THE ARTIST AT WORK
How moody lighting, exquisite composition and a desire to reveal a ship’s history combine to make unforgettable images
When photographer Becky Kagan Schott dives a shipwreck — especially one that is a casualty of war, weather or plain bad luck — she sees more than an interesting underwater subject; she immediately connects to its story and that of its crew. “I feel like I’m going back in time and able to see a piece of history in front of my own eyes,” she says. “I feel fortunate to be able to share their forgotten stories.” What amazes us most is Schott’s ability to capture the essence of a particular ship, often in a single, indelibly rendered photo. Case in point: her photos of several historic wrecks in three of the Great Lakes ( page 48). “Some of them are truly ghost ships,” she says. “Many of them are really deep and remote, and the water is really cold with tough conditions. I like to push myself to capture a shot unlike anyone has seen before. Then I like to go back and change the mood using different types of lighting. In the end I feel a connection with each wreck; I hope it comes through in my photography so the viewer connects as well.”
PATRICIA WUEST joined Scuba Diving in October 1992 and has served as assistant, managing and senior editor. A diver for more than 25 years, she was named editor-in-chief in 2013.