“You yourself are the eternal energy which appears as this universe. You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” Alan Watts
For three and a half years I have been taking photos of the sea while swimming. It began when I was inspired by a photo I saw on Twitter taken by @psychojographer and I asked him about what he used to take the shot. He referred to a danger shot, chest deep in the sea with his iphone but also pointed me in the direction of some waterproof cameras. I credit him with inspiring my work about the sea.
I have worked my way through several cameras since; some stopped working, some leaked sea water and others I broke by being clumsy. In turn the thousands of images I have since captured all have different qualities, perspectives and colour saturation. I have begun to attempt to refine some of the over saturated images caught by one particular camera, sickly over saturated photos are hideous.
I can’t actually see what I am photographing while taking them, I am too busy concentrating on not drowning for one, and the view finder is small and invariably underwater or about to be. So when viewing the images afterwards I am always surprised with the outcome.
As you might know I have been using some of the photos as a starting point for paintings this year. Beginning small I quickly dived into ridiculously huge paintings I have had to hire a van to move. I’ve since learned to rein in my enthusiasm for the subject making easily transportable diptychs and triptychs. It’s funny what influences your work, in this case it is the question ‘Will it fit in my car?’.
Now I’d like to do something with the photographs. I have begun to sift through them making folders of my favourites. I am not absolutely sure what I will do with them yet but it is amazing the breadth of atmospherics and colour ranges I have captured; the mood of the sea differs so much according to the sky, weather, time of year, time of day. Although most are taken at dawn, the best time of day. Yes it is.