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Neil Craver – Underwater Love
Neil Craver’s underwater photography has a strange haunting quality, it makes me think about all kinds of things beauty, angels, death, sex, love and life. It’s both compelling and slightly unsettling, I really like it.
Where do you live?
In Winston Salem,N.C. USA
How long have you been taking photographs?
Originally from the age of 13 or 14, but professional from 2002
What camera do you use?
Canon Mark 2 1Ds with a fish tank, and underwater bag
What inspired the pictures?
The series has been a long project of mine for about 3 years now. I just recently semi-finished it and felt like I should really show the world.
I have always loved the purity and the undying movement of liquids. Even in my painting and sculpture work, it has always a melting or specific motion.
When I started the project I was shooting in a fish-tank because I didn’t have the money to buy a underwater housing.
It gave my the split-level look that I wanted, but really lacked the control I needed. I have too many close calls floating around in the rock quarry, so I found the cheapest underwater bag that I could get.
All the images are shot at the same abandoned rock quarry, it’s a secret spot only know to the couple of people that are adventurous to find it. It’s not an easy location to get to, or photograph and I had been going there dreaming of shooting a project there.
It’s like a big hole in the ground and I had to really study the light that would enter the mouth of the quarry, I can only get about 3 or 4 hours of good light in a day. Each season I get better and better, really understanding the light and the time of the year to come.
Late summer is the best, the sun barely skims the surface around the pit and the water clarity is better, even if the water is very cold!
Water clarity is the biggest problem of all, in the middle of the summer I cant shoot, the water is too cloudy. If it rains I have to wait about 5 days because the run off of the soil around the pit, makes it dirty looking.
Well, more shooting in the rock quarry this summer and nailing down 3 or 4 more shoots that i need to complete the series and check to find a publisher for the series. I find it really needs to be in a book to project the scale of this series!
Where can people find out more?
I’m currently being represented by a gallery in Germany called Candela Project
I also have my website www.Omni-Phantasmic.com
22nd February 2012
Polly Braden's pictures are an intimate glimpse of people living and working in a country balancing between change and tradition. I love them because apart from being beautifully photographed, they are a revealing study on contemporary Chinese culture.