The Ocean – Above and Below

Lord Byron said it best, says Umeed Mistry, a chronicler of the life and mysteries of the ocean, like Better Photography tags him. When he was sixteen, he dove into the ocean enveloping Maldives for the very first time. Ever since, he has been in love with the sea and the camera.

After watching Mickey Smith’s self-potrait Dark Side of the Lens, our flat-mate and accomplice at Chai Kadai, has tricked us into loving, much like he does, exploring the works of underwater explorers. We’ve never dived into the ocean, the furthest we’ve been is a few hours of snorkeling. The idea of diving into a hostile and quite an alien environment comes from a passion to explore Nature’s weird and beautiful ways of expressing itself with life.

For some of us (lazy bones) it might take an entire day’s convincing before we walk to the beach right next to our house. But for these divers, once they’ve done it for the first time, it’s an inseparable love affair; like James Cameron said at a TED Conference:

Much like Mickey Smith or James Cameron, Umeed chooses the camera lens to explore the interconnecting mysteries of these worlds. In his collection two worlds, he says:

This year, Neil Ever Osborne’s path-breaking documentary Witness: Defining Conservation Photography, put in perspective the actual work of those like Umeed Mistry. In the past decade, the gradual evolution of nature photography in to conservation photography has formed a global community of these artistes and explorers who have realised that their responsibility begins after tripping the shutter. Though, photography as a conservation tool has been there for many years, it is only now that conservation photography is being developed into a unique genre and field of its own for study and work. It is the process of story-telling — giving Nature a voice to speak to current day society. Umeed Mistry signs off in Better Photography with this same hope:

View more work at Umeed Mistry’s website and read more about conservation photography at International League of Conservation Photographer’s website.

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