The Power of Photography
Before I was ever a photographer I was a student creatively lost, looking for a medium that would tell my stories. I tried music, studied painting, and architecture, and really enjoyed sculpting. Photography became part of my life only after I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life by the ocean. In a way, I think all of the arts I studied came together as I grew as a photographer and an underwater creator. That's where conservation made its way into my life. Creating photographs wasn't enough. As I spent my days in the water I became aware of all the issues that are hidden underneath the surface and I started to feel the need to speak up for those issues and turns out, pictures do speak louder than words.
Ocean acidification is an issue that was completely foreign to me until I started working exclusively around the conservation community. I've seen the effects of this carbonated ocean: bleached, dying, and dead reefs that look so hopeless. The colorful coral I had only seen in documentaries and photos looked like a thing of the past in person. So what causes this global and silent death and what can we do about it? To make it simple, the increase of CO2 in our atmosphere is making our oceans more acidic. In this increasingly acidic any organism struggles to survive but for corals and shells in particular their structure physically weakens and dissolves.
Sped up, the effects of this raised acidity in the water are the same as you can observe by dropping an eggshell in vinegar. Slowly the shell simply dissolves. It's a sad reality we can still fix with some simple changes to reduce our carbon footprint, like choosing to buy local, sustainable, and avoid single-use products.
This photo project was executed in collaboration with The Underwater Woman - Christine Ren, an artist who specializes in underwater performance and movement.