Friday, October 10, 2014

In Pursuit of Greece

Throughout my career I have been privilege to image submerged history in various parts of the world. From Civil War submarines dating to 1864 to World War II icons of the early 1940’s – I have attempted to focus my lens with a sense of responsibility and individuality to bring these sites to those who will never reach them. Each one has its own place in history and my goal has always been to bring this heritage to life through photography.

It’s no surprise, then, when I first heard of a project off Greece excavating one of the most famous shipwrecks in history, the Roman Antikythera shipwreck dating to 60-80 BC, my senses tingled. Phil Short, a good friend, instructor, and one of the premier technical and cave divers in the world had been diving with a team of Greek and international archaeologists since 2010. When we spent some time together diving the B-29 at Lake Mead earlier this year, I was certain to “pitch” my very specific set of skills for the project in Greece. With 20 years of experience photographing underwater archaeologists, sites, and science, along with hundreds of hours on a closed circuit Sentinel rebreather, I was hopeful that he would sell my talents to the project leadership.

As a failsafe, I also began working another good friend, Evan Kovacs, a very talented freelance underwater shooter, producer, tech, and all around genius. Most of his work for the past several years has been with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) through the Advanced Imagining and Visualization Laboratory. WHOI is a primary sponsor of the work in Greece with archaeologist Brendan Foley being one of the principal investigators. Evan and I have traveled together on several NPS/WHOI 3D shoots and in the South Pacific over the years, so it wasn’t a hard sell on my photographic abilities, only that this is a project I really wanted to be a part of to shoot with him.

In the end, Evan was contracted to provide the underwater imagery for the 2014 Return to Antikythera project, and I was fortunate enough to hitch my photographic abilities to his wagon. After the budgets were settled, I was in. Not only did I have the chance to work on one of the most significant shipwrecks in the world, but I was going to do it with two very good friends. Off to Greece.

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