Wa­ter proofs

For Michaela Skovra­nova, pho­tog­ra­phy is the chance to ex­press sen­sory and emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences. And when’s she’s underwater, no mo­ment is the same.

Qantas - - Travle Insider -

De­scribe the most amaz­ing mo­ment you’ve cap­tured underwater.

The mo­ment the ocean turned into a starry night in Antarc­tica. I had no con­cept of what it would feel like to be underwater in such a for­eign, cold space and I didn’t know how my mind or body would re­act. There was a strange labyrinth of haze, with light bounc­ing off a float­ing piece of ice, which turned into a beau­ti­ful underwater galaxy.

How did you be­come in­ter­ested in underwater pho­tog­ra­phy?

Dur­ing my pho­tog­ra­phy stud­ies, I worked with an­i­mals and I wanted to start ex­tend­ing my ex­plo­rations from the land to the sea. The ocean is the most mag­i­cal place I’ve ever vis­ited and prob­a­bly as close as I’ll get to vis­it­ing space. You ex­pe­ri­ence weight­less­ness and this in­cred­i­ble free­dom of move­ment. With ev­ery hour and ev­ery day, the ocean shifts and changes. It’s such a unique place to cre­ate in.

What equip­ment do you use to take pho­to­graphs un­der the sea?

The Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and PT-EP14 underwater hous­ing, plus the Olym­pus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and PT-EP13 underwater hous­ing. The lenses I love to use are the 25mm F1.2 Pro and the 12mm F2.0. And my all-time favourite for stills and video above wa­ter is the 12-100mm F4.0 IS Pro. The set­tings de­pend on the en­vi­ron­ment I’m in and the look and feel I’m try­ing to cre­ate.

What advice do you have for peo­ple who want to cap­ture im­ages of sea crea­tures?

Ex­plore and play. Go into the ocean just to swim and feel the wa­ter; go in non-per­fect con­di­tions and at dif­fer­ent times of the day. Try dif­fer­ent lenses and depths. Go even when the vis­i­bil­ity is hor­ri­ble and it’s rain­ing – you won’t feel like it but you’ll al­ways find some­thing new and those are the ex­pe­ri­ences that will in­form your work later on.

Slo­vakian-born Michaela Skovra­nova has fea­tured twice in Photo Boite’s 30 Un­der 30 Women Pho­tog­ra­phers. In 2015, one of her dreamy underwater snaps was awarded the Aus­tralian Life pho­tog­ra­phy prize.

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