreme Lengths episode above to watch the lengths Ken Pagliaro goes to, to nail that perfect shot.