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Forms of NatureWednesday, September 30, 2020
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In all the years that I've been taking underwater photos I've captured a lot: from various shark species and beautiful corals to the most amazing underwater creatures. People often ask me what I want to photograph next. Obviously, there are still quite a few things on my list. My biggest frustration is shooting dolphins. Every time we go to a place where they are supposed to be, they are suddenly not home. Pretty frustrating. But it also shows a beautiful aspect of nature: it cannot be controlled.
Karin Brussard • OM-D E-M5 MarkII • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm 1:1.8 fisheye PRO • PT-EP13 • 2 x Sea&Sea YS-D2
Recently, Waterproof Expeditions, a client of mine, contacted me and asked if I could come to Malta for a week. I've been to Malta several times. Diving in Malta is beautiful: the island is famous for its clear blue waters and there are many shipwrecks to explore. So, I responded with a big "Yes". I asked my client which shipwrecks they wanted me to capture. The answer was short: "none". Utterly surprised I asked why not, because what else could they want me to photograph? There's definitely some marine life, but the wrecks really make it special. The answer was something I have never expected: they wanted me to capture a submarine!
Two weeks later, I was on a plane heading for Malta. I always use the travel time to prepare myself and think of different ways to capture the photos and videos. But a submarine … Honestly, I had no clue. I decided to just wait and see and take it from there. In Malta the crew of the U-Boat Worx welcomed me. They gave me a tour of the mother ship, and on the afterdeck there was this very luxurious 3-person submarine. This was unlike anything I had imagined, and it had nothing to do with an army submarine!
Before we started diving we made a plan of action. When I dive with a model I always use hand signals to express what I want. So that's what I agreed on with the pilot of the submarine. When the submarine was ready to descend I dived into the water and descended with the submarine. My buddy and me looked at each other and we just pretended that this was the most normal thing in the world. I was glad I had a fish eye lens so that I could capture the wreck and the submarine in one picture.
I was constantly looking for beautiful spots next to the wreck and I signalled the pilot to come closer. The fun thing is that it was no different than shooting a diver. We communicated by using signals and after a while our results were getting better and better. I moved closer to the window and showed the pilot what we got. The gestures he made were very encouraging and together we started our ascent. During the week we made multiple dives like this, shooting photos and videos. I was really happy with the E-M5 Mark II as it allows me to do both. The last day really topped it off. I could go in the submarine to take pictures from there. We even went on a 72-meter dive and I felt very privileged. I couldn't be any happier with my job!