Hi, I’m Chill Will also known as @thedjchillwill. I am a photographer/videographer and a DJ… and a teacher.
I use photography as a way to document and experience Earth. Photos can show people the beauty of the Earth they have yet to experience and encourage them to protect and preserve the Earth. I also use photography and videography to bring awareness and education to important environmental issues like pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change.
I have been using Canon’s 5D Mark II as my camera for almost 3 years now and have shot all of my underwater photos on it.
I have been face to face with sharks, stingrays, crabs, lobster, surfers, manatees, and techtonic plates.
Here are some photographs I’ve captured on or in the water.
I put my heart into my craft and work really hard to get the best images I can.
Last week I was shooting some light surf near Irvine, CA. This was near the end of my month-long US road trip.
The above is the last photo my camera ever captured.
As you can see from the photo, water leaked into my underwater housing. This is the housing I’ve used for three years to capture all of my underwater photos.
While I was out shooting, the camera became unresponsive. I looked inside the housing. Water. I rushed to shore.
I called my trusted camera repairman in Florida. He said that I had pretty much no chance and that my only hope was to bring it to someone who would open the camera and get off all the water. He said I needed to have it done within the hour to increase my chances. Salt water corrodes quickly.
We rushed to the car and started driving and calling all nearby camera shops. Most wouldn’t open the camera themselves, they send them out.
Fortunately, I found a Canon Service center in Irvine, CA (where I was at the time). I ran in and told them the problem. They said that they wouldn’t do it.
My friend wouldn’t let me give up that easily and told me to try again. I did and explained to a different employee that I have spent almost all of the money I’ve ever earned on Canon gear including the $2500 I spent on this camera.
I just wanted to have it opened. Fortunately, this helpful man convinced them to open it. We saw the corrosion on multiple PCBs and on the CMOS Sensor. The cost of replacing all of these parts was more than the cost of the camera.
We wiped down the affected areas, but it was no help.
My baby was dead.
I felt like I had lost a friend. I didn’t know what to do with myself. That camera had been with me everywhere. It had seen almost everything I had seen and captured many beautiful and meaningful moments.
It was hard to comprehend that it wouldn’t be able to do that anymore.
I knew that camera intimately – its ins and outs, its quirks, its strengths.
Well, that’s it. That’s the bad news. I am without my Canon.
I was hesitant to do a Gofundme, but multiple friends convinced me that it would be the best way to get a working camera so I could start taking photos and videos again.
Photography is how I process the world. I want to continue to show its beauty and the importance of its preservation.
If you are able to donate I would be so grateful, but if you’re not, sharing the link with everyone you can would be wonderful.
I want to help you too! If you donate over $25, I would happily send you an 8×10 print of your choice. Just email me firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me which one you want and where to send it. Check @thedjchillwill on instagram and thedjchillwill.com for more of my work.
Thank you for everything. The support and willingness to help that I’ve gotten so far is really appreciated.
Here are some other photos that I’ve taken:
I know I’m just dreaming here. I thank you all for believing in me.