>>>“Terra firma is no more than a place to pass through.”
Photo: Enric Adrian Gener
We Interview Enric Adrian Gener, Underwater Photographer

“Terra firma is no more than a place to pass through.”

Unwilling to live inland, he seeks to “discover new seas” and the “cultures that surround them”. “I analyse the relationship between humans and the sea,” explains Enric Adrian Gener, who travels the world as an underwater photographer.
Unwilling to live inland, he seeks to “discover new seas” and the “cultures that surround them”. “I analyse the relationship between humans and the sea,” explains Enric Adrian Gener, who travels the world as an underwater photographer.Enric Adrian Gener became tired of urban life and working at an advertising agency in Madrid: “I didn’t like working from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 7pm, and having a month a year to travel, if I was lucky. I like it when my life is a little more disorganised.” Besides, this Minorcan was yearning for the sea. “I was living to far away, which meant I couldn’t do what I was really passionate about, in my free time.” Travelling the world as an underwater photographer allowed him to find a balance.

What do you look for when you travel?

When considering destinations, I have no interest in the country. What I care about is the sea: its life, climate and migrations. To me, the country, what we call terra firma, is just a place to pass through. I seek to discover new marine landscapes, and am passionate about swimming next to large animals: whales, sharks, dolphins and manta rays.

He normally takes his photographs using a Canon 5D Mark II, but with an aluminium case that covers the camera and protects it from the water and pressure.

What are the main features of your underwater photography?

My photography is based on natural and human elements. The human figure appears in more of a minor role, with the sea as the protagonist. However, this minor role is essential, to enable the lead to come across as significant. It is similar to when you put an object next to another, to compare scale or colour. Human beings, whenever they compare themselves to nature, always come off badly, whether due to immensity, strength, beauty or something else.

Gener has managed to avoid making his passion an exception; instead he has given it “greater protagonism” in his life.

What complications do you encounter when taking photographs?

Just the fact of being underwater, without considering the photography, is quite a challenge. Down there, you are cold, under pressure, in the dark, wet, always in movement, with poor visibility and, as if that weren’t enough, you can’t breathe. Added to this, you attempt to take photos. Technically, numerous elements complicate this activity, although they can also be used in your favour. Examples include the disappearance of the colour range in deep water, and scarce light and visibility. But there are also great things, like the absence of gravity.

Among the different sections of his project, 27 MM, there is one dedicated to animal life.

It all started on the island of Hierro...

Yes, that is the before and after of my current way of living. It was also the first step in the 27MM photography project, which I started, funnily enough, using audiovisual language rather than photography. Hierro is a magical place and one of the best scuba-diving destinations in Europe. I was captivated by its sub-aquatic landscapes: volcanoes, walls, leaps into the abyss. The sensation of immensity below your feet is very powerful. After that, I went to the Caribbean, which is the exact opposite. I have been improvising and changing places for five months, but the main reason I went there was because it was the season when the humpback whales migrate from Canada, to breed. And I wanted to be there, in the water.

The photographer underlined that his underwater project “came about freely, from passion and not as a job. And it is still that way today.”

What do you remember most about your journeys?

In Indonesia, I found the most beautiful coral I have seen in my life. In Australia, the paradise of the waves. For Tonga and the Dominican Republic, the humpback whales. Palau was a story-book paradise. The Red Sea is all crystal-clear waters, chasms and coral. The Revillagigedo Islands, in the Pacific, were home to sharks and giant rays. Mexico has enormous marine biodiversity; I remember discovering the cenotes. For Belize, encounters in the blue of the pelagic zone.

The human figure appears in more of a minor role, with the sea as the protagonist.

Biography

Enric Adrian Gener was born in Menorca (Spain), where he lived until moving to Barcelona, and then Madrid, to specialise in art and design. He distanced himself from the Mediterranean, where he first got involved in photography and where, years later, he would seek to unite himself with his greatest passion: the sea. At the moment, he is working on underwater photography, in the seas included in his project: ‘27MM’ .

Related articles

A prehistoric island among the clouds

Standing between Brazil and Venezuela is Mount Roraima, a prehistoric plateau with natural ‘hotels’ and Jacuzzis from where you can...

Diving with penguins

One of the most extreme scuba diving experiences is diving under the sea ice. If you can stand these sub-freezing...

The bike that wanted to get fat

Skis have found themselves faced with some fierce competitors: fat bikes. Their wheels are wider, so they can be used...

“A ring that will win over any heart”

Frodo and Gollum would agree: there’s a better ring than Sauron’s and it’s in Ireland.