Monday February 1, 2021

H20GRAPHY By Justin Lutsky Photos by: Justin Lutsky | photo.justinlutsky.com | @jlutskyphoto Model: Hannah Mermaid | @hannahmermaid Working with experienced underwater performers is one of the most exciting aspects of my journey through underwater photography. This month’s column features a recent collaboration with a true legend of the aquatic realm. Hannah Fraser, known professionally as Hannah Mermaid, is a model, actress, dancer, and performer who specializes in underwater and oceanoriented freediving performances. She is a central figure in modern mermaiding and passionate about ocean ecology activism. This underwater garden concept was one of the last photo shoots I managed to squeeze in before temperatures in Southern California became too cold to work comfortably in an outdoor pool. Hannah and I met one afternoon with a general theme in mind, not knowing quite how all the elements would ultimately go together. Like most underwater shoots, you never know how things will look until you jump in and see how objects and materials behave once submerged. Underwater concept shoots are very much an exercise in creative problem solving. Having a collaborator as creative and easy to work with as Hannah makes the entire process so rewarding. The backdrop was an artificial plant wall that came in small sections that snapped together to form one large surface. The plan was to attach one end to the pool deck and let the rest hang vertically underwater. However, I discovered that the entire wall was actually very buoyant once fully assembled. To get the wall to sink, I had to add nearly 50 pounds of lead weight along the bottom edge. After that, I maneuvered a metal footbridge into position and finished off the underwater set with various pieces of artificial greenery. Some pieces hung down from the surface while...... Read more on Full Issue!

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