Dive Spotlight: Vance Burberry ASC, ACS – Crafting Visions Beneath the Waves


The transformative power of light has guided Vance Burberry ASC, ACS from the theaters of Sydney to the grand stages of rock and roll, and into the ethereal world beneath the waves. His journey is a testament to the profound impact of following one’s passion. Celebrated as both a cinematographer and a NAUI Instructor Trainer (NAUI #32694), Burberry’s career encompasses over 35 years of diving experience and two decades dedicated to educating others and advocating for ocean conservation. 


From Sydney’s Shores to the Heart of Rock and Roll 


Growing up in Sydney, Vance was introduced to the world of diving at 17 years old. Interestingly, the iconic film “Jaws” ignited Vance’s passion for diving, sparking a lifelong fascination with the ocean’s apex predators and the storytelling potential within their world. However, Vance was also captivated by another element: the transformative power of light. 



Burberry quickly discovered his calling behind the scenes, fascinated by the way light shaped stories on the stage. He delved into the intricacies of theater lighting, holding Richard Pilbrow’s “Stage Lighting Design” as his bible. His hard work in local theaters led to lighting for iconic Australian rock bands like Cold Chisel and INXS, setting the stage for his global journey with light. 



The INXS world tour marked a pivotal moment, bringing Burberry to America. He seamlessly transitioned to the film industry, where his flair for concert lighting caught the eyes of the heavy metal scene. As a Director of Photography, he crafted visuals for legendary acts, including Guns N’ Roses and Alice Cooper, putting the narrative at the forefront of each frame. 



From Concerts to Coral Reefs: A Unique Path to Enhancing NAUI Training 


As Burberry’s film career flourished, working with stars like Adele and engaging in projects for the International Hydro Toll group, his early love for the ocean’s depths never faded. His drive to share his dual passions led him to become a NAUI Instructor Trainer.

Recognizing a gap in existing programs, he developed a NAUI Instructor Specified Specialty Course in underwater cinematography, contributing significantly to NAUI’s mission of Dive Safety Through Education. Burberry structured his program to blend technical skill with environmental stewardship, emphasizing the precision and care required for underwater filmmaking. 




During the pandemic, Burberry adapted his teaching to a virtual format, transforming his class into an interactive studio. He engaged students worldwide with multiple cameras and green screen technology, ensuring the immersive nature of diving was palpable even across digital platforms. 




Conservation Through Education

Burberry emphasizes the importance of conservation and the preservation of our underwater environments. Observing firsthand the decline of marine environments like California’s kelp forests, he has made it his mission to instill a sense of guardianship for the ocean among his students. By integrating the art of cinematography with dive safety essentials, he advocates for the protection of the world’s underwater environments through environmentally conscious dive practices.




A Cinematographer with a Mission 

Looking to the future, Burberry aims to continue inspiring and instigating change through his contributions to cinematography and diving education. He envisions elevating the conversation around ocean conservation, using his platform to spread awareness and cultivate a community of divers deeply committed to preserving the marine ecosystem. 




Vance Burberry ASC, ACS has a story that is a riveting blend of adventure, creativity, and conservation. His journey from rock stages to ocean depths highlights the transformative power of following one’s passion and using it to make a difference in the world, both above and below the water. His story is that of someone who has not only witnessed the beauty of the world, but has also illuminated its stories for all to see. 


Connect with Vance Burberry on his Instagram (@vanceburberrydp) and on Facebook! You can also learn more about Vance and his work by visiting: https://www.vanceburberry.com/ 


For information on Vance Burberry’s Underwater cinematography class, visit: https://www.vanceburberry.com/underwatermasterclass