Introduction to 'Freedivers' galleries
by Mark Wilman
I've freedived in Ios waters for over 40 years. I know Sikinos less well, but enough to acknowledge that they're different: the rock formations, immediacy of depths, risks. Mostly, I dived alone, often looking for fish. Roxana brought about change, my focus becoming her graceful movements underwater highlighting the beauty of the freediving experience.
Our most recent project 'Ios Shipwreck' took place only days after the Blue Star Patmos ferry was towed away from where it had gone aground at the site of our previous work, a spot we knew we could get more from. Strangely, we saw no sign of the incident, though our search was limited due to the proximity of the area to the mouth of the often busy port bay, especially by fast moving transport vessels.
The results were only obtained from a final try with the sun directly in front of me, usually an overly complex task in photography. What looked fine on the camera screen during shooting resulted in heavily overexposed images upon inspection some hours later, fortunately, resolved with a few clicks of the editing tools, mostly exposure reduction.
Earlier experiences included the Freedivers gallery, which was created with a camera phone inside a soft plastic case. These were interesting because of the effect the material at times had on the pictures.
Lady Freediver, though only a single photo, was characterised by the beauty of the female form, so although the model's arm could have been facing downwards for a more perfect result, the charm of her physique convinced me of its validity.
The beauty of freediving is the year round approach to living it encourages, i.e. a healthy diet, regular physical activity including weight training and distance walking, with a careful, thoughtful attitude in general, by this I mean anticipating consequences.