Getting the Best shot while SCUBA Diving is one of the hardest tasks.. Chris Crumley has it down and has even seen a Mermaid or 2. In an interview with I am a Mermaid Chris talks about the creative and hardships in shooting a truly magnificent beast.
We all start somewhere in our underwater photo gear. Chris talks about how he started with just a waterproof bag.
Chris Crumley takes some of the most gorgeous mermaid photographs out there–and some of the most gorgeous underwater photos generally, of ecstatic divers, women holding balloons, brightly colored sea creatures, shipwrecks and kelp forests, tuxedo-ed and be-gowned dancing couples, and really whatever else you can think of, made ethereal and otherworldly, suspended in water. He also occasionally takes some above-ground photos. But… mermaids! Just take a gander at the photos below, with all credits included at his generous request:
So how did you get into underwater photography?I was an amateur photographer and got the idea that I wanted to take a person’s picture underwater. I bought a plastic EWA bag for an old Canon 35mm and did eathold photography in a friend’s pool. Didn’t do so well and thought if I was on SCUBA I would have more time to compose and frame, so I went to a dive shop asking for air, learned that I needed to be certified, took the course, got the air and off I went. At this point I have over 5,000 logged dives with only seven without a camera.
When did you start photographing mermaids?Working with Sherry Smith in Mexico or Turks & Caicos Islands, we talked about doing something different than standard underwater photographer and model things. She went back to Illinois and talked to a college fashion design professor who sketched some “costume” designs and gave me a quote to make the choice.
Where–and from whom–do you get your tails?I use eight tails. Tail #1 was conceived by model Sherry Smith and me, then designed by a fashion design instructor at the University of Southern Illinois. The instructor sent me several sketched designs, I picked one, she quoted doing the faication using Sherry for sizing. It was faicated using 3/16″ neoprene with sewed-on scales and a fluke over two swim-fins epoxied together.
Tail #2, 3 and 4 were faicated similarly, but in two pieces, with a neoprene torso and a painted monofin.
Tail #5 was made of latex rubber by Adam Martyn, Carpathian Creations, in Budapest, Hungary. It is an attractive tail but had some issues that made us dedicate it to dry use.
Tails #6, 7 and 8 are silicone tails by Eric Ducharme (the Mertailor). They are by far the best of all tails I’ve used.Tail#6 was used for the cover of Mermaids & Mythology magazine (blue-green color).Tail#7 was used for the Hasselblad Europe new product announcement (see hasselblad.com 60 megapixel product launch; goldfish color).Tail#8 is black and was used for the Evil Mermaid images.
Can you talk about some of the challenges of working with mermaids?The major challenge is finding someone who is uber-comfortable in water, has reasonable eathhold ability, and is able to relax his/her face, swim gently like dolphin, fit one of my tails and love it. I developed and teach underwater modeling and photography, so I’m used to coaching and helping a new photo-mermaid build his/her skill set.
Have you always been fascinated by/attracted to life underwater?Yes, I was born in Savannah, Georgia, and have been “water person” whole life.
How would you describe the allure of the sea and its denizens (mermaids)?I’m attracted to pretty much all things of the oceans. I’ve photographed whales, whale sharks, sharks, people, shipwrecks and, now, mermaids.