Master of drama and light
St. Petersburg, Florida’s Austin Coit is no stranger to the effects of light and shadow; it’s a vivid, dramatic look into the art of sport fishing. His skills stemmed from an appreciation for the cutting-edge content coming from the surfing industry. He further explored photography during a trip to Alaska, honing his skills in a college documentary production class. Since he was already involved in the fishing community, he merged the two passions for a fulltime career in marine photography.
Coit captures images of sportfishers crashing through stormy seas, marlin twisting aggressively in attempts to throw the hook, and the
delicate intricacies of fish patterns and scales. “I like creating narratives implicitly with photography rather than explicitly, so I try to do that as much as possible,” he says.
Coit’s first published shot—an image of feeding ballyhoo—was featured in Marlin. Recalling the moment, he said, “I’m pretty sure I screamed; I think I called like 15 people to tell them.” Although his striking photos are multifaceted, he enjoys taking portraits most of all.
His beautiful imagery is captured with a Canon 1DX Mark II when shooting on the water, and Sony camera bodies for everything else, while relying on a gamut of lenses with varying focal lengths. “It’s important to always be ready,” Coit says.
“One that still sticks out is the allblack shot of an F&S yacht going upsea in South Florida,” says Coit of an image that appeared on the cover of the April/May 2017 issue of Marlin.
“It was a matter of lots of unpredictable factors coming together at once,” he continues. “The sky offshore was super dark from a storm, and there was just enough sun hitting the side of the boat that I was able to smash the shadows and make it look like the whole thing was black. That was one of those insane moments where, if I hadn’t been ready for it, I would have blinked and missed it.”