Frederic Buyle (born 1972) is a renowned Belgian freediver and shark tagger. He became a Padi and Cmas scuba diving instructor and started to teach free diving in 1991. He set his 1st world record in 1995 and then decided to dedicate his life to free diving. He achieved three more world records between 1997 and 2000. In 1999, he passed the 100m’s mythical barrier on one breath of air. He was the 8th person to do so. In 2002, he started underwater photography to be able to show the beauty of free diving and the underwater world.
To take his pictures Buyle uses a simple formula: the water, available light, a camera and one breath of air. A freediver is able to capture unique moments thanks to his simple equipment and ease of movement. He has been taking pictures down to 60m on single breath of air on remote locations where scuba divers can’t access. What makes his photography different from any other underwater photography is his rather zen approach to this media.
He has worked for IWC Shaffausen, Hamilton Watches, Red Bull, and Tahiti Tourisme.
- All the images are taken during freediving on one single breath of air. No breathing aids are ever used.
- All the images are taken in available light in order to give the closest possible testimony of the scene
- The images might be post processed in image’s enhancement software but nothing is added or removed from the images by any process. The only allowance, is re-framing to make it closer to his vision of the scene.
- Buyle is a passive observer who wants to bring to a wide audience the beauties of the underwater world in its purest aspects. For that reason, he commits himself to disturb it as little as possible and to use environmental friendly ways and techniques to produce his images whenever possible.
 Published Work
His work is published in Apnea, Chocs, Daily Mail, Diver, Diver Japan, Dyking, L’Equipe Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, Focus, Geo, Hawaii Skin Diver, Melange, Men’s Health, National Geographic, New Look, Océans, Ocean Geographic, Outside, Paris Match, Plongeurs International, Thalassa, The Telegraph, the Times amongst others.
He is the author of [apnea], Catapac, 2011, the ﬁrst coffee table book about freediving. L’Apnée, Plaisir et ¨Performance, Vagnon, 2011.
 Shark Tagging
Buyle helps scientists for tasks such as shark tagging for telemetry studies. He has tagged successfully scalloped hammerhead shark, galapagos shark, lemon shark, great hammerhead shark and Great white shark. Together with freediver William Winram, he founded Ocean Encounters, a partnership dedicated to the marine awareness activities and helping scientists on the ﬁeld.