Combining environmental science with artistic vision, this project is a long-term photographic venture focused exclusively on British freshwater habitats and ecosystems.
From ponds and puddles to streams, rivers, quarries and lakes, wetlands, bogs and marshes, these increasingly disconnected bodies of water collectively form a freeway, a special highway that enables biodiversity to move from place to place, to survive and thrive. The FresH2O Connection aims to highlight the underwater scene of these fragmented and diminishing habitats, to raise awareness about the importance of and connection between them.
Exploring these spaces to visually tell their story is the primary aim of the project. To bring these important habitats into the fore in a contemporary way, with images that spark the imagination, stories that reveal hidden aspects and updates to share unusual discoveries or interesting behaviour. It's a journey of discovery.
The challenge is to photograph this realm in a creative and unexpected way.
Rigged and ready to roll!
Behind the scenes, lightning strikes of creative energy are going into the visuals. The Rabbit Hole isn’t deep enough! I’m ridiculously excited about the photographic aspect; the challenge is ambitious but I'm thinking outside the box, digging for apples. My heart lies in Abstract, arty interpretation and that’s what I want to produce. So it may take a while .... but if the water is deep enough to sink my camera rig, it’s a source of life and has potential.
SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION
Inspiration for this concept evolved after completing a variety of courses through the Open University. Using my expanded knowledge to best effect, the FresH2O Connection merges biological science together with my love of water environments and an obsessive passion for underwater photography.
Through the summer of 2019 I’m collaborating with Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group (KUBAG) taking part in The Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) eel monitoring project. Working in local rivers as a citizen scientist, capturing images when the going’s good, following the journey of critically endangered European eels.
Break On Through
Plant life is fundamental to food webs and ecosystems but it’s overlooked time and again in the world of underwater photography. It simply doesn’t have the appeal of charismatic megafauna or the cuteness of photogenic critters. But my money’s on the underdog – or in this case, the undergrowth. Two areas of special interest for me are algae and aquatic plants. The former because it morphs like nothing else I know and the latter because plants have a beautiful story, like this one on the hidden world of Waterlilies
Biodiversity, indicator species, life cycles, food chains and habitat loss are other areas of focus. Pieces of the puzzle that help to build the bigger picture about the health of our freshwater biome, each as interesting and deserving of some time on centre stage as the last.
Interconnectedness is the driving force behind the locations. A puddle leads to a pond, which lies close to a stream, which flows into a river. The freshwater superhighway passes right through our gardens and urban spaces until it breaks free into greenbelt and countryside. All that exploring to do! All those stories to be told ...
FresH2O images can be found in my dedicated gallery, click here to discover what lies beneath
Every photograph has an associated short story or a few interesting facts about it, which you can read by clicking on the image itself.
FresH2O articles, stories, news and blog updates can be found here