LOCATION: Papua New Guinea
STORY: The coral reefs of Papua New Guinea are among the brightest, the most vibrant, the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. And that is, of course, why I spent over 2 years of my life living on a boat on here. Every time I look at Candyland, I’m reminded that while the oceans have suffered greatly under our watch, there is still so much beauty worth protecting!
When I create a sketch of my next photo, its sometimes a visualization of what I saw earlier that day, and will return tomorrow to capture with the camera. Other times, it’s more of an abstract, and it takes me years to find, and that was definitely the case with Candyland. I had this sketch of a scene straight out of a Dr Suess illustration with colors that spanned the entire box of crayons. Coral occupied only half the top of the composition, and fish were highlighted in the negative space. Easier to sketch than find in real life! But if I was to find it anywhere, it was going to be here in Papua New Guinea. And on this fateful day, I stumbled into just such a scene.
I regularly scuba dive with two underwater flashes (strobes) attached to the camera, on long, articulating arms. Two strobes covers the majority of my scenes, but as I fired a few preliminary test shots, I quickly realized the studio-lighting quality I was trying to create required both a greater quantity of light, and a more spread-out distribution. So I went back up to my boat, assembled my tripod, and got two additional strobes to function as slaves to my two primaries, each on their own small tripod. After a bit of experimenting, the studio-lighting effect was just right. But there was still a major problem – all the fish were facing the wrong way and giving me the butt-shot. The anthias, wrasse, and damselfish in this picture are all planktonivores, meaning that instead of hunting, they wait for tiny food to drift past their faces in the current. and the current was going in completely the wrong direction! With no tide charts for this remote part of the world, I just needed to wait. I left everything in place, powered on, on the tripods, and surfaced for a long lunch. Finally, about 3 hours later, my boat started to pivot on the mooring I created, and I knew the water was now moving in the opposite direction. I threw on my gear, swam down to my “stage”, and now that all the fish were facing the camera, I just had to click the shutter.
For printing, Candyland is flexible for cropping away from it’s native ratio of 3:2 into more panoramic art in 2:1 and 3:1 ratios, and is available in large art sizes up to a maximum of 120″ wide. We’ve found that many of our client’s most successful implementations of Candyland, happen where the room is mostly whites or lighter Earth tones. It is the perfect way to add a singular bright pop of color to a room of neutral colors. You can purchase this luxury wall art online in our standard sizes, but if you’d like to discuss a custom crop or size, please contact one of our design consultants at the art gallery. Show us a picture of your room, and we’ll help you make the canvas vs. aluminum decision for your custom print.