“We’re born of the ocean. Each of us begins life floating in amniotic fluid that has almost the same makeup as ocean water. Our earliest characteristics are fishlike. The month-old embryo grows fins first, not feet; it is one misfiring gene away from developing fins instead of hands. At the fifth week of a fetus’ development, its heart has two chambers, a characteristic shared by fish… The term Master Switch of Life was coined in 1963 by physiologist Per Scholander. It refers to a variety of physiological reflexes in the brain, lungs, and heart, among other organs, that are triggered the second we put our faces in water” - James Nestor (DEEP).

For as long as I can remember, my most vivid and energizing memories have spawned from the water. 2 Years ago I took an open water SCUBA class, and immediately I was obsessed with diving. The past two years of learning, training, breath-holding longer and diving deeper… it has shown me a connection to self and to earth unlike I have experienced anywhere else… more on this in an upcoming blog post!

AQUEOUS is a collection of fleeting moments, all born in water: a ray of light catching a mask lens, a deep breath before descent, a goliath grouper coming in (un)comfortably close for a check-in, or a shark gliding stealthily alongside you. It is my freshest passion, and my newest photographic experiment. I hope these images bring about a fraction of the sense of wonder that I experience while taking them. Please get in touch if you care to provide feedback, share stories, or need a dive buddy :)

Special thanks to some wonderful people who have allowed me to appear in front of the lens a few times here.

-ph