Open Water Studio
If the ocean could talk, what would she say to us? What secrets does she hide deep down under miles of dark water? Photography is a wonderful tool when it comes to storytelling, and being able to bring a camera underwater and create in a world with no gravity adds a dimension to creativity allowing the viewer's imagination to really play with a story. And with that said, mermaids are the most fitting character to bring a message to the public’s attention. So, if she could speak, what would she say?
Light changes everything and how fun is it to turn blues into pink and a mermaid into an elegant delight. Light brings life to everything in sight and the ability to see it move and create with it is what makes photography so beautiful. On the same line advanced underwater lighting can turn a blue, flat image into a deep photograph. Light adds dimension, color, it brings attention to form, and shapes every line. Playing with light underwater is for me one of the most interesting challenges. You need the right gear and a little bit of fantasy to overcome problems that you would never have out of water.
This is how the photography series Trashed Beauty came to be in collaboration with Ten Morrow, one of the most creative women I've ever worked with. This collection represents the life that is ruined by pollution daily in and around the ocean. To photograph this art series we collected trash from friends and family. Every piece was cleaned and sanitized and then divided it by kind before adding it to the wet stage. Every photograph mimics what it would look like to be trapped in a garbage patch, besides the last two that are staged in an oil spill look alike.
The ocean in the Bahamas was a pleasant surprise. Colorful, full of life, and the sharks. Oh, so many sharks and so many different species. Freediving in an ocean so plentiful made photography so exciting and almost overwhelming. This wreck was sitting miles away from the shoreline with no land in sight. I was testing out some new gear, a new camera and wider lens and as I dove down to take a photo of the wreck structure covered in fish this gold nurse shark swam up from under what was left of this old boat. She looked like art more than an animal. Gently and slowly she swam along the edge of the wreck to then slip underneath the metal bars again. I still think about how different this ocean was and how all it takes is to have a healthy population of sharks to make the ecosystem really thrive.
Beauty one breath at a time
There is something so beautiful about the intensity of a moment spent underwater. Gravity stops playing the usual role, time slows down, everything else besides the present moment just fades away.
Your heart beat slowly becomes calm, and all the sudden you have to deal with the fact that the only way to make anything work is to let the water take control over you and play by its rules.
That moment, when your model gets to understand the medium and have a new understanding of what our bodies are capable of, thats what I love to photograph. Surrender and trust in your own body create a beauty that will never stop surprising me.