Photographer and director Tyler Stableford challenged himself both artistically and technically to create his series, “Into the Deep,” which depicts a model swimming with whale sharks in the waters near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Every August, whale sharks gather to feed on plankton near the convergence of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean waters. Tyler Stableford decided to shoot just south of that, where the waters were clear and blueAll of the light streams in his images were captured in camera—”no glow ball filter, no sun flare filter…it’s the most meaningful art I’ve ever created.”
Stableford held his breath for extended periods, photographing a trained underwater model swimming with sharks up to 40-feet long. Each image in the series was made in one frame, without the aid of post-production compositing.
“It was a real moonshot to get the moments that we did,” Stableford told PDN via email. “We spent one day doing test shots (and swimming with my wife and kids), and then an arduous shoot day—arduous for our model Ashley, who spent over four hours in a row diving endlessly below the whale sharks, holding her breath, with countless failed attempts on our part, all for various reasons.”