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A Monumental Undertaking

A Monumental Undertaking

For his dream assignment, photographer Ian Shive had to undergo a litany of tests and preparations: blood work, urine analysis, lung capacity, physicals, hearing and colorblindness exams, a mental health study and a lifeguard swim test. He had to get licensed as a commercial drone pilot and complete rigorous scuba diving exams. Where was he going? Some of the most remote places in the world: the far-flung marine national monuments of the Pacific Ocean.

The assignment from the Fish and Wildlife Service resulted in a trove of incredible photographs—some of the first professional documentations of these dreamy islands and waters—and an IMAX film. I had the honor of talking with Shive for a feature that accompanied his photo essay in National Parks magazine. Read the story and check out the images by clicking here. Warning: insatiable wanderlust may be stoked…