Black and White Komodo Landscapes

“After a dive I like to look up at the rock formations and trace the ridges below the surface. The lines are related to the underwater topography, but we seldom see the connections.”

For some reason, one day, I decided to shoot with black and white film. All shot from a boat, I was shooting continuous perspectives from the water where the landscape rises from the shoreline. When I was done, I started to see similarities in the rock formations.

I’ve long admired the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, who inspired the way I grouped the following landscapes.

Bernd and Hilla Becher made their career photographing man-made industrial structures, often in series. I’ve always been drawn to their style of creating groups from found patterns.

They photographed water towers, industrial facades, gas tanks, framework houses, grain elevators and other industrial structures, organizing their photos in stunning compilations. They called these manmade creations Anonyme Skulpturen or anonymous sculptures.

Here are a few examples of Bernd and Hilla’s incredible work:

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This is certainly nothing like the amazing work of Bernd and Hilla Becher. However, as I’ve admired them for so long, I thought it would be fun to pay a short tribute to the husband and wife team.

The steep rock faces and formations above the water are much like the ridges and valleys where we go diving. If you squint, you can almost imagine the ridges continuing below the ocean.

These are sculptures in a way, but found in nature. When I look at these shapes rising from the sea I wonder how they came to be.

What else is kind of neat about this series is that we can only photograph these ridges through air. They’re the same under water, but the visibility doesn’t allow such a perspective.

-NK

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