In June 2015 I joined a live-a-board around the Komodo national park. But this was no ordinary live-a-board, the guests included some free divers. I didn’t know much about free diving and it intrigued me. I spent most of the trip with the scuba divers drifting around the dives sites in strong currents. Looking up constantly, I was hoping to see the free divers coming down to my level. I saw them once at the end of the dive. I was getting low on air and they were far away. Finally I decided the best way to get the pictures I wanted was to join the free divers.
Just before the dive I approached the free divers and told them I would be taking photos of them. We had a brief chat about the best place for me to be and I asked them to come as close to me as they could. There was no time for discussion of poses. But I had a few ideas of shots I wanted to capture.
I waited at 5 meters among the fishes for the free divers. Almost straight away I had an opportunity to shoot the first of my ideas, one free diver going down and another going up passing each other. The shot didn’t come out exactly as I had envisioned; the divers we too far away from my wide angle lens and therefore not very sharp.
I swam towards the slowly descending diver who opened her arms wide as she passed me. I knew straight away this
was going to be a great shot.
For the next hour the free divers continued to dive down swimming past me, sometimes in pairs and sometimes following the colorful fish. I experimented with many different techniques and got a couple of nice silhouettes but nothing compared to the arms open pose.