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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Ron and Valerie Taylor

n.d.
an unknown artist

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 41.8 cm x 29.6 cm, image: 39.0 cm x 26.4 cm)

Valerie Taylor AM (b. 1935) and Ron Taylor AM (1934–2012) were marine conservationists and pioneers of underwater cinematography. A world and Australian spearfishing champion, Ron gave the sport away on realising that photographing sharks was a vastly more rewarding pursuit than killing them. He and Valerie, also a winner of several Australian spearfishing and scuba titles, met in the late 1950s and married in 1963, by which time their first major documentary The Shark Hunters had been sold to Australian and American television. They formed their own production company in 1969, the year they were consultants for the US feature film Blue Water, White Death. Throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s they created footage for numerous films and television programs, including the live shark underwater scenes for the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws (1975). Vigorous and successful campaigners for marine conservation, they received many prestigious awards for their environmental work and underwater photography, their images appearing in magazines such as National Geographic and Time. Valerie's work continued following her husband's death from cancer in 2012.

This photograph is thought to have been taken near Norfolk Island by the skipper of the boat on which the couple is pictured.

Gift of Valerie Taylor and Ron Taylor AM 2006

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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