Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Winter-Spring 2019

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While he didn't win the prestigious competi- tion that's organized by the Natural History Museum in London, Hofman's photo was named a 2017 contest finalist. The ocean advo- cacy group SeaLegacy posted the sewage surfer image on social media. Kim Kardashian West shared it on Twitter. National Geographic later published the photo. Hofman's own Instagram post, captioned with questions about the future of the world's oceans, earned nearly 34,000 likes and 2,000 comments. For weeks after the contest announcement, his life was a blur of interview requests and per- sonal responses from all over the world. "In hindsight, the caption almost caught people as much as the photo and that was not my expectation. I was just writing honestly, and I think that it resonated with people in a way I wasn't anticipating," says Hofman. "I really like to let nature speak for itself. I'm just the person there, holding the microphone in some sort of way." The Southern California native never set out to be a photographer. Hofman studied marine biology and scientific illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Deter- mined to avoid life behind a desk, he started leading nature trips and settled on a career path while exploring California's Channel Islands with a group of schoolchildren. "I realized that I liked being on boats, I liked moving and I liked being on the sea," Hofman says. "Once that job ended, I wanted to go back out." He landed a job as a deckhand and learned the ropes of expedition cruising before eventually working his way up to a naturalist role. Hofman now travels for about six months a year as an educator, photographer, dive master and expedi- tion leader for Eyos Expeditions. The company operates customized land tours and luxury yacht charters in Antarctica, Alaska, Melanesia, Vanuatu, Australia's Kimberley region and beyond. "Now, I'm not just talking about the things that we see. I'm also planning and executing the trips, and working hand-in-hand with the cap- tain to figure out the logistics of making these C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 9 167

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