When I was asked to photograph freediver Ai Futaki, my first thought was ’where do I get an underwater housing?’.
Turned out that wasn’t necessary though. Futaki already has a brilliant collaborator in Aaron Wong and the inflight magazine that commissioned me wisely decided to use his underwater photos. (He has some great shots of Futaki under the Shiretoko ice-flow in Northern Japan. Can’t compete with those!)
But I still needed shot to accompany the interview I did. How to convey Futaki’s relationship with the sea a little? We arranged a shoot down by the sea near Hayama – under the watchful gaze of police guarding the Imperial Villa.
Drizzly and overcast it would have been a terrible day for fun at the seaside. But the light made for some fairly dramatic photos. For the head and shoulders shot afterwards I asked to imagine herself diving. She was a fascinating person to talk to as well as a great model.
I shot the seaside photos with a single SB800 strobe using Nikon’s wireless system. Perhaps I could have used more, But one flash was enough to handle while balancing on a slippery rock!