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