Reef Light Gallery

The guy behind the lens…


Robert Wintner is Snorkel Bob, Hawaii’s largest reef outfitter. His five marine volumes show reef society and personalities, narrating conservation victories and politics. Wintner is dedicated to reef recovery and the global campaign to ban the aquarium trade; “It’s all one reef.

Wintner’s twenty books include fiction and memoir, well reviewed, optioned for film rights and recognized for excellence.

Reef photography rounds out the opus with five volumes on reef culture and characters of Palau, Hawaii, the Great Reef, the Virgins, Fiji, Tahiti and Cuba. Wintner’s reef photography book REEF LIBRE, An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism & the Last, Best Reefs in the World (Rowman & Littlefield: Feb, 2015) and REEF LIBRE, the Movie, capture this pivotal time, from the streets to the reefs. Dragon Walk (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) and Dragon Walk, the Movie, link reef health and politics in Indonesia, the Philippines and Hawaii.

The Dark Hobby is a reef documentary on the three hubs of aquarium extraction: Indonesia, the Philippines and mostly Hawaii. Controversy continues with aquarium collectors still working Hawaii reefs in violation of a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling. Aquarium plunder and consequence is documented, as aquarium collectors blame reef decimation on global warming and pollution. The campaign continues with a technical ban on West Hawaii aquarium collecting but no enforcement. Reef stewardship in The Reef State is in the balance. The Dark Hobby presents the pros and cons from both sides of the argument, commercial vs. conservation, 75 minutes.

The sum of these parts comprises a reef conservationist with a gifted eye for composition, focus and insight. Wintner is heard across the Hawaiian Islands and around the world.

His short fiction has appeared in Hawaii Review (University of Hawaii) and Sports Illustrated. His historical novel, In a Sweet Magnolia Time was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a PEN/Faulkner Award. Los Angeles production companies optioned his sailing novel Whirlaway and motorcycle adventure The Modern Outlaws for film rights.

Wintner lives on Maui with Anita, Cookie and Larry. His writing draws on real time experience, combining decades on the high seas and below the surface with a literary style honed to efficiency.  Wintner’s recent novels are A California Closing, Where market value looks moxie in the eye, and all parties sign off, and Reefdog, an adventure romance of Hawaii and Polynesia with fishy values. Robert Wintner is Executive Director of the Snorkel Bob Foundation and active in Hawaii’s conservation community, working diligently to protect Hawaii’s reefs.