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AD 2016 Q1

IMAGING SHOOTER “In

IMAGING SHOOTER “In 2007 I was commissioned to create the photo illustrations for a retelling of Charles Kingsley’s classic 1863 book, The Water- Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. The version I read as a child was illustrated with paintings, but this retelling combined my photos with artwork from illustrator Heidi Taylor to create the whimsical fantasies of the book. “I fell in love with Sue Flood’s Whale Calf photograph and was delighted when she agreed to let me use it for the book. I had to get the child to fit the existing composition, so we shot him against a gray background underwater, which actually worked much better than expected. I love the child’s wrinkly little feet and the white parasitic crabs on the whale from the original. “The otter wasn’t nearly as sweet as he looks. He spent the whole shoot trying to jump onto my head, and the stink of his musk was incredible. Really — they had to air out the swimming pool room for days after we left. Photographing both the child and the otter in a swimming pool was the only practical way to match the lighting. “In the story the main character, Tom, meets all sorts of incredible underwater creatures; I thought the turbot image came together really nicely. I used a stock image of the fish, and the challenge was to get the light on the boy to match the lighting on the fish. Once this was achieved, it was a blessedly simple composition.” 96 | WINTER 2016

“In 2008 organizers of a freediving championship invited me to take pictures. The competition took place in 330 feet of blue water and was staged from a tanker moored off the coast of Cyprus. The visibility was sensational — a photographer’s dream. Freedivers swarmed everywhere, diving up and down the lines from the boat. The freediver in this image in particular caught my attention as he looked like he was enjoying the freedom of the water. His pose says it all. Actually, I shot it the other way around, as a horizontal with the sun at the top, and it wasn’t until I got it to the editing table and turned it that it became the image it is here. It has since been printed many times for art collectors’ walls.” ALERTDIVER.COM | 97

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